A problem many Americans have with the current presidential campaign and the candidates is that while they spend unlimited amounts of time telling us how bad the other guy is, very little (if any) time is spent actually telling exactly what they will do to make out lives better.
ANALYSTS HAVE wondered at the Obama campaign’s flat-footed response to the candidate’s poor first-debate performance.
It’s one thing to have an off night.
It’s another to spend the next week whining about your opponent’s “lies” and wallowing in Big Bird trivia.
How to explain an impressive political team performing so feebly?
Alas, the answer lies at the heart of President Obama’s reelection bid: the absence of a second-term agenda. Mr. Obama has yet to say how he would solve the immense problems awaiting the next president immediately after election.
Until and unless he does, the only rationale he can offer voters is the urgency of stopping the other guys.
Is saying that the other side will be much worse for the nation going to be enough to convince the American people? Or are the voters smart enough to see that there is no real plan?
What are the campaigns (and candidates) saying and promising and what are they not saying or providing details on to the people.
The Republican says that he wants to close tax loopholes. But instead of using the savings to reduce the nation’s debt, as the Simpson-Bowles commission said is essential, he would pay for further reductions in tax rates.
Moreover, he refuses to say which loopholes he would close and on which taxpayers.
Loopholes are unpopular in theory but popular in real life: We’re talking about tax breaks for mortgage interest, charitable giving, health insurance. So the likely outcome is not just that Mr. Romney would fail to reduce the debt but that he would widen it alarmingly.
And what would Pres Obama do?
We know that he wants to create 100,000 jobs for math and science teachers. (There are about 6 million K-12 teachers in the country.) He wants to take away $4 billion in tax breaks from oil companies
The fact that the current deficit is $1.1 Trillion and the national debt is $16 Trillion makes this paltry amount seem meaningless to many voters.
And he wants to increase tax rates for the wealthy.
That would put a serious dent in the deficit, but it wouldn’t solve the fiscal problem, which unaddressed will “lead to a level of federal debt that would be unsustainable from both a budgetary and an economic perspective,” the Congressional Budget Office recently said.
A solution can come only from restraining spending, especially growth in Medicare and Medicaid, and raising revenue, and not just from the rich.
Yet Mr. Obama has put forward no plan to curtail entitlement costs, while Mr. Romney at least is willing to say that benefits for wealthy Medicare recipients will have to be cut back.
VP Biden asked the question of Rep Ryan, but he should just as appropriately pose the same question to the President.
“Show me a policy,” Vice President Biden challenged Rep. Paul Ryan during their Thursday debate. “Show me a policy where you take responsibility.”
It’s not too late for Mr. Obama to listen to that advice