Never before has a Presidential debate swung so far so fast in favor of one candidate. Romney mopped with floor with the President in an amazing bravura performance. Obama, following his all-too-common “I just want to be reasonable” stance, was a sitting duck.
Romney gambled and won — if he pitched enough lies, fast enough and convincingly enough, then Obama wouldn’t be able to respond to them all. In fact, Obama seemed so flumoxed that he let almost all of them just slide by.
Among my favorites, with suggested replies that were not made:
Obama is responsible for increasing US debt by trillions of dollars. Completely wrong — the debt rose on my watch because the Bush depression and Bush tax cuts wiped out government revenues, while the Bush depression pushed up costs for required-by law counter-cyclical social support programs. I did cut social security taxes (is Governor Romney saying he would not have cut taxes for nearly all workers in a serious depression?) ANY president who didn’t repeal with Bush tax cuts or who cut taxes would have seen the same debt increase. The discretionary spending I asked for — the bank and auto bail outs — have been paid back to taxpayers with interest.
Obama is responsible for unemployment being at 8% or higher for four years. I came into office with unemployment over 10% and rising fast, and facing a GLOBAL recession. US economic growth has been the best of any rich country in the world over the last four years. The unemployment rate is down by a fifth, the auto industry and banks have recovered, the stock market is back near pre-crisis highs, the housing market has started to recover; no leader of any rich country has done better. Could things have been better? Sure! — if Democrats in Congress hadn’t been stymied for four years by Republican filibusters and threats to bankrupt the US. Governor Romney hasn’t give us any new ideas; just the same ones that got us into the crisis in the first place.
Obama plans to cut Medicare by $716 billion. If elected, I will reverse that and restore the $716 billion to medicare. The $716 billion consists of reduced future payments to hospitals and other medicare providers in return for them not being forced to accept uninsured patients, as those patients will have insurance under Obamacare. There are absolutely no cuts to existing or future Social Security beneficiaries in that plan. So what is Romney saying? If he overturns Obamacare and hospitals are forced to pay an estimated $716 billion more to care for uninsured patients, is he happy to ask taxpayers to pay for them?
I will give students choice by turning federal funds for education into vouchers. In small numbers, vouchers can add flexibility and competition to overly rigid school systems. But you cannot give ALL students vouchers — what happens if you grade schools, and everyone in the school district wants to send their kids to the top 2 or 3 schools in a 50 school district? You then need to have lotteries or rationing and still send most kids to their local schools. Besides, if you have vouchers, do you bus kids from all over a district to any other school they choose? What district can afford that? Schools are not like ice cream stands or hamburger shops — you can’t let everyone choose and go to one place on Tuesday and another on Thursday if they like it better! You want your child to be with teachers who know your child, build a relationship, understanding, and trust. Otherwise, learning won’t happen. The solution to education is good schools and teachers for all children, not vouchers that let a few people sort themselves into the best environments.
There were lots more, but you get the idea. Romney attacked hard, and Obama did not counter-attack; he feinted and folded.
So Romney looks to be back in the race. None of this will matter if he still loses Ohio, but for at least one evening, he made Obama look unworthy of four more years.