Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts on Obama-Romney Debate II

Well, my fantastic readers, the second presidential candidates'
debate showed a more prepared, sharper, feistier, and aggres-
sive President Obama than the one we saw in the first debate.
And he benefited from the help of the moderator Candy
Crowley, who interrupted Mitt Romney twenty-nine times in
the gabfest hosted by Hofstra University in Long Island, New
York. Basically, Crowley did for Obama what Martha Raddatz
did for Vice President Joe Biden in the Vice Presidential can-
didates' debate a few days earlier; step in to save the Dem
candidate's bacon when he was about to get fried by the GOP
candidate on an issue in which the latter had the better command
of the facts. But it still was not enough for Obama to gain a

In the minds of the many who were in attendance as well as those
who viewed the event on TV, the second debate was a either
a draw or a razor-thin victory for Gov. Romney. Those thinking
the latter result indicated that Romney scored big on the topics
of the Economy, Jobs, and the Deficit, therefore earning the nod.
And many of these folks were turned off by moderator Crowley's
apparent bias. Crowley, it must be pointed out, and Raddatz too,
are both CNN talking heads, and as such they talk with a left-wing
accent when they talk about the political news stories of the day,
so this is all that we can expect from these magpies. Anything to
patch up President Obama's waning re-election chances is the
liberal establishment media's mission.

Also, there was the topic of Libya, in which Romney charged that
Obama had taken 14 days to call the assault on the U.S. Consulate
in that country in which our ambassador and four staffers were
horribly murdered a terrorist act. Although Romney was inaccurate
on this count (Obama had in fact referred to the assault as an act
of terrorism on September 12, the very day following the attack),
some in Obama's administration stated for several days running
their belief that there were merely protests over an American-
made video ridiculing Islam. Finally, after over a month admin-
istration officials admitted that there were no such protests.
Romney was quite correct in arguing that the administration had
yet to explain why it took so long for the correction to be made
regarding the incident or why it had believed that the attack was
thought to have sprung from a demonstration. While both candi-
dates were erroneous in some of their statements, Obama came
away looking the worse.

On the matter of war, Obama advocated taking the money being
spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and shifting it to tending
to our country's infrastructure and our schools. Very noble idea.
However, the president neglected to mention that all of the money
spent on the two wars was borrowed. Our government, in fact,
borrows 40 cents per each dollar it spends! Therefore, using
that money being spent on wars to build and maintain schools,
roads, and bridges would necessitate even more borrowing
(as our national coffers are empty), adding to both the federal
deficit and debt.

Regarding energy, Romney stated that U.S. oil production is down
14% this year on federal land, with gas production down 9%
for the same period, because the president had cut in half the
number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and
public waters. Obama came back with stating that his administra-
tion had in fact opened up public lands and even had more drilling
on these lands than the previous administration, one headed
by an oilman (George W. Bush). Both statements have the element
of truth, as far as they go, but according to an Energy Department
study published in the spring of this year, sales of oil from federal
lands and waters fell 14% between 2010 and 2011 while the sales
of natural gas fell 9%, giving credence to Romney's point. According
to the same report, however, oil production has increased 13% since
Obama took office despite last year's drop, and oil analysts believe
that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will rise. Natural gas
production from federal grounds has been in decline for several
years due to drillers finding huge reserves of the gas in formations
under several states that are cheaper to access than most federal

Concerning jobs, Obama stated that he wants to build on the
5 million jobs that he claims his administration had created over the
past 30 months in just the private sector. Obama had in fact cherry-
picked numbers to bolster his empty boast, and this is not the first
time he has done this. He ignores the fact that public-sector job
losses have pulled down overall job creation, and Obama mentions
only the past 30 months, thus ignoring job losses during his term
up to that point. According to Labor Department figures, approx-
imately 4.5 million jobs were created over the 30-month time frame.
However, those same figures also state that approximately 4.3
million jobs disappeared in the earlier months of Obama's time
in office. Obama therefore appears to be, only marginally, a job
creator. (Note: Your skeptical Peasant believed that these figures
are too optimistic, and that there has been a net job loss for the
whole time Obama has been president).

Romney hammered Obama on the rise in gas prices, shooting up
from $1.86/gallon upon Obama taking office to $4/gallon at the
present time. He stated that this is proof that Obama's oil and
energy strategy has failed.

And Romney let the president have it over taxes, stating that he
would cut taxes for most Americans and pay for the cuts with
reducing or eliminating tax deductions, exemptions, and credits,
therefore not having to add to the deficit or shift the tax burden
from the wealthy to the middle class. Romney told the audience
that he would bring tax rates across the board down, but would
limit deductions and exemptions and credits, especially for
the highest income earners. He would also get end the estate tax
and the alternative minimum tax. Romney also fired this salvo:
"A recent study has shown that people in the middle class will
see $4,000 a year in higher taxes as a result of the spending and
borrowing of this (Obama's) administration."

In the end, both candidates were assertive and at times aggressive,
Obama with Romney and Romney with both Obama and Crowley.
Both candidates, despite this, still could have called out each other
on several more points on the issues than they in fact did.
Both candidates made good points, but both made some points that
were not substantiated by facts. This debate, though, showed more
fireworks than the first, with the stiff verbal jabs and sweeping
roundhouses for driving points and criticisms home. And, like the
Vice Presidential candidates' debate, the Republican was at a
two-to-one disadvantage but still overcame everything to emerge
victorious, although by a much narrower margin this time around.

The third and final presidential debate will be held on Monday,
October 22. Your faithful Peasant shall once again tune in for the
proceedings. I hope you, my wonderful readers, will join me.


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