A Response to Presidential Debate Number One: How do you Fight a Fantasy?

Will Anyone Ask for any Sacrifices?

In my last post, I said that I would quit writing about politics for a while. But after watching the first presidential debate, I just couldn’t help myself.

I anticipate this being a bit more of a rant than normal. This is partly just for the fun of it. When confronted with absurdity, finding humor in the situation can be healthier than banging your head against a wall. This is why I am so grateful for the existence of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” Watching our so-called leaders being mocked mercilessly helps to keep me sane. These shows are a steady reminder that there is still some common sense in the world. (I do, however, promise to be more fair and balanced than either Fox News or MSNBC.)

The general consensus is that Mitt Romney won the first debate. In terms of his debating style and skill, along with the energy he displayed, I would agree with this assessment. He was continually on the attack, displayed excellent posture, and was willing to stare the President dead in the face as he pounced. My problem with Romney, however, is that I am a bit old-fashioned. I tend to be a sucker for actual substance. And when Romney was not distorting reality beyond all recognition, he spent much of the night saying, with both style and conviction, almost nothing at all. And when given the opportunity to put on full display his conservative convictions, he often came across sounding like the liberal on the stage.

But I am not going to bother going through the various ways that Romney distorted facts regarding President Obama’s record. Any readers who still care about facts can easily check out any of the non-partisan fact checking websites. Instead, I want to focus on what Romney said about his own plans. Because Mitt Romney, the man who had won the Republican nomination in the era of the Tea Party, apparently forgot what the word conservative is supposed to mean. First, he assured voters that he was not going to cut taxes. Sure, he would reduce tax rates on corporations and on middle-class Americans, but these would be offset by the reduction or elimination of various (unspecified) tax credits and deductions. He also assured Americans that he would not reduce taxes on wealthy Americans, likely much to the surprise of some his biggest campaign contributors.

He did, however, make it clear that he would not raise taxes. So surely, a fiscal conservative like himself would lay out some specific ways that government spending would be cut, starting with the largest sources of spending: entitlement programs. But when President Obama stated that Social Security only required some minor tweaks to keep it solvent, Romney did not contradict him. And instead of touting his plan for reducing Medicare costs, he attacked the President for (supposedly) pulling $716 billion out of the Medicare system, money that Romney promised to put back. He then promised that Medicare would not change for anyone currently over 60, and for future seniors currently under 60, he offered up some vague, Obamacare-like voucher system in which seniors would have a choice between traditional Medicare – you know, the public option – or private insurance companies that I am sure would bend over backwards to provide affordable premiums for old people. There is nothing insurance companies like more, after all, than insuring people who are likely to make claims. Meanwhile, Medicaid will be fixed by handing it completely over to the states. So in the world of Romneyland, no one would see any loss of benefits, and spending would go down through the magic of private enterprise and local government control. Our current system of private health insurance, after all, has done such a great job over the decades of keeping health care costs down.

It was remarkable to see this alternate universe that Romney had seemingly entered. When listening to a Republican scolding a Democrat for pulling funds out of Medicare, I felt that I had entered this strange new universe with him. But when the father of Romneycare, the Massachusetts health care reform plan that he pretended did not exist during the debates for the Republican nomination, began bragging about his signature achievement as governor, I knew that Romney had completely wiped clean the “etch-a-sketch” containing his previous ideas. This was the new, improved, moderate, former governor of Massachusetts Romney, a man who can balance a budget and solve social problems without asking for any measurable sacrifice of any kind. He will cut tax rates, eliminate deductions without pissing off any of the people and corporations who benefit from them, protect entitlement programs, and, like a good “conservative,” increase defense spending. Then, to top it all off, he will abolish the Obamacare plan (that was somehow different from his Massachusetts success story) and replace it with a better plan that keeps all of the benefits of Obamacare without any of the negative costs. And when his (not really) tax cuts and elimination of (unspecified) regulations cause our economy to grow like a flower in the spring, our problems will be wiped away.

It is a beautiful fantasy, and to the advantage of Romney, impossible to disprove completely. This is the great advantage of any challenger. At the moment, his presidency is completely theoretical, and he is not tied down to any previous policy statements. And when someone questions him on his numbers, he can assure us with a simple promise that his policies will neither blow up the deficit nor significantly cut government services: his policies will not have these negative effects because he says that they won't. So by definition, any criticism to the contrary is wrong. You can't argue with that logic, particularly since he has no record to the contrary.

President Obama, however, has a record, and as everyone knows, it is not a stellar one. The economy is still sputtering, and he has failed to bring down the deficit. And while he inherited a pretty lousy situation, excuses may not be enough to win elections. But when he stood up there on stage the other night, he did not look like a guy who was excited about defending his record. He acted like either a guy who was convinced that the election was in the bag, a college professor going through the motions, or someone who was still formulating plans for his wedding anniversary dinner.

But to be fair to the President, it is difficult to debate a guy who has a talent for changing policies at a moment's notice and is very "creative" in his use of "facts." If you attack his theoretical policies, he can change them up on you. If you hit him with inconvenient facts - which you can't help "embellishing" a bit - he is both armed with real statistics and "embellishments" that go much further than you are apparently willing to go. His criticisms, whether true or not, come across as much more damning than anything you can say. He is attacking your record; you are attacking his evolving ideas and the theoretical results.

President Obama, like all of his predecessors, has been confronted with the realities of the job. He has been faced with complex problems, and he has been forced to make choices between the various bad options. If he had decided to tackle the budget with significant tax hikes and/or spending cuts, the economy, which was in crisis when he entered office, would have likely suffered even more. If he focused more on economic stimulus, then the debt would explode. And given the debt he inherited on the day he took office, the stimulus could never be big enough to avoid significant economic pain, creating the impression that it failed. If he failed to tackle health care reform, the dysfunctional system would have kept sputtering along as it has for decades, draining resources from the government, businesses, and individuals. No matter what choices were made, certain negative consequences would result, and significant numbers of people, for various reasons, were going to disagree.

And as president, even when you have some good ideas that might alleviate problems, there are no guarantees that any of them will get through Congress intact (or at all). This is why, to a certain degree, much of the discussion in this first debate was irrelevant. These guys can propose all of the domestic policies that they want, but it will be difficult to get any of them through a deeply divided Congress. Promoting bipartisanship is easier said than done, especially these days.

But still, like Romney, the President had his chance to spell out specific steps that the government has to take to get its fiscal house in order and to protect important government services for future generations. Instead, he merely laid out a "balanced" approach of fairly limited tax increases and spending cuts. Like Romney, he clearly has little confidence in the willingness of the American people to make any significant, tangible sacrifices. Hopefully, if he wins reelection and no longer has a future campaign to worry about, he will grow some balls and tell us some hard truths. But for the moment, as it has for the last thirty years, the federal government continues to promote the fantasy that we can keep getting all of the government services that we are used to without actually paying for them.

So maybe this election doesn't make any difference. Assuming that the new Romney does not change his ideas next week, I did not see much on Wednesday night to distinguish these candidates from one another, with one significant exception. President Obama, whatever you think of his policies, has made some effort over the past four years to do what he said he would do: health care reform, financial regulation, economic stimulus, withdrawal from Iraq, stepped up efforts in Afghanistan/Pakistan, etc. You may think these are bad policies, but they are at least a reflection of his principles. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has essentially been running for president for the last four years, and it is still difficult to determine if he has any fundamental, political principles. The only consistent principles he has displayed are the willingness to bend the truth and to change his ideas in order to achieve the desired political result. All politicians, to some extent, do the same thing. But Romney has taken political calculation to another level.

I have a pretty good sense of what President Obama will try to accomplish if he wins reelection. Romney, however, comes across to me as a dishonest wild card. And given both his background and the types of characters who have largely funded his campaign, I find it hard to believe that he will be asking either large corporations or wealthy Americans to make any significant sacrifices. So when it becomes clear that the fantasy he presented in the recent debate cannot be realized, which Romney will rise to the surface? I have a feeling that we will never find out, although this election, as the last debate demonstrated, is far from over.

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ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

President Obama FAILED

President Obama spent two years with a democratic congress to work on Obamacare, A TAX, instead of working on the economy, unemployment, and reigning in the financial industry.

His economic stimulus package of $800 billion failed as evidenced by the Feds infusing $40 billion into in same securities that took down the economy in 2008. That will be $40 billion a MONTH until the economy shows signs of recovery.

Obamacare will require hiring 16,000 new IRS agents to collect the taxes.

Taking #716 billion from Medicare can't possibly help Medicare.

Obama has spent this entire year fund raising, over 200 back and forth across the country, and playing over 100 games of golf, and numerous campaign trips. These are not his presidential duties, these are his personal goals, and goals of his party.

When he was senator he spent his last two years campaigning and fund raising for the presidency.

He has done little to nothing about the problems in the Middle East, and he either lied or was incompetent about the attack on the US Embassy in Libya.

He has done little to nothing about the dependency on foreign oil. Also the price of gasoline has gone up significantly since Obama took office. It is nearly $5 a gallon in California.

No budget for the last three years, just spandex, no belt, no restrictions.

You really want to reward Obama with another term?

He FAILED the country.


Bob Zermop profile image

Bob Zermop 4 years ago from California, USA

Out of all the debate reviews I've read so far, this is the one I agree most with. Good analysis and well stated! Would love to leave a longer comment, but really shouldn't be reading anything right now (blew off all of my work to have a politics weekend :D ) so I'll have to leave it at that. Just wanted to say that you've got a great review here!


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago Author

ib, I have noticed over the years that people often write comments that have nothing to do with what I have said. This is particularly true with political hubs.

So instead of listing the standard complaints and blaming the President for all of the problems of the United States, can you tell me, based on this latest debate, how Mitt Romney will be any different? Is he going to refrain from fundraising and give up his horse dancing activities? Is he going to take on the financial industry in which he made his fortune? Does he have any original ideas for improving the health care system? Is the increased drilling of domestic oil going to bring down prices on the international oil exchange? Is lowering the already historically low tax rate going to magically stimulate the economy?

I can understanding voting for a conservative over a liberal. I can understand labeling Obama as a failed President. I don't understand rewarding Romney for feeding people a fantasy and taking crass, political bullshit to another level.

I have relatively low expectations of politicians. I am therefore going with the lesser of two evils.


Andrew Almquist 4 years ago

You do realize there are at this time two other candidates, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, with enough ballot access to technically win the election...or should we continue to ignore third party and independent candidates when talking about presidential candidates?


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Freeway Flyer

Your comment was devoid of any response to my comments, and therefore non responsive.

I gave my reasons against Obama, you ignored them.

Please don't vote.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago Author

ib, OK, I'll respond (even though you never responded to what I wrote):

1) All politicians spend too much time fundraising. It's a product of our stupid electoral system in which candidates are bought off by big donors. We should have public financing of campaigns.

2) With every President, the opposing party complains about how much time he spends on vacation. Think of all the time George W. Bush spent on the golf course or at his Texas ranch.

3) I think that we need comprehensive health care reform, but 2009-2010 may not have been the best time. The sole focus should have been the economy. But Obama probably believed that he would never see a Democratic majority in Congress like that again, so he took his shot, squandering lots of capital in the process. Of course, Republicans were going to hate him no matter what.

4) I wish that they would have dismantled some of the huge financial institutions after the crisis. But Obama played it safe, following the lead of guys like Geithner and Summers. But if he had been more bold, the cries of "he's an anti-business socialist" would have been even louder than they were in response to the weak regulations that were passed.

5) I wrote a hub about the Middle East. There is a link at the bottom of this hub.

6) No one has done anything of significance about our dependence on foreign oil for decades. More oil is being drilled, and investments were made into alternative energy, but it's not enough. And with the increasing demand from places like India and China, nothing is likely to ever be enough.

So like all of his predecessors, Obama has had his screw-ups. And the next President will have more. But for Romney to get my vote, he needs to show me that has something to offer that is different and better. So far, I'm not sold.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

ib, OK, I'll respond (even though you never responded to what I wrote):

1) All politicians spend too much time fundraising. It's a product of our stupid electoral system in which candidates are bought off by big donors. We should have public financing of campaigns.

ib------------

I agree, but Obama has taken this to Olympic levels.

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2) With every President, the opposing party complains about how much time he spends on vacation. Think of all the time George W. Bush spent on the golf course or at his Texas ranch.

ib-----

This was not a vacation which Obama also took.

Senator Obama spent his last two years campaigning, and fund raising for the presidency. So did a dozen senators. But he didn't do his job as senator, and as president he didn't do his job this year.

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3) I think that we need comprehensive health care reform, but 2009-2010 may not have been the best time. The sole focus should have been the economy. But Obama probably believed that he would never see a Democratic majority in Congress like that again, so he took his shot, squandering lots of capital in the process. Of course, Republicans were going to hate him no matter what.

ib-------

I agree, but he should have used this Democratic majority in Congress to put a plan for recovering the economy, unemployment and controlling the out of control financial industry.

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4) I wish that they would have dismantled some of the huge financial institutions after the crisis. But Obama played it safe, following the lead of guys like Geithner and Summers. But if he had been more bold, the cries of "he's an anti-business socialist" would have been even louder than they were in response to the weak regulations that were passed.

ib----------

I agree

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5) I wrote a hub about the Middle East. There is a link at the bottom of this hub.

ib--------

I will check it out

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6) No one has done anything of significance about our dependence on foreign oil for decades. More oil is being drilled, and investments were made into alternative energy, but it's not enough. And with the increasing demand from places like India and China, nothing is likely to ever be enough.

ib-----------

I agree that both parties have done nothing since the oil shortages of the 70s.

In WWII, Germany created synthetic fuel that was aviation grade. The US put a man on the moon in less than a decade with slide rule accuracy. The gasoline engine is the least efficient engine, and the electric engine is the most efficient. We could also have hydrogen cell engines. We could even tune diesel engines to run on a number of different sources. We also don't have enough refineries in the US. The population increased but our resource capacity and capability didn't even increase to keep up with it.

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So like all of his predecessors, Obama has had his screw-ups. And the next President will have more. But for Romney to get my vote, he needs to show me that has something to offer that is different and better. So far, I'm not sold.

ib--------------

The biggest advantage for Romney is that it will stop Obama's crippling of the country. Obama is going in the wrong direction and that needs to stop.

That is the same reason that Obama beat Bush, aka McCain.

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I think we differ on how bad of a threat to the country that Obama is today. You think that Romney can do worse than Obama, and I disagree.

I do think that the political infrastructure of the US is gridlocked because of the two opposing forces we call the democrats and the republicans.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Freeway Flyer

My comment on your comment

ib, I have noticed over the years that people often write comments that have nothing to do with what I have said. This is particularly true with political hubs.

ib---------

I may be guilty

----------------

So instead of listing the standard complaints and blaming the President for all of the problems of the United States, can you tell me, based on this latest debate, how Mitt Romney will be any different? Is he going to refrain from fundraising and give up his horse dancing activities?

ib----------------

I don't know, but Obama has put that bar up pretty high.

Obama spent three of his last six years in office fund raising, campaigning and now playing golf.

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Is he going to take on the financial industry in which he made his fortune?

ib-------------

Obama and the democrats didn't, so another four Obama years will be a repeat of the last four. Obama has no non political skills, he probably didn't even have a paper route. What makes you think that Romney won't take on the financial institutions, as he is retired from business?

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Does he have any original ideas for improving the health care system?

ib-----------

Obamacare is not anymore than a tax, and health care system needs quality, and not thirty two million people added to it. Health care is a problem formed by the FDA, Health Insurance, Pharmaceuticals companies, a lack of qualified doctors, and that is just for starters.

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Is the increased drilling of domestic oil going to bring down prices on the international oil exchange?

ib----------

Oil is not the fuel that needs to be used in the future. It has global warming and air pollution attributes. Synthetic fuels, and alternative engines are needed to be developed.

The country has had over thirty years to develop it, but both parties failed to move it forward.

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Is lowering the already historically low tax rate going to magically stimulate the economy?

ib---------

Income Taxes are the problem. They use a progressive, which is unequal, taxes and they invade privacy for the tax dollar. They have a very large force of IRS agents, and Obamacare is going to add another 16,000 new ones to collect the health tax.

Putting people in brackets, and classifying them by single and married is causing social problems that are unnecessary A National Sales Tax that would REPLACE the Income Tax would be like the current State Sales Tax. It wouldn't be a Flat Tax as that tax is too high at 23% and it has residual accounting that sales tax doesn't have.

The Income Tax changes every year, and it has a huge number of exceptions, deductions, credits and avoidance in the Internal Revenue Code. This code is not useful for wage earners, and the more wealthy people can utilize a lot of it.

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I can understanding voting for a conservative over a liberal. I can understand labeling Obama as a failed President. I don't understand rewarding Romney for feeding people a fantasy and taking crass, political bullshit to another level.

ib-------

Obama is a failure for the country, and it might be that the goals of the country are not his goals, and that is why he failed.

I don't see the Romney comment as having enough information for me to comment on here.

?? Fantasy

?? Political B..sht to what other level.

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I have relatively low expectations of politicians. I am therefore going with the lesser of two evils.

ib------------

I disagree that Obama is the lesser of the two evils.

Obama has a track record of failure as President, and your accusations about Romney have no basis in fact. They are just opinions and suppositions that should be compared with the facts of Obama's public record.

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Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks for sharing your views on this subject. 'Fantasy' Romneyland...those are terms I can relate to. It was a disappointing debate on O's end and the post debate days are sad to watch. I'm not liking the new poll numbers.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

????????????????


Matt Phillips profile image

Matt Phillips 4 years ago

Daring hub, FF, but I sincerely appreciate that you didn't put up your political writing, or ranting, just yet. It's clear that the last four years have been very difficult for a lot of people and some of that falls on Obama's shoulders for a failure to prioritize, champion and sometimes just follow through on things that he campaigned on. And while I've been deeply disappointed in many of Obama's decisions, there is little doubt about what interests Romney serves and they are not well aligned with what I think the United States needs.

The trolls will rage and beat you with made up facts and McCarthyesque innuendo but you can wear those lumps with pride. They come from having a conscience and that is something that drives trolls to distraction.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago Author

ib,

You have clearly done your research, and your views seem to be pretty well set. So I don't know if you care what an amateur blogger like me thinks. But since you have taken the time to respond to my thoughts, I will respond to yours one more time.

1) I wish that they would have implemented a Manhattan Project-style push for alternative energy back in the 1970's. But they didn't. And Obama's rather minimal spending on green energy companies, which Romney both exaggerated and criticized, is not likely to go up under a Romney administration. The GOP is, after all, the drill-baby-drill party, or as it should now be called: "frack-baby-frack."

2) I tried to lay out the Romney fantasy about reducing the budget deficit without any tangible sacrifices in the hub. As far as bullshit, I would refer you to positions Romney touted during the Republican primaries or to various non-partisan fact checking sites: factcheck.org, politifact.org, etc. If you do not see them as credible, then you are unlikely to see me as credible, so there is no point in listing the various ways Romney twisted the truth in these debates. (Obama did too, although the lies were not as extreme.)

3) Yes, Iran and North Korea are problems. But so are Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, etc. And the United States, as you may have noticed, has not had much success in recent years with military incursions and nation-building. And the list of CIA intelligence failures and covert operations is well documented. We have neither the will nor the resources to impose our will on this part of the world, and the long simmering powder keg that is the Middle East seems to be exploding a bit again. It has been a mess for decades, and will likely remain a mess for decades. And Romney, who has many Bush-era advisers, has shown no sign of having any original ideas. And as every modern President has found, it is easier to criticize than to do anything productive. The best we can maybe do is try to contain the conflicts, because the different ethnic groups, tribes, religious sects, and ideological groups are going to fight it out amongst themselves regardless of any American actions. We will likely just get stuck in the middle.

4) I don't know if Romney has proposed a national sales tax, and he sure the heck didn't in the debate. So the issue is a bit of a moot point. It would increase savings and investment, but would likely lead to an increased concentration of wealth toward the top (because the poor spend most or all of their income.) Whether that is a problem or not is a matter of ideology.

5) I wrote a hub a while back about health care. But I don't claim to have close to all of the answers. Neither do Obama or Romney. Here it is:

http://hubpages.com/health/American-Health-Care-Pr...

6) One of the main points of my hub was that a Romney presidency, at this point, is purely theoretical. So I don't know what he might or might not do. And after the debate, I am even more confused. The same was true of Obama in 2008, and you might argue that it did not turn out well. I would say the same of George W. Bush. So when in doubt, do you throw out the known entity in favor of the unknown. You say yes, I currently say no. And if we typed back and forth all day, I doubt that his would change. So go and stick it to Obama. You have that right. But don't be surprised if you are sticking it to Romney four years from now. Our nation's problems are far too entrenched for any one man or woman to do much of anything about it.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Freeway Flyer

ib,

You have clearly done your research, and your views seem to be pretty well set. So I don't know if you care what an amateur blogger like me thinks. But since you have taken the time to respond to my thoughts, I will respond to yours one more time.

ib------

I appreciate the tongue in cheek here.

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1) I wish that they would have implemented a Manhattan Project-style push for alternative energy back in the 1970's. But they didn't. And Obama's rather minimal spending on green energy companies, which Romney both exaggerated and criticized, is not likely to go up under a Romney administration. The GOP is, after all, the drill-baby-drill party, or as it should now be called: "frack-baby-frack."

ib---------

As I stated NEITHER party seems to really want to replace oil.

It is also a conflict of interest as they get TAX revenue from each gallon of gas. The states also get revenue, and those that charge sales tax get a bundle.

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2) I tried to lay out the Romney fantasy about reducing the budget deficit without any tangible sacrifices in the hub. As far as bullshit, I would refer you to positions Romney touted during the Republican primaries or to various non-partisan fact checking sites: factcheck.org, politifact.org, etc. If you do not see them as credible, then you are unlikely to see me as credible, so there is no point in listing the various ways Romney twisted the truth in these debates. (Obama did too, although the lies were not as extreme.)

ib----------------

I can only look at Obama's promises in 2008, and his utter failure to even make a decent attempt at achieving them.

As I also mentioned neither party has done well for the country. The real problem is that the congress and the political parties are dysfunctional for the people and the country. Although I suspect that they are doing what is in their game plan. That is the irony here, they are never on our game plan.

The size of the government keeps increasing, under Bush it was Homeland Security ( a joke), and under Obama it was all his Czars, and then Obamacare which increases the size of government in multiple areas, including 16,000 new IRS agents.

In addition, neither party is dealing with reducing the benefits, and the pensions for the government employees. There is no reason to give them these perks when they don't exist in the private sector because of the economy.

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3) Yes, Iran and North Korea are problems. But so are Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, etc. And the United States, as you may have noticed, has not had much success in recent years with military incursions and nation-building. And the list of CIA intelligence failures and covert operations is well documented. We have neither the will nor the resources to impose our will on this part of the world, and the long simmering powder keg that is the Middle East seems to be exploding a bit again. It has been a mess for decades, and will likely remain a mess for decades. And Romney, who has many Bush-era advisers, has shown no sign of having any original ideas. And as every modern President has found, it is easier to criticize than to do anything productive. The best we can maybe do is try to contain the conflicts, because the different ethnic groups, tribes, religious sects, and ideological groups are going to fight it out amongst themselves regardless of any American actions. We will likely just get stuck in the middle.

ib------

True, but Obama has proven he doesn't have a clue.

And you skipped Obama's take on the attack on the US Embassy in Libya.

------------------

4) I don't know if Romney has proposed a national sales tax, and he sure the heck didn't in the debate. So the issue is a bit of a moot point. It would increase savings and investment, but would likely lead to an increased concentration of wealth toward the top (because the poor spend most or all of their income.) Whether that is a problem or not is a matter of ideology.

ib---------------

The National Sales Tax would be an equal tax, unlike the Income Tax. When the rich spend their money they will be paying taxes on items that were not taxed because of the loopholes in the Internal Revenue Code. It has to replace the Income Tax to be fair and work. The fact that neither party has gotten behind a National Sales Tax to replace the Income Tax suggests that it is a great idea. Unfortunately, there has been talk in congress about ADDING a NST to the Income Tax.

I don't see how you can say that there would be an increased accumulation of wealth as the maximum is already attained with the Internal Revenue Code. The success of the NST would require a significant reduction in the size and scope of the government. The overhead involved in supporting the large government requires more and more taxes.

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5) I wrote a hub a while back about health care. But I don't claim to have close to all of the answers. Neither do Obama or Romney. Here it is:

http://freewayflyer.hubpages.com/hub/American-Heal

ib-------

As I mentioned healthcare is more than just Obamacare, it requires changes in the FDA, Health Insurance Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, and health practitioners. As long as we have to rely on a solution from a for profit industry we will never get cures, only life long and expensive treatments.

Look at MD, it outlasted decades of Jerry Lewis and countless millions in donations.

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6) One of the main points of my hub was that a Romney presidency, at this point, is purely theoretical. So I don't know what he might or might not do. And after the debate, I am even more confused. The same was true of Obama in 2008, and you might argue that it did not turn out well. I would say the same of George W. Bush. So when in doubt, do you throw out the known entity in favor of the unknown. You say yes, I currently say no. And if we typed back and forth all day, I doubt that his would change. So go and stick it to Obama. You have that right. But don't be surprised if you are sticking it to Romney four years from now. Our nation's problems are far too entrenched for any one man or woman to do much of anything about it.

ib----

As I said, Obama is going in the wrong direction, and if the only thing that a Romney presidency does it to null that direction, then it would be a worthwhile presidency.

Unfortunately, the flip side of your statement about one person doing anything about the entrenchment is that one person can further entrench the country to a dire level.

As I continue to mention, Obama has spent 3 out of his last 6 years in office focusing on ONE thing Obama.

I will agree that the problem goes deeper than the office of the president. The core of the problem is the fact that the political parties have made congress a vehicle that has no wheels, it runs in place and rocks to the left or the right but it can't move the country forward.

The root cause of that condition are the voters. Half of the eligible voters don't even vote. 90 percent of the half that do vote, blindly vote for whomever their party put on the ballot, and the ten percent balance actually elect the president. This is a system geared for failure, and repeated failures at that.

If people spend their time bashing the previous president and blaming the problem on that, then there is no solution. Obama is still president, so it is not bashing him, it is just looking at his public record and holding him accountable for it.

That is another problem with the voters, they don't hold the politicians accountable for their record. In Obama's case, you notice that he is not running on his public record. He is running on his inheritance from Bush and the republicans. At the same time, he has spent the entire year working on his reelection, but touting that he has a plan for the next four years. He could have spent this year initiating a plan, but he selfishly chose to work on his reelection.

I agree with a previous statement that you make about the electoral college. It needs to be changed or abolished


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Freeway Flyer

I commented on your healthcare article, but your link to it is no longer valid?


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago Author

I saw the comment. I don't know why the link has a problem.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

The link is working today??


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago Author

I don't know. I thought that you already read it anyway.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

I was just letting you know that after I commented on that hub, I tried to go back and see if you added your comment, and the link wouldn't work.

This morning I tried the link again, and it worked.

It was just an FYI about the link.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago Author

Ok, thanks. I wasn't sure which link you were referring to.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Good analysis here. I'm glad I don't have to choose between them.


Freeway Flyer profile image

Freeway Flyer 4 years ago Author

Yes. Another advantage of not being an American.

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