A surprising win for the elephants

Photo Courtesy of blog.zap2it.com

The presidential debate drinking game: ever heard of it? I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the college students have, and while I am not saying I participated, I can only say it was entertaining to watch my roommates take part in the activity. The first 2012 presidential debates were held in Denver, Colorado, a swing state that has declared Mitt Romney the winner. No matter what side the readers may be on, it’s still important to focus on the issues of both candidates. For example, the alleged $5 trillion dollar tax cut that Obama continuously used as a crutch while accusing the other direction. Let’s just say my roommates had to drink a lot for that one.

Both candidates studied at Harvard Law, although Romney has an MBA to top it all off, and 25 years of business experience under his belt. Obama has been running the economically unstable country for four years. A president cannot just be around for that amount of time without gaining some knowledge of the country’s economic situation, or at least I hope.

Everyone knows that the economy is not what it used to be. The deficit is increasing and people are having difficulty finding jobs. What did our debaters have to say about it? Well, Obama could not help but mention that there is still “a lot of work to do,” and he’s right, there is. But I did not know that his promise would extend to two terms. The problem is that the economy is still in the tank. Student Chris Sampson of the University of California, Riverside, has said, when asked to comment on the current crisis, that “there are more people than ever not even looking for work for the first time.” When it comes to the issue the facts are simple. Obama favors big government, Romney cheers for the little man. The debt has increased, and Romney is not purposing the aforementioned tax cut, but “lower deductions and exemptions for small businesses,” thus increasing revenue which provides more work and more pay, eventually leading to larger amounts of money being pumped back into the economy.

His plan sounds solid, and when Obama was asked to retort he merely mentioned more training, education (which is highly important), and that he cut taxes by $3,600 for the middle class. When he responded to Romney’s plan he specifically argued that both are in favor of small business, but said to his competitor that “the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you described, Governor, then, it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high income individuals who avoid either raise in the deficit or burdening the middle class.” Obama is certain that his tax plan has already lowered taxes for “98 percent of families,” which seems like an embellished claim. The Huffington Post commented on Obama’s allegations and said that the “’tax cuts that Obama mentioned weren’t really tax cuts at all. Rather, as The New York Times recently reported, they were incentives. In other words, small businesses had to spend money—on health insurance, a new employee, or new equipment—in order to see any savings.” Romney then claimed that the president was right, because “97 percent of businesses” are not taxed at the 35 percent rate, but a lower rate. The reason this is significant though is because the rest of the businesses that do not pay this rate contain half of small business owners. The problem is that big government funding more programs has actually led to more spending. Again, Obama said, “We’re working on it.”

The big question here is whether or not Obama is actually handling it. Romney does not believe so, saying that the “National Federation of Independent Businesses [has] said that [Obama’s plan] will cost 700,000 jobs,” and also mentioned that gas prices have doubled, along with prices on food and utilities. Plus, wages are down. Is this true? Well, according to CNN, it is, and they can even be referenced saying that wages have decreased by a staggering $2,500. What about oil? This is another dilemma forced on the American people. They already have a hard time affording basic needs, what about their precious gas? Mitt Romney intends to begin building a pipeline through Alaska and start drilling on government owned land. No, Obama has not been doing this. In fact, when it comes to the president, “all the oil drilling under Obama [is done] on private property,” Romney stated. I would rather invest money in green energy anyway, which both presidents say they will do, but Obama has given $90 billion dollars in tax breaks towards green energy and will not drill in the U.S.—even though he funds drilling in Brazil. An odd move indeed, but Obama simply blames the Bush administration.

“Math, common sense and people” are what Obama listed when he shot back at Romney. There were 77 government programs when he started, he said, and insisted that he has cut $1 trillion from the deficit as a result of trimming the fat on these said problem programs, and another $4 trillion will occur when he is re-elected. I remember him saying in 2009 that he would cut the deficit in half “honestly and candidly.”

Even the $4 trillion seems like a small assurance now. Plus, from the president, who believes that there are tax breaks for moving jobs overseas, I’m not sure this pledge is possible. Companies still have to pay taxes despite outsourcing; there are no deductions. But there are tax write offs for taxes having to incur the fees of the country where the company is located. Obama is said to have misrepresented the facts, and he may have, seeing as how The Wall Street Journal reported that “The president’s budget contains a proposal to take away the deduction when a company ships a plant overseas… A legislative version of Mr. Obama’s budget proposal would raise only about $168 million over the next 10 years. The corporate tax is expected to raise $237 billion in 2012 alone.” Even if the issue was doubted by the public, and Romney, who said, “Look, I’ve been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you’re talking about,” there is still a tax plan in place. On that note, Romney has been called a liar for denying his tax cuts. As he said, there will be “deductions and exemptions,” but when Obama brought it up time after time, and the doubters expressed their opinions as well, viewers should keep in mind the candidate’s use of phrases like “at that scale” and “tax relief.”

On a positive note, at least Obama knows Bill Clinton, even referencing him by stating that “Bill Clinton used the same approach I am talking about; we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to surplus, and businesses did very well.” The mistake here is thinking of that as Obama’s plan—he takes credit for Clinton’s work. Romney, on the other hand, is the only one who has offered to take advice from Clinton’s staff, ensuring lower benefits for higher income health insurance clients. The president, of course, said that companies are smart enough to pick their clients (I assume based on need). Yet, this doesn’t account for the Blue Cross having to cut employee benefits because Obamacare is too expensive. Obama can even be quoted saying, “In Medicare, what we did was we say, ‘we are going to have to bring down the costs if we are going to bring down our long term deficits. But to do that, let’s look at where some of the money’s going: $716 billion dollars we were able to save by no longer overpaying insurance companies, by making sure we weren’t overpaying providers’…” The key word here is “overpaying,” because this is a subtle term for cutting benefits. But, at least young adults can stay on their parent’s health insurance until they’re twenty-six.

Senator Rob Portman, a figure from Ohio, another indecisive state, showed his support for Romney afterward. This may be because Obama was said to be “weak” and “flat,” as quoted from CNN and David Plousffe, a political strategist who managed Obama’s successful 2008 campaign. In the end, it was no surprise that Romney earned 67 percent of the poll votes, according to a CNN Post-Debate Poll, despite opposed views from Senator Mark Rubio and Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter. Obama was expected to win, and it may have been the shyness, his lack of evidence or Romney’s criticism of the unfavorable Dodd-Frank plan, a bill Obama signed in 2010 that expanded federal financial regulation, but the clear winner was the Republican nominee of the 2012 elections.

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