Tonight’s Republican debate in Las Vegas, where the candidates included Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Santorum, was really in all honesty a zoo display where the only sane observers seemed to be Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich…
Romney, who apparently won’t back down from a ignore the other person continue to speak strategy, was able to display that Rick Santorum and Rick Perry were both of the same mindset. This really hurt both Santorum and Perry in my opinion because in both cases he seemed to have the upper hand and remained the calmer, more disciplined individual. Santorum started acting like a whiny baby at one point, where the debate between him and Romney was a “na-ah-ah” scene. Perry hounded Romney for “employing illegal immigrants” and accused him of being a hypocrite, while Romney responded pointing out measures Perry enacted in Texas that would pay for illegal immigrant tuition as well as pointing out that many of the Texas jobs cited by Perry were created for illegal immigrants.
On the issue of a border fence, Mr. Cain was in support of a defensive line across the border comprised of a physical fence and troops on the ground in some areas. Michelle Bachmann proposed a double-fence across the border, Perry went militant and talked about using troops and drones to monitor the border, Ron Paul is of the position (I was not able to watch his response tonight based on a peculiar stoppage of the internet streaming) that a border fence may be used in the future to ‘keep us in’ and also said that a fence with machine guns is not what America is about.
Ron Paul unfortunately was again given the least speaking time, and asked about topics where his views were obvious. Herman Cain was challenged by each candidate on his 9-9-9 plan, where in the first debate he was ignored and not seen as a threat by the other candidates.
The problem with judging electability on these types of debates is the debates are formulated by media corporations that have their own interests in mind. There is a reason Ron Paul was given the least amount of speaking time, because he has a track record of keeping his promises and being incredibly popular with a large segment of freedom loving Americans. Ron Paul would have brought the troops home after becoming President, unlike Obama who had promised to do so immediately, then changed to a 16 month time period, and even failed in that. Ron Paul is a limited government politician who favors leaving many of the decisions up to the states.
I think Americans are waking up to the fact that the mainstream media can no longer completely distort reality, as shown by Ron Paul’s California Republican straw poll victory of 44.9% of the votes. I’m sure you haven’t heard of this because the media has not announced it with thunder as they did with Herman Cain’s Florida victory. It is unfortunate that Ron Paul has not forced himself into the debate as other contestants have done, but fortunately if anything else he has educated a vast number of people with his ideas on monetary and foreign policy. His $1B spending reduction is seen by economics as a good thing in the long term, but something that will sting the economy in the short term – unfortunately the average candidate is more likely to make short term decisions that get him/her re-elected rather then make a hard decision which will cause short term pain but liberate the futures of America’s young.
I admire the success Herman Cain has achieved, and his educational background (he earned a masters degree in computer science). He obviously has a clear mind and can twist a conversation in his favor, given the time to do so. However I must disagree with Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan on the basis that low income wage earners with large families to support would be hit hard by the plan, I can foresee at least in the short-term a horrible mess for retailers and the emergence of a tax-free black market if people are forced to pay combined sales tax near 20% in some areas. The 9% income tax along with the 0% capital gains tax would be excellent for those who traditionally pay taxes where the difference of their old tax and new tax is greater than the additional tax paid on purchased goods. Each person will need to calculate whether this would benefit them or not – simply calculate your mean federal income tax rate (after all exemptions and credits are applied), subtract 9%, and then multiply this by your gross income. If this number is more than 9% of the money you spend on buying stuff then your probably going to be positively effected by the plan.
Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would unfortunately steal from the poor and give to the rich/upper-middle class. I am usually a proponent for lower income tax however this plan introduces a new national sales tax, something that is deceptive in nature and may have the potential to increase over time. Cain has shown to be a liar on numerous occasions, including accusing Ron Paul of lying about some comments he made about the Federal Reserve – also Cain lied when he told the press during an interview that his electric fence idea was a joke. A nine percent national sales tax would mean poor people would have to pay 9% + whatever state / local sales tax is collected (where I’m at is 7%). Paying 16% tax on sale of goods would hurt those who get by from paycheck to paycheck with a large family the most – you could no longer claim dependents for tax deduction purposes. So those who were beforehand paying no tax anyways after deductions they would experience a huge increase in living expenditures. The government would bring in less money, rapidly increasing the already cancerous federal deficit and leave it looking for more ways to bring in income. I do not believe that any such plan that hurts the poor will help our country
While I appreciate his humble background and his rise to success I do not think that those who are not successful in terms of monetary possessions should be so punished on a bet that this plan will turn things around for corporate America. It’s pretty obvious a lot of the big news corporations have put some of their weight behind Cain, and with the potential of a 9% corporate tax I don’t blame them (at least given their short-term perception of reality and the desire to snatch a quick profit for Wall Street).
The way things are looking in the Republican election right now I think we haven’t really seen a good candidate who isn’t completely ignored or censored by the media, which means there probably won’t be a good Republican presidential candidate. That means, in my opinion, that unless someone else joins the fray we will have another four years of Obama.