A few quick thoughts on the second debate:
- Obama did much better this round than last. I would call the debate a draw.
- I liked the town hall format and thought the audience asked some excellent questions. Unfortunately, both candidates consistently failed to give a straight answer and instead responded to the question with a canned response on the general topic or used the time to bash his opponent.
- It sure would have been nice to hear from some of the third-party candidates. No third-party candidate will ever have a chance without getting the parties’ ideas onto a national stage through inclusion in the debates…which is precisely why it doesn’t happen. My candidates, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, got arrested at the debate site after being denied access.
- Neither candidate’s tax proposal numbers add up. Romney proposes an across-the-board tax cut of 20 percent, offset by reduced deductions that he refuses to commit to. One new proposal for tonight was an end to taxes on capital gains and interest income for the middle class. At the same time, he wants to increase military spending, and has proposed no significant spending cuts besides repealing Obamacare. So he wants to reduce tax revenue while spending more money, and somehow this combination will balance the budget. Note that we are already running a deficit of about $1 trillion per year.
- Obama’s numbers are better, but they don’t add up either. He proposes raising taxes on the wealthy. I support that. But his proposal won’t come close to eliminating the deficit, either.
- How to improve this debate: 1) Cut off their mikes when their time is up. 2) Let the question-asker decide whether each candidate actually answered the question and award extra time for the next question accordingly. 3) Attach a shock collar to each candidate. Let the moderator pull the trigger when either one goes off topic.
- Repeat after me: Presidents do not control the economy or the price of oil. Influence? Somewhat. But control? Not even close.