From Left to Right: The Presidential Debate
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 01:10
Rachel Beech writes:
Let’s be honest. Mitt Romney didn’t win the Presidential Debate last Wednesday because he hammered through the questions; he won because he lied not once, not twice, but several times.
Hardly two weeks after a secretly recorded video clip of Romney saying that 47 percent of Americans are too dependent on government, he stoically stood next to President Barack Obama and defended his viewpoints at the first presidential debate of 2012.
Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland summed up the debate on CNN and said that Romney had promised “we can all eat cake and lose weight.”
To my love for cake’s dismay, that ain’t gonna happen.
Romney stuck with the age-old “say whatever it takes to get them to vote” strategy, using dramatic dialogue and phrases such as, “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut,” to sway voters.
Instead of informing Americans of the cold hard facts about things that can realistically be done for our country, Romney dodged most questions with political rhetoric.
Romney was very polished in Wednesday night’s political debate, but polished doesn’t mean honest. Romney’s performance revealed himself to be a skilled and unrepentant liar. He went against his very own policies by making up outrageous numbers to back up his barrage against the president.
According to an article in “Rolling Stone,” writer Tim Dickinson lists a few of the many abominable lies Romney fed to Americans last Wednesday night:
1. “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut.” Romney flatly lied about the cost of his proposal to cut income-tax rates across the board by another 20 percent (undercutting even the low rates of the Bush tax cuts). Independent economists at the Tax Policy Center have shown that the price tag for those cuts is $360 billion in the first year, a cost that extrapolates to $5 trillion over a decade
2. “I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.” Romney has claimed that he will pay for his tax cuts by closing a variety of loopholes and deductions. The factual problem? Romney hasn’t named a single loophole he’s willing to close; worse, there’s no way to offset $5 trillion in tax cuts even if you get rid of the entire universe of deductions for the wealthy that Romney has not put off the table (like the carried interest loophole or the 15 percent capital gains rate.) The Tax Policy Center report concludes that Romney’s proposal would create a “net tax cut for high-income tax payers and a net tax increase for lower- and or middle-income taxpayers.” Moreover, some of Romney’s tax cuts are micro-targeted at American dynasties, particularly his proposal to eliminate the estate tax, which would reduce his own sons’ tax burden by tens of millions of dollars.
3. “We’ve got 23 million people out of work or [who have] stopped looking for work in this country.” Romney is lying for effect. The nation’s crisis of joblessness is bad, but not 23 million bad. The official figure is 12.5 million unemployed. An additional 2.6 million Americans have stopped looking for jobs. How does Romney gin up his eye-popping 23 million figure? He counts more than 8 million wage earners who hold part-time jobs as also being “out of work.”
4. Obamacare “puts in place an unelected board that’s going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have.” Romney is reviving Sarah Palin’s old death panels lie here. Obamacare does establish an Independent Payment Advisory Board to help constrain the growth of Medicare spending. The body has no authority to dictate the practices of the private insurance marketplace. And the law also makes explicit that this body is banned from rationing care or limiting medical benefits to seniors.
5. “Pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” In the biggest whopper of the night, Romney suggested that his health care proposal would guarantee coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions. This is just not true. Under Romney, if one has a pre-existing condition and has been unable to obtain insurance coverage or if one has had to drop coverage for more than 90 days because he lost your job or couldn’t afford the premiums, he would be out of luck. Insurance companies could continue to discriminate and deny coverage, as even Romney’s top adviser conceded after the debate was over.
I’ll admit that I was blown away by Romney’s performance. I went so far as to messaging my friends telling them Obama better get his mojo back, but here’s what I concluded.
Romney had a lot of intriguing points, but Obama’s reaction to that judgmental, finger-wagging conservative proved his authenticity, class and passion for the American people.
Tyler Hill writes:
After the presidential debate, I flipped through the news channels to see the overall consensus of what big-time commentators thought of the debate. To no one’s surprise, Fox News praised Romney for a job well done. CNN, the more moderate cable news channel, mostly agreed with Fox by saying Romney came out with a victory. Even MSNBC commentators offered analyses of the debate that favored Romney, despite their unconditional love for President Obama. Just when I thought everyone could agree Mitt Romney won, a CNN poll of registered voters who watched the debate caught me off guard.
CNN’s poll found that 67 percent said that Romney won, while 25 percent said Obama. Granted, Romney won by 42 percent, but who can honestly say the opposite? To the 25 percent, what debate were you watching? I’m legitimately confused.