07 October 2008

Presidential Debate #2 - A ramble through the debate

Why are either of these gentlemen discussing the Treasury Sec. 'helping' anyone? That's not the job of Sec. Treas. Maybe of Commerce, Housing, etc. Treasury's job is to set monetary policy, deal with overall economic performance, etc. Not to 'help' people, no matter how nice that might be.

Glad to see McCain is bringing up Obama's history of taking from Freddie and Fannie, and his own record of working to get them regulated, but I'm not sure what I think of buying up bad mortgages. Perhaps those who are truly at the bottom since there's much less chance that they truly understood what they were agreeing to.

Sen. Obama claims that the real problem is de-regulation of Wall Street, while Sen. McCain claims that de-regulation of lending was the problem. The heart of the issue is bad loans that were made worse by bad decisions to securitize, bundle and trade those loans. I have to agree with McCain. If we hadn't insisted on lending to unqualified buyers, we wouldn't have problems. That doesn't mean that we don't need to hold CEOs accountable (particularly as shareholders) for bad decision-making, but it does mean we have to acknowledge that our strange obsession as a country with everyone owning a nice house, a nice job, a nice whatever is part of the problem.

Blaming Bush for deficit spending is ludicrous. Congress holds the purse strings. Congress enacts budgets. Congress is responsible for the deficit!

McCain embodies bipartisanship! Thanks for bringing up McCain-Feingold, McCain-Leiberman, etc. These are some of the reasons I support you so strongly.

They're both dodging some of the specific questions (e.g., prioritizing health care vs. entitlement spending, etc.). McCain said we can work on all at once. Obama said we'd have to prioritize and then proceeded to address several different issues as 'right away' issues (while calling them #1, #2, etc., and never addressing earmarks and entitlement spending until the end). That's not prioritizing, that's prevaricating. Both of these gentlemen need to get real - spending needs to be slashed! And who believes that any President is going to go line-by-line through a budget on the first day in office, and unilaterally cut things that don't work. He has no authority to do so. Again, Congress holds the purse strings.

Yeah! McCain is addressing spending cuts now, and over things the President has authority over (like Defense budget proposals). He's also stating that we will, as a nation, have to sacrifice some important programs. Spending freezes - excellent!

No, Sen. Obama, it doesn't start with Washington. It starts with us. Gov't. derives its powers from the governed. And irresponsible gov't. doesn't mean that we should be irresponsible or excused. We should be responsible for ourselves, our own reactions and our own decisions, AND WE should hold gov't. responsible.

How are we going to give tax cuts and refunds to the majority of people who don't even pay taxes. The majority of those in the 95% cited by Obama pay little to no taxes to begin with. This is a straight giveaway!

I'm glad to see the environment and climate change brought up. It was also an excellent question. How does the President get Congress to move on an issue. It also allows him to bring up the McCain Lieberman Act. Nuclear power is an excellent way to address some of this (it also allows McCain to showcase his vast experience - like having served on nuc-powered ships).

What is Obama talking about? Give China the energy they need? Huh?

Brokaw asks an appropriate question - should we invest in energy? Yes!

Neither of them has a very specific plan for health care. I do like the idea of cherry picking which plan features to buy regardless of who offers them. Obama ignores all of the fact-checking organizations that have clearly stated that McCain's plan does not have a net-negative through taxation.

I don't understand how Obama's math works. He keeps saying he's going to give tax credits, refunds, breaks for so many things, but that an increase in taxes on 10% of the population will pay for it all. There's just no way that adds up.

Arrggh. There he goes again. Obama claims that ending the war in Iraq will magically transfer those funds back to home, but he also wants to beef up military numbers and shift those troops to Afghanistan. How will that bring those dollars home?

Sooo, Obama's military policy is to end our attempts in Iraq, increase them in Afghanistan, invade Pakistan if necessary, and help to stop any instance of genocide around the world at little cost? He apparently doesn't understand logistical costs. McCain at least mentions restraint on actions based on capability to act. "You have to temper your decisions with the ability to affect situations ..., and know you're spending America's most precious asset." Thank you!

What do you mean, Sen. Obama, that you didn't call for the invasion of Pakistan? You did so twice during debates with Sen. Clinton. And by the way, the Bomb Iran song was a joke. Possibly you're too green behind the ears to notice a joke.

Support for Israel - great question here. Would we commit troops if Iran attacks, or would we wait for UN approval? McCain immediately has the right answer. We will defend Israel, and we will not accept a nuclear Iran (and we will give tacit permission to Israel to preemptively attack if needed). Sen. Obama starts first discussing a nuclear Iran by saying "I will do everything that's required to prevent it ... and we will never take military options off the table." Good, but why does he think that more sanctions will work when they haven't worked to date?

Sen. McCain ends up with country first - a fine ending.

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