THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 2012. ROMNEY TRIES TO MOVE TOWARDS THE MIDDLE. OBAMA WATCHES WITH AMUSEMENT AND CHAGRIN AT ROMNEYS CHANGEUP WHICH CONFICTS WITH HIS BASE. DID OBAMA GIVE ROMNEY ENOUGH ROPE TO HANG HIMSELF?
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Presidential Debate 10/3/2012.
A frivoulous prevaricating flip flopper is perceived as the winner?
The October third debate revealed an aggressive Romney making misstatements and statements that conflict with the beliefs held by the Republican Base and most notably with the Vice Presidential running mate he picked, Paul Ryan. It will be interesting to hear what Mr. Ryan has to say when he debates Joe Biden. I don’t think it is possible for him to move to the center given his Congressional voting record, proposed budget and past statements. There may be a substantial split between the two Republican candidates that will have to be explained at least for election purposes.
Romney on the other hand kept saying he would keep many of the good things in “Obama Care” but he would repeal the federal Affordable Health Care Act turning it over to the states to enact their own medical plans hopefully modeled on the Massachusetts plan enacted while he was governor which the AHCA was modeled on. How he was going to do this with most states strapped for cash or deadlocked politically over health care he did not say. It brought a smile to Obama’s face perhaps as he thought of his own rigorous fight to get the AHCA passed without a single Republican vote.
Obama pointed out that his running mate was proposing a Medicare voucher system leaving it to the recipients to negotiate their own deal with the insurance plans. This would let the insurance companies cull out the best risks and leave the worst to the care of the federal government. Thus millions would end up uninsured if he abandoned the AHCA which covers almost everyone and not just seniors. Further the states are ill equipped financially to deal with health care on a state by state basis and don’t have the power to control costs. Essentially he said this is a national problem and had to be dealt with on a national basis.
Romney kept bringing up the argument that the AHCA would transfer 716 Billion dollars away from Medicare to the AHCA resulting loss of care to seniors. Obama made it clear that this provision would only affect providers and hospitals and was a measure to hold down the rise in the rate of costs over a number of years. Further he pointed out that so far it has reduced the rate of increase in medical costs and was working. Romney countered lamely that eventually it would result in a reduction in care.
The strange thing is if Obama said AHCA provides coverage for previous illnesses Romney would say my my plan does that etc. Yet he said he would not have a plan! He would leave it to the states! Despite all his mistatements and flip flopping Romney was perceived as the more effective debater?
(If our health care was made as efficient as the Canadian or some of the European Heath plans the savings would wipe out the National Debt: Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winning Economist.)
Obama stated Romney could not reduce taxes by five trillion without reducing essential programs like the ones for education and the disabled. Romney denied that his reduction would reduce necessary benefits and that he would eliminate tax deductions to make up the difference in revenue. Obama pointed out that if he did that it still would not raise enough revenue to make the tax cuts he was proposing revenue neutral.
Overall Romney seemed to be promising pie in the sky across a wide spectrum without reducing benefits but reducing spending. He would also raise defense spending and eliminate the subsidy to PBS but not the oil companies. Yet he criticized Obama’s spending 90 billion dollars on clean energy and said half the company’s receiving grants went bankrupt. (Not close to true according to the fact checkers.) He was very emotional and aggressive in his arguments as if he knew his alleged plans had little chance of achieving their objectives. Repeatedly he sparred with moderator Jim Lehrer over more time to reiterate points he had already made. While Obama remained dispassionate and objective. At many times it appeared that he was biting his tongue to contain himself from a more passionate response to Romney’s exaggerations or misstatements of what he would do or could do if elected.
It seemed that President Obama, a vigorous and articulate debater, (witness the his debates with Hillary Clinton) was giving Romney enough rope to hang himself and when the sound bite ads and the political fact checkers analyzed the Governor’s statements against the cold light of day his absurdities would be revealed maybe not to sixty million people at once but perhaps to a majority of those who will vote over time before the election.
Romney on the other hand will say anything to win the election. If he won, the government for the most part would be run by the Republican base now tucked away in conservative think tanks or industries regulated by the government. Think about it do you want someone like John Bolton as Secretary of State or Paul Wolfowitz for Secretary Of Defense? Romney would also appoint conservatives or ultra conservatives like John Roberts or Samuel Alito, now stowed away on Federal Appellate Courts in Washington and elsewhere, to the Supreme Court.