As a student of International Relations, obviously my interests lie more in the direction of how the next president will handle the many global crises and issues that face the world today than the economy of the U.S., which was the topic of the night. I tend to find economic discussions taxing (pun intended), to say the least, though not outside my comprehension. I support raising the minimum wage, though perhaps not to $15 an hour. I support tax cuts for median-income families who are struggling to put food on the table and their children through college. I support continued funding of Social Security. I support curtailing jobs being outsourced overseas and the creation of more jobs at home. However two hours of discussion about how to achieve our domestic economic goals by eight people who are under-educated on the topic is more than I can abide. That said, let us move on to the “highlights” of the debate, if one can call them that. (Italicized text is my own thoughts/comments)
- Nobody appears to want to raise the federal minimum wage:
- Trump: “ [people] they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum
- Carson: “ … Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases … only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have a job … that’s because of those high wages ($7.25 is high wages???). If you lower those wages, that comes down.”
- Rubio: “If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine. And that means all this automation that’s replacing jobs and people right now is only going to be accelerated.”
- Paul blames the democrats and the Federal Reserve for income disparity (he used 268 words to say this, most of which made no sense whatsoever)
- Carson, who has recently come under fire for stating “non-verifiable facts” (I’m trying to be nice here and not say “outright lies”) regarding his past, whined that he is being lied about. (Yawn #1 – I’m already bored)
- Bush: I think we need to repeal every rule that Barack Obama has in terms of work in progress, every one of them. (No clarification as to which “rules” or why, just reverse everything that President Obama has done … that is his proposed policy, and this actually got applause from the audience who also, obviously, have no clue)
- Fiorina: “ … citizens of this nation must help a President Fiorina get it done.” (Doesn’t matter what “it” is, because she has no clue either, but what a joke that she already refers to herself as President Fiorina!)
- Trump: “We will have a wall.” (Yawn #2 … not this again … can I go now?)
- Bush: “Thank you, Donald, for allowing me to speak at the debate. That’s really nice of you. Really appreciate that.” (Maybe one of the best lines of the night)
- Rubio: “… we have a crazy health care law that discourages companies from hiring people,” (Seriously??? I thought it provided affordable healthcare to millions of citizens. Silly me.)
- Cruz: “I am the son of an immigrant who came legally from Cuba…” (Yawn #3)
- Moderator Cavuto: “Dr. Carson, to you. You say you are in favor of a tax system, I guess akin to tithing, sir, with a flat tax rate of up to 15 percent because you said, if everybody pays this, I think God is a pretty fair guy, so tithing is a pretty fair process. But Donald Trump says that is not fair. That wealthier taxpayers should pay a higher rate because it’s a fair thing to do. So whose plan would God endorse then, Doctor?”
- Cruz: “There are more words in the IRS code than there are in the Bible “ (So????)
- Carson (on being asked to respond to President Obama’s decision to put 50 Special Ops forces on the ground in Syria): Well, putting the special ops people in there is better than not having them there, because they — that’s why they’re called special ops, they’re actually able to guide some of the other things that we’re doing there … Putin is trying to really spread his influence and we have to oppose him … it’s a very complex place. You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there. (WHOA … the Chinese are there??? Who knew???)
- Bush (on being asked what is the biggest threat facing America today): “ … Islamic terrorism”. (Can anybody remember the last time ISIS or al Qaeda or Hamas or Hezbollah attacked citizens on U.S. soil?)
- Trump: “But, as far as the Ukraine is concerned, and you could Syria — as far as Syria, I like — if Putin wants to go in, and I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night. But, you know that. But, if Putin wants to go and knocked [sic] the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it… (Yawn #4 … or is it #5? So good to know that Trump and Putin are such good buddies, isn’t it?)
Well okay, you get the gist. This takes us up to about mid-point in the debate and I cannot stand any more. If you are really interested, you can read the entire annotated transcript at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/10/well-be-annotating-the-gop-debate-here/
A few brief thoughts to sum up:
- Why does every single candidate think we care about what their parents and grandparents did for a living? It is irrelevant and frankly uninteresting in this context. You want the world to know all about your ancestry? Write a book. Oh wait … most of them have already written one (or more).
- I disregarded the whole discussion about tax-reform and a balanced budget because not a single one of these candidates are educated about the topic and it was a “pie-in-the-sky discussion that doesn’t bear repetition nor analysis.
- I think that Mr. Trump, as well as some other candidates, defines an “American” as White Rich, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant … or WRASP … guess that leaves me out on at least 3 counts. I will be drafting my letter to the Prime Minister of Canada asking for political asylum if, by some freak chance, Trump should become the next president of the U.S.
- A fellow blogger asked me why I always write about the republicans and never the democrats. I replied that I am having too much fun mocking the GOP. This was the most boring debate … perhaps it IS time to turn my sights to the left …