Work was crazy today. After getting gas then driving home, I had like 10 minutes before the debate started. Funny, on the freeway, I saw this red Toyota pickup with a camper shell that had this huge square Romney sticker. That was a Bay Area anomaly right there.
So on to the debate. Jim Lehrer, the moderator of moderators, presided over this one – the first of three. He has been at this so long I think he moderated the Adams-Jefferson debate.
To those who saved themselves the headaches of hearing numbers being thrown out like Mardi Gras beads, I give you the summary. It may be long and painful, but not as long and painful as the debate itself. I suffered so you didn’t have to. Enjoy!
Segment 1 : The Economy
What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs?
- First, Happy Anniversary to Michelle and me. And instead of getting laid, I get to argue with this guy.
- Moneybags over here thinks that cutting taxes skewed towards the wealthy and rolling back regulation will make us better off. I don’t. I want to:
1. Invest in education and training
2. Develop new sources of energy
3. Change the tax code to help small businesses and companies that are investing in our country
4. Take the money we’ll be saving from ending two wars to rebuild America
5. Reduce the deficit in a balanced way.
- Happy Anniversary Barack and Michelle! Of course you won’t be spending next year’s anniversary in front of 40 million people. You’ll be celebrate it in Chicago, when they elect me king. I mean president.
- Jobs and the economy. This is a very tender topic, so I’ll sigh sadly and use my most compassionate expression.
- Compassionate expression off. Serious expression on. My plan has five parts:
- Wait #6 was a wish. Sorry.
1. Energy independence
2. More trade but not with China. We’ll go to war with them.
3. Give workers the necessary skills and have the best schools in the world.
4. Balanced budget
5. Champion small businesses.
6. Use my magic wand to get you to vote for me and trust that the specifics of my plans won’t screw you.
- All of this is possible, but we can’t do it with Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut.
- My plan doesn’t have a $5 trillion tax cuts! Jim, I have 5 boys who are liars. That’s how I know Obama is a liar.
- “For 18 months he’s been running on this tax plan. And now, five weeks before the election, he’s saying that his big, bold idea is “‘never mind.’”
- I want to get those tax rates down, lower deductions and expenses to create more jobs. When you have people working and make more money, you get more taxes. Duh!!
- Look American people. Let’s cut taxes by $5 trillion. Give $2 trillion to the military just for the hell of it since they didn’t ask for it. If you think you’re not going to be stuck with the bill after closing a few loopholes and deductions for the wealthiest, Moneybags is your guy.
- “Jim, the President began this segment, so I think I get the last word. I’m going to take it. All right?” But I don’t want the first word in the next segment! So what if it’s not how it works?
- Aw, Jim, look. Now he’s upset! He can have the last word. It’s OK, Mittens you go ahead. And you can have the first word in the next segment. And maybe ice cream if you keep smiling, big guy!
What are the differences between the two of you as to how you would go about tackling the deficit problem in this country?
- “I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time.”
- All programs have to pass this test. If it’s not worth borrowing money from China to pay for it, it’s gone. Obamacare is gone and so is the PBS subsidy. Jim, you and Big Bird will now understand what it’s like to go through a Bain restructuring program. No worries. You’ll have COBRA and a two whole weeks of severance!
- Let’s look what I’ve accomplished first. We cut 77 government programs, including 18 educational programs that were well-intentioned, but didn’t help kids learn. We cut 1 trillion out of our discretionary domestic budget – the largest since Eisenhower.
- I have a $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan.
- This is how it works. “$2.50 for every cut, we ask for a dollar of additional revenue, paid for, as I indicated earlier, by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit.”
- I’m all about balance. Some spending cuts, some revenue.
- Moneybags was asked in the primaries, “Would you take $10 of spending cuts for just $1 of revenue?” He said, “No.” Can you say ‘education gut job’? Or ‘Adiós’ to Medicaid? Cuz you’re gonna with him.
- “There has to be revenue in addition to cuts. Now, Governor Romney has ruled out revenue. He’s — he’s ruled out revenue.”
- “If we’re serious, we’ve got to take a balanced, responsible approach.”
- You’ve been president four years. You said you’d cut the deficit in half. It’s now four years later. We still have trillion- dollar deficits.
- Jim, do I look like I’m kidding? Absolutely no revenue. “I — look, the revenue I get is by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes. That’s how we get growth and how we balance the budget. But the idea of taxing people more, putting more people out of work — you’ll never get there. You never balance the budget by raising taxes.”
- “You put $90 billion — like 50 years worth of breaks — into solar and wind, to — to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I — I had a friend who said, you don’t just pick the winners and losers; you pick the losers. That friend also said you’re a total loser.
Mr. President, do you see a major difference between the two of you on Social Security?
- I think we’re somewhat similar. Even though it needs some tweaking, the basic structure is sound.
- The word “entitlements” sucks. They worked hard and are counting on the money they paid into the system.
- The voucher thing? If you’re 60 or over, none of this affects you. You can turn off your hearing aid.
- And if you’re “54 or 55,” you better turn up the volume. The vouchers are for you.
What is your view about the level of federal regulation of the economy right now? Is there too much, and in your case, Mr. President, is there — should there be more?
- “Regulation is essential.” Don’t revoke my Conservative card just yet, guys. It can be excessive and out of date. Dodd-Frank must die. See? I’m still a Conservative.
- “The reason we have been in such a enormous economic crisis was prompted by reckless behavior across the board.” There were loan officers who would give his dog a mortgage. Well, after he got down from the roof of the car.
- Now, he wants to get rid of Dodd-Frank? If you all think the big meltdown was because of “too much oversight and regulation of Wall Street,” then Romney’s your guy.
Segment 2: Healthcare
Now let’s move to health care, where I know there is a clear difference — (laughter) — and that has to do with the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare.” And it’s a two-minute new segment, and it’s — that means two minutes each. And you go first, Governor Romney. You wanted repeal. You want the Affordable Care Act repealed. Why?
- Heck yeah! And here’s why:
1. It will cost $2,500 a year more than traditional insurance
2. It cuts $716 billion from Medicare to pay for it.
3. It puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people, ultimately, what kind of treatments they can have.
- It all boiled down to this. “It was families who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick — millions of families, all across the country.”
- What did Obamacare do?
1. If you have insurance, you get to keep it, but Obamacare says that:
a. “insurance companies can’t jerk you around.”
b. “they can’t impose arbitrary lifetime limits.”
c. your kid gets to stay on your plan until they’re 26 years old.
d. “you’re going to have to get rebates if insurance companies are spending more on administrative costs and
profits than they are on actual care.”
2. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be part of a group plan that allows you to benefit from group rates. It’s 18% lower than if you were to shop for it just for yourself.
3. Hang on now. I have more time, Jim, and I was more than gracious to let crybaby over there take my turn. Anyway, we know this thing works because it was modeled after Romneycare!! Thanks, Mittens.
Segment 3: Role of Government
Do you believe there’s a fundamental difference between the two of you as to how you view the mission of the federal government?
- The first role is to keep Americans safe. And I’ve thought about it every day. *cough* Bin Laden
- Lincoln said that there are things that we do better together, and we got the Transcontinental Railroad, the National Academy of Sciences and the start of land grant colleges. All while fighting the civil war!
- The role of government is to:
1. Promote and protect the principles of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence
2. Maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom
3. Maintain for individuals the rights to pursue their dreams
Does the federal government have a responsibility to improve the quality of public education in America?
- “The primary responsibility for education is of course at the state and local level…The federal government can get local and state schools to do a better job.”
- Oh and I want vouchers for education too.
- Yes. Race to the Top is a federal program where we work with states. Do better, and your state will get more money.
- Oh and if you vote for him, he’ll cut the education budget by 20%
Many of the legislative functions of the federal government right now are in a state of paralysis as a result of partisan gridlock. If elected in your case, if re-elected in your case, what would you do about that?
- “As president, I will sit down on day one — actually the day after I get elected, I’ll sit down with leaders — the Democratic leaders as well as Republican leaders and — as we did in my state.”
- “Well, first of all, I think Governor Romney’s going to have a busy first day, because he’s also going to repeal ‘Obamacare,’ which will not be very popular among Democrats as you’re sitting down with them.”
- “And so part of leadership and governing is both saying what it is that you are for, but also being willing to say no to some things. And I’ve got to tell you, Governor Romney, when it comes to his own party during the course of this campaign, has not displayed that willingness to say no to some of the more extreme parts of his party.”
- I’m not a perfect man or a perfect President. I promised four years ago that I’d fight every day for the American people and the middle class. I’ve kept that promise. If you vote for me, I’ll fight just as hard for you in a second term.
- This is an important election, and I’m concerned about America and the direction its taken the last four years. If you re-elect this guy, you’ll see the middle class continue to be squeezed, healthcare premiums will go up by $2500 because Obamacare will kick in, and you’re going to see a $716B cut to Medicare. And 4 million people will lose the Medicare advantage. Drastic cuts will be made to our military. America as we know it will end. If you vote for me, I will create 12 million new jobs with rising incomes. Money will grow from trees, and if your kid wants a pony, I’ll get them a pony. America will be exactly how I picture it to be. 53% will enjoy the land of milk and honey. And the other 47%? Most of these freeloading parasites will become indentured servants, and the rest will be banished from my kingdom. I mean, the nation.