Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The questions from the audience were, for the most part, unimaginative. Obama was the more boring of the two, but only by a narrow margin. That would be because he is leading in the polls and his job last night was to avoid mistakes. McCain, on the other hand, had to push harder to make some headway. I just don't see that he did it.

Every time I watch one of these debates I find myself inwardly screaming "Why didn't you say such-and-such? Finally I've come to realize a basic truth. These people – these politicians – spend most of their political lives trying to avoid telling people what they really think. Then, once every two, four or six years, they find themselves having to communicate with the people. A talk show host, on the other hand, is in the business of communicating ideas to people from 15 hours a week in most cases to my 22.5 hours a week. This is why you'll almost never hear a candidate come up with a line like this:

"Do you want a job? Are you looking for work? Tell me, are you going to go try to find a job from a member of the middle class? Probably not. Perhaps you think your chances of finding a job might be better if you go to a small business owners and large corporations. So .. while you're out there looking for jobs from these people, do you want us to be back in Washington raising their taxes? Do you want us to be plotting ways to relive them of the very money they need to hire you?"

Americans would get that.

Jobs are a big issue .. and an issue that is so easily addressed. Here's another line that you won't hear from a candidate:

"Do you know what has happened to so many of your jobs? The corporations who own those jobs sent them overseas to escape our punishing corporate tax rates. If you want to bring some of those jobs back, lower corporate taxes. What do you want corporations to do with that money? Pay it to the government in taxes, or use it to expand and provide new jobs. If we lower our corporate tax rate those companies who have been fleeing from our tax system may come back, and perhaps they'll bring some of their corporate friends with them. Now I'm suggesting a cut in corporate tax rates ... a cut that will create more jobs. When I make that suggestion my opponent counters with "John McCain wants to give big oil a huge tax cut." Instead of worrying about increasing job opportunities in this country, Barack Obama would rather demagogue oil companies."

Then Obama comes up with this "I'm going to cut taxes for 95% of the American public." Would someone please explain to me why McCain has never directly responded to this absurd line? Here's some more help from a small business guy:

"You're going to lower taxes for 95% of the people? Perhaps you don't know this, but 45% of American wage earners don't pay any federal income taxes. That places the entire federal income tax burden on just 55% of income earners. Please ... we're waiting ... tells us how you lower taxes on 95% of the people when only 55% are paying those taxes in the first place. I suspect that when you start explaining your plan we're going to learn that what you're really proposing is not tax cuts, but income redistribution."

So many lost opportunities last night ... how in the world does someone light a fire under this guy? There's not all that much time left.