Presidential debate breakdown

I was very excited when I heard that the first of three presidential debates would take place this past week. Finally, a chance to hear the candidates themselves discuss their visions for America’s future. What an interesting debate it was.

Clearly, Governor Mitt Romney seemed to dominate. I was impressed by Romney’s preparation and composure; he finally seemed comfortable enough to smile despite the heated argument—he even cracked a joke about Big Bird. Romney wowed the American people with his strong vision for our nation’s future, and President Obama seemed unprepared, even baffled by how to respond to Romney’s attacks.

I know why President Obama was baffled. Sure, he was unprepared to counter Romney’s views. That’s because it was unclear what Romney’s views were, other than the classic “I-am-not-Barack-Obama” argument (which is enough for many Americans!). Romney seemed a little too progressive and idealistic, and he was unable to work out a math-based approach to tax reform. Unlike the pragmatic Reagan era policies which molded the modern conservative vision for America, Romney’s plan was something out of a fantasy world. Romney denied any plan to cut taxes for the wealthy, even though tax cuts for the wealthy are central to the supply-side economics supported by the Republican Party. Furthermore, the Romney/Ryan budget plan centers around a $187 billion cut in tax revenue through tax breaks for the top 1 percent. Finally, Romney has stated on numerous occasions that he would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for America’s wealthy taxpayers.

The former governor also claimed that he would cut everybody’s taxes, which is just not true. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut plan would inevitably raise taxes on the middle class. This is common sense—if you lower the government’s tax revenue from the wealthy, someone else has to pay for it. That’s where the middle class comes in. We cannot expect the government to make up for its excessive deficit without any form of tax revenue.

The debate also addressed healthcare reform, and to no one’s surprise, Romney didn’t miss a chance to attack Obamacare. Unfortunately, his own proposals were unrealistic and inaccurate. Ever since the debate, his campaign’s spokespeople have tried to take back his false statements, such as his assertion that his healthcare plan will protect those with pre-existing conditions and provide affordable health insurance. Does that sound familiar?

Romney seemed a little too idealistic—his numbers and policies were not realistic. Obama seemed a little too clueless—maybe, like the rest of the American people, he didn’t have a clue how Romney’s proposals were even possible.