Second Debate

My wife, who really ought to have her own blog, heard only the few minutes dealing with immigration and then China and summed up the candidates’ shared position as “We sure love immigrants, but we sure hate foreigners”.

I, by contrast, slogged through the entire thing. Here are my own less brilliant comments, typed in real time while watching the debate; not edited and perhaps in some cases not sufficiently thought through:

Preamble: Obama definitely wins “most illogical statement of the night”, or more likely “statement inspired by the most cynical possible view of voters’ intelligence”; see point 30 below.

1. Romney in a blue tie; Obama in red. Opposite of last time. Do they coordinate this?

2. Romney: “I know what it takes to create good jobs again, blah blah blah”. Okay. Are you going to tell us what “it” is?

3. Obama looking much more alive than last time.

4. Obama: “I want to build manufacturing jobs.” Goddammit, I hope Romney jumps all over this. It is not the president’s job to decide which sectors should thrive. It is, in fact, the essence of corruption.

5. Romney claims his 5-point plan creates 12 million jobs. To suggest that it is possible to make forecasts with this sort of precision is what we technically call a lie.

6. Obama going heavy on the class warfare.

7. Does Obama agree that it’s not the energy dept’s job to lower gas prices? This should be an easy “of course it’s not”.

8. Obama boasting about top-down planning of the car industry, govt setting fuel standards etc. I hope Romney jumps all over the “top-down govt” issue. Not optimistic.

9. Obama: Romney’s “got the oil and gas part but not the clean energy part”. Dammit, again, it’s not the president’s job to to “get” any of these parts. Will Romney mention this? Guess not.

10. Romney pushing energy independence. Obama unlikely to make a good case against it.

11. Crowley asks the right question: “Is it within the purview of the govt to bring gas prices down?”. Obama ignores the question.

12. Obama: “Natural gas isn’t just appearing; we’re encouraging it”. This is like Al Gore inventing the Internet. The govt does not produce natural gas.

13. Obama again with “We’re going to produce such and such a sort of cars….”. Dammit, if you want to run a car company, get a job at a car company. If you want to be president of the US, stop trying to be an auto executive.

14. Romney: If gas prices are up, then energy policy isn’t working. This is appalling. He can’t think of any legitimate reasons prices might be up?

15. Obama: “We’ve” built enough pipeline to wrap around the earth once. No, Mr. President, you didn’t build that.

16. Romney trying to walk all over the moderator, demanding time to respond to Obama; I doubt this looks good.

17. Romney reiterating that he wants a more progressive tax code (“I want middle income taxpayers to pay lower taxes”). Nobody around to make the contrary case.

18. Romney to eliminate all taxes on interest, dividends and capgains (yay!)…..but only for “middle income” taxpayers (boo!).

19. Obama says reducing govt debt is a moral obligation to the next generation. Fine. But he has also told us, in other contexts, that govt has no business enforcing morality. So how is this an argument for reducing debt?

20. Obama, who wants to run the car industry, favor manufacturing, etc etc, has the audacity to slam “top down economics”.

21. Romney wants to cut tax rates to spur small business. So—-favoring small business over big business? Is this any better than Obama favoring manufacturing?

22. More from Romney with the small business fetish. Bleh.

23. Obama calling a $5 trillion tax cut a $5 trillion “cost”. Sigh.

24. Obama descending into sheer demagoguery here: Saying Romney pays at a lower rate than laborers do, ignoring that Romeny’s income is almost all from capital, so what he’s paying are *surtaxes*.

25. I’ve lost count of the lies and illogic on both sides, but I think Obama’s a better liar; his demeanor makes him seem more believable (provided you don’t listen too hard to what he’s saying).

26. Romney once again trying to walk all over the moderator. Once again, I doubt this plays well.

27. Lily Ledbetter bill has come up; will Romney attempt to explain how horrible this legislation is? I bet not. Is this ignorance or cynicism?

28. Romney admitting that as governor he prioritized gender over qualifications when staffing his cabinet. This does not bode well for his appointments as president.

29. In the midst of a pathetic answer, Romney slips in the key point: The way to get women’s wages up is to increase the demand for labor. He got something right! (But still hasn’t explained why Obama’s approach is so wrong.)

30. Obama has the AUDACITY to accuse ROMNEY of letting politicians decide the content of insurance policies, and then segues IMMEDIATELY into advertising that HIS health care bill dictates contraceptive coverage!!!! Are there voters dumb enough to nod their heads and agree with this? Do people that dumb actually turn out to vote?

31. Asked how he differs from George Bush, Romney reiterates a bunch of stuff he said before; seems to think it’s more important to repeat the few things he practiced than to say anything new.

32. Obama says he “saved jobs” by keeping cheap Chinese tires out of US. Hope Romney mentions that we’re all paying more for tires now.

33. I don’t think Romney’s doing anything to fire up his base, and I don’t think he’s doing anything to win over independents — so I don’t think he’s doing himself any good tonight.

34. Romney giving long soliloquy on how nothing has worked; not a whole lot of content but in terms of presentation I think it’s his best moment so far.

35. Romney talks about all the advantages of legal immigration, then opposes illegal immigration despite the fact that it has all the same advantages.

36. I believe Obama has been more ruthless than Bush re deportations. Not sure this is true, but if it is, I hope Romney points it out.

37. And now Obama talks about all the advantages of legal immigration — which cries out for Romney to ask why, then, he’s been sending his jackbooted thugs all over the country to deport productively employed people. Sadly, we’re already on to different topics.

38. Obama looking very good taking offense at Romney’s intimations of his having played politics over Libya.

39. Big slip on Romney’s part saying Obama had not called the Libya attack an “act of terror” the day after the attack. Obama responds brilliantly by not contradicting Romney directly but instead saying “Please proceed, governor”, allowing Romney to dig himself deeper.

Edited to add: I typed this believing (on the moderator’s say-so) that Romney had in fact gotten this wrong. He hadn’t.

40. To repeat: Romney not, as far as I can tell, giving anyone a reason to vote for him who wasn’t going to already.

41. They’re on to gun control; my attention is flagging.

42. Obama claiming that reducing class size is an efficient way to increase economic growth. Romney should ask “Where’s the evidence?”.

43. Romney fetishizing the manufacturing sector when he ought to be bashing Obama’s for this fetish.

44. He used the phrase “trickle down govt” again; I like this.

45. Romney: “On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator”. I wish Obama would jump all over this. Bet he won’t.

46. Moderator: “How do you convince companies to bring manufacturing back to the US from China?” — seemingly TAKING IT AS GIVEN that this is desirable. This is really extraordinary bias on the moderator’s part.

47. Obama: “some jobs won;t come back because they are low-wage, low-skilled jobs”. Yes. Applause for this.

48. Romeny gets a major softball for his final question: “What is the biggest misconception about you?”. Gets to talk about what a great guy he is.

49. Romney mentions he believes in God. Fails to mention that he also believes Joseph Smith told the truth about those tablets. Or does he?

50. Now Obama takes the same softball. Says he believes in free enterprise. Then why is he trying to run the auto industry? Or dictate women’s wages? Or run the insurance industry? Or favor the manufacturing sector? (Yes, I know I’m repeating myself.) But a lot of viewers will look right past this. He sounds, I think, very good as long as you don’t compare his rhetoric to his policies.

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92 Responses to “Second Debate”


  1. 1 1 libfree

    I guess the only defense of the small business favorism is that large businesses have managed so much regulatory capture that small firms struggle to become large firms. I understand that this is different what the politicians say, but it is important. As you start crossing different # of people employed, you have large regulatory hurdles you have to meet. I personally dread the idea of having to comply with 50 states sales taxes and exemption for my internet sales if the Federal government passes a law requiring me to do so.

  2. 2 2 John

    9. Obama: Romney’s “got the oil and gas part but not the clean energy part”. Dammit, again, it’s not the president’s job to to “get” any of these parts. Will Romney mention this? Guess not.

    But what if the negative externalities of energy industry start to become overly burdensome? Does it ever make sense for a government to try to make energy cleaner?

  3. 3 3 Steve Landsburg

    John:

    But what if the negative externalities of energy industry start to become overly burdensome? Does it ever make sense for a government to try to make energy cleaner?

    It can make sense for the govt to try to make energy cleaner by taxing dirty sources of energy, but I can’t see where it ever makes sense for the govt to subsidize particular alternatives, which has the side effect of discouraging *other* alternatives that the govt hasn’t considered.

  4. 4 4 Kwesi Adarkwa

    Is there really any good reason to vote for any of these guys? I’m not convinced. I disagree with Obama economics, but Romney/Ryan has not made a good case so far/have fumbled on the basics. I’m not sure they’ll do better.

    Is this a tight case on subsidizing economics education for politicians? :P

  5. 5 5 Kwesi Adarkwa

    *on = for

  6. 6 6 Kirk

    You make a lot of good points, but miss the point that, if either of them took your advice they wouldn’t stand a chance of getting elected. The electorate has proven time and time again that they would rather be lied to than attempt to learn anything about how economics really work.

  7. 7 7 Roger

    (re: 39) Obama did say “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation”, but he did not call the Libyan attack an act of terror. He blamed it on the denigration of religious beliefs, and he continued to blame the Google video for a couple of weeks afterwards. Romney was correct that it was a terrorist attack, and not a demonstration about a Google video.

  8. 8 8 Henri Hein

    @Kirk:
    I have this sense that the average voter is smarter than the average politician, at least when it comes to economics. It is possible the politicians either think the electorate wants to be lied to, or actually believe the nonsense.

    @Steve:
    Thanks for the rundown. It saves me from having to watch the debate :).

  9. 9 9 Mike H

    I can’t see where it ever makes sense for the govt to subsidize particular alternatives, which has the side effect of discouraging *other* alternatives that the govt hasn’t considered.

    Out of interest, suppose that there was a positive externality in some particular clean energy source, say, “Care Bear Power”. Would it make sense for the government to subsidize that, even though this might discourage other alternatives (“Yoda Power?”) that likewise have positive externalities, but they haven’t thought of?

  10. 10 10 Doug

    “Out of interest, suppose that there was a positive externality in some particular clean energy source, say, “Care Bear Power”. Would it make sense for the government to subsidize that, even though this might discourage other alternatives (“Yoda Power?”) that likewise have positive externalities, but they haven’t thought of?”

    The state should tax negative externalities and subsidize positive externalities. And that it’s. Period. Thins the government should not do:

    1) Explicitly try to substitute one form of production with another (simply set the externalities correctly and let the market re-order).

    2) Subsidize alternatives to something with a negative externality (a tax is more appropriate).

    3) Tax alternatives to something with a positive externality.

    If the problem with fossil fuels is carbon emissions then carbon emissions should be taxed. Since solar/wind/whatever don’t offer positive externalities themselves they should not be subsidized.

    In fact it’s perfectly possible that even after setting the appropriate carbon tax that solar and wind still remain completely uncompetitive and fail to capture any market share.

    Repeat after me: That’s OK.

  11. 11 11 Harold

    “19. Obama says reducing govt debt is a moral obligation to the next generation. Fine. But he has also told us, in other contexts, that govt has no business enforcing morality. So how is this an argument for reducing debt?”

    Fairly minor point, but it is different for the Govt to enforce morality in others than to behave morally. Reducing Govt debt could be seen as an action of the Govt, and therfore diferent from enfocing morality on others. These two statements are not necessarily contradictory.

    Lily Ledbetter. Is this legislation so bad? If we legislate to protect people, then we want this protection to apply properly. The anti-disctrimination legislation is intended to protect people. Why should this not continue to do so during all of their employment? I may well have missed something, as I am not too familiar with the arguments here, but it seems that the disagreement is with the original anti-discrimination laws, rather than the extension of the statute of limitation.

    An example. Say employers were secretly putting poison in the coffee of employees to make them work harder. Say also that the supply of “coffee” were part of the employment contract. We might expect employees to sue over the damage caused. Why should this ability to sue be limited to 180 days after starting employment? The employee would not be aware of the poison then. Is this a different type of case? I am not trying to determine if the original law is any good, just the extension.

  12. 12 12 Alan Gunn

    @Harold: The statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until the victim knows (or should reasonably have known) about the violation. This is old. The Ledbetter legislation says that even if the employee does know, she can stay silent for years and then sue after she retires or quits.

  13. 13 13 JonS

    On comment 21 and 22, the reason most right leaning politicians tend to favor small businesses over big businesses in speeches is because there is a psychological tendency for people to distrust big institutions irrespective of their strengths and weaknesses. This is also why politicians in general, depending upon their party affiliation, refer to whatever entity they are opposing as either big government or big business/corporations and won’t ever refer to the other as such. So, yes, you are right to consider this cynical behavior on the part of the politician making the speech.

  14. 14 14 Steve Landsburg

    Harold:

    “19. Obama says reducing govt debt is a moral obligation to the next generation. Fine. But he has also told us, in other contexts, that govt has no business enforcing morality. So how is this an argument for reducing debt?”

    Fairly minor point, but it is different for the Govt to enforce morality in others than to behave morally. Reducing Govt debt could be seen as an action of the Govt, and therfore diferent from enfocing morality on others. These two statements are not necessarily contradictory.

    Ah, but reducing debt is a way of enforcing morality on others.

    Obama claims (Romney, I’m sure claims too) that govt debt is immoral. But the primary effect of govt debt is to allow people to leave smaller inheritances to the grandchildren. It doesn’t force anyone to leave a smaller inheritance; it only enables it. Reducing debt, then, means enforcing this “morality” by removing the means to it — in, it seems to me, a way that’s exactly analogous to the way that outlawing abortion enforces another “morality” by removing the means to it.

  15. 15 15 Ken

    Are there voters dumb enough to nod their heads and agree with this? Do people that dumb actually turn out to vote?

    The answer is yes to both questions. Surely you must know that politicians are only as good as the people that vote for them. We would have better politicians if we had better voters. And surely, in your decades of experience teaching economics, you are aware that most of your students don’t even the basics of economics before taking your class. And college students represent the smartest people in the US.

    I hope you enjoyed the debate. Reading your comments, it doesn’t sound like you did. In fact, I thought you might bust a blood vessel in your eye. Really, I don’t understand the draw of political events or debates. Both of these candidates have records you can review, politically and professionally. Actions speak louder than words.

    What do you get out of watching the debates? I spent much of the time reading your revised book, including your argument against voting. If you don’t vote, what do you hope to get out of watching political events, like the conventions and the debates? If you do vote, is it even remotely possible that these events will change your vote? I have yet to cast a ballot where I didn’t know who I would vote for, once the ballot was finalized. I think the same is true for 99% of voters.

    Of course, I don’t understand why people watch Jerry Springer or Oprah either. These two people are wildly successful despite my lack of understanding.

  16. 16 16 Matthew

    Is China not able to manipulate its currency? Why should Obama have jumped all over this?

  17. 17 17 Ken B

    Holy shit Steve. Did you actually leave this up?

    39. Big slip on Romney’s part saying Obama had not called the Libya attack an “act of terror” the day after the attack. Obama responds brilliantly by not contradicting Romney directly but instead saying “Please proceed, governor”, allowing Romney to dig himself deeper.

    Did you take Candy Crowley’s word for it or something? Because even she now admits that OOPS Romney was right.

    Here’s the official white house transcript of the remarks http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2012/09/12/president-obama-speaks-attack-benghazi#transcript

  18. 18 18 Steve Landsburg

    Ken B:

    Holy shit Steve. Did you actually leave this up?

    I did in fact make the incorrect assumption that Candy Crowley had this right.

  19. 19 19 Ken B

    Follow up to 18, here you can hear Obama’s speech, which is longer than the transcript, http://www.whitehouse.gov/videos/2012/September/091212_Statement.mp3

    He carefully passes up several chances to call this “an act of terror”. He did make a generic comment about “no act of terror” but did not specifically apply it to this case and it came after a discussion of 9/11.

  20. 20 20 John

    KenB,

    Since these were on-the-fly remarks, is it really that surprising that landsburg trusted the moderator and Obama that they knew why they had said ?

  21. 21 21 Ken B

    @John re 20: I didn’t say put it up. I said leave it up. This issue has been all over the news today, and Steve has been on the blog already today. If it were my blog I’d add an update, since it is a major and important factual error.

    But let me address the question you asked. I think it shows a bias on Steve’s part yes that he described this not as an unresolved factual question but as Obama’s brilliant trap.

  22. 22 22 John

    Well it got noted in the comments thanks to you, so that counts for something. And I disagree completely that it shows a bias. If there’s one thing I get from reading Steven’s post and his blog in general it’s that I can trust him to look at the ideas and not be intentially biased, unlike the feeling I get when I read krugman. I think he also gave a caveat that his writings were off the cuff, so people should keep that in mind.

  23. 23 23 Roger

    @Harold: Ledbetter testified that she knew about the pay disparity many years before she sued. Your argument, about an employee who does know about poisoned coffee, does not apply.

  24. 24 24 Ken B

    @John: Well I share your regard for Steve but I think we all have biases and that the conclusions one leaps to are usually revealing. Absent Crowley’s outrageous behaviour this was likely to be Romney nailing Obama on a signifcant falsehood. A far cry I suggest from a Obama’s brilliant ploy.

  25. 25 25 Jimbino

    You note that Obama said that we have a moral obligation to the next generation to reduce the debt.

    I fail to see that we, and much less I, a single non-breeder, has any moral obligation whatsoever to the anklebiters of other folks, and certainly not to ones who aren’t even born yet and whose birth can be avoided or aborted.

    Hell, not even the Bible says we have a moral obligation to future generations of any kind, and in fact both Jesus and Paul, the inventor of Christianity, were single non-breeders too, and they famously favored paying attention to your real moral obligations by avoiding marriage and breeding altogether!

    So WWJD? In Matthew 5 he says it’s better to “die broke” and:

    “…not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

  26. 26 26 Austin

    Re: #39,

    I think this was a huge missed opportunity for Romney. I thought he was going to say, “SEE?! The President KNEW it was a terrorist attack the day after the act, but continued for weeks to blame it on the video. All this mumbo jumbo about uncertain intelligence is nonsense.” I wish he would have said that instead.

  27. 27 27 Bradley Calder

    Prof Landsburg,

    In Stan Engermans’s class on the economics of discrimination, I remember that Prof Engerman carefully explained that if you control for things like, IQ, experience, AFQT, gpa, etc. then the disparity between male and female wage is less than 2%. Can you comment on the current state of this literature (I took this class in 2008) reflecting male and female wage gap?

  28. 28 28 Ken B

    Re Autin 26:
    That shows the transparent falsity of the assertion Obama and Crowley made, that Obama called it an act of terror day 1. If he knew it was an act of terror day 1 why the two weeks of constant palather about the silly film, that lies about the crowd at the embassy getting out of control etc. Makes no sense. You are pointing out a convincing reductio.

    The administration wanted to present an image. In service of that requests for security were repeatedly denied, and the rules of engagement for guards were changed. This placed American lives at risk. When it blew up the administration was keen to blame something else, a spontaneous demonstration, and to deflect attention from its reckless disregard of the lives of its employees.

  29. 29 29 neil wilson

    “27. Lily Ledbetter bill has come up; will Romney attempt to explain how horrible this legislation is? I bet not. Is this ignorance or cynicism?”

    I am not that familiar with the law. it started because Ledbetter was discriminated against and would have easily won in court because the law was clear and the crime was clear. The problem was that the law required her to sue within a short time after the illegal discrimination took place. Congressional intent was to write the law so that the suit should be brought within a short period of time after discovery but the words of the law were clear that it said the suit had to be brought within a short period of time after it took place even if there was no way to have known about it.

    The facts were clear. Lily Ledbetter had a clear case of illegal discrimination and only lost because she didn’t know, and couldn’t reasonably have found out, that the illegal act took place until after it was too late to sue. Illegal discrimination occured and harm was caused and Ledbetter could not sue because of the timing

    The Supreme Court determined that the letter of the law was clear even if it was not the intent of Congress.

    So people tried to get the law changed. I think it would have been best if they had just changed the law to read what they intended in the first place. Unfortunately, it was blocked and the law wasn’t passed until the Democrats controlled everything.

    I do not know what addtional things are in the current law. However, the intent of the law that Obama signed was good.

    It is not possible to require people to sue for things before they know the illegal act actually took place.

    So why is it wrong to allow people to sue for illegal discrimination???

  30. 30 30 TravisA

    Regarding the ‘terror’ comment, the transcript associated with the video is not correct. This is the correct transcript:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/12/remarks-president-deaths-us-embassy-staff-libya

    Or watch the video.

  31. 31 31 Harold

    Alan Gunn and Roger, thanks for the clarifications re ledbetter.

    SL: “Ah, but reducing debt is a way of enforcing morality on others.

    Obama claims (Romney, I’m sure claims too) that govt debt is immoral. But the primary effect of govt debt is to allow people to leave smaller inheritances to the grandchildren.”

    I think I get it. The most people today could do to help their grandchildren is save all the borrowed amount (which they receive through lower taxes) and leave it to them, to exactly off-set the borrowing. If they spend it, they will effectively leave a smaller inheritance. So leaving the debt allows individuals to make their own chopice about how much to impoverish their grandchildren.

    So if one believes that giving people today greater choice is moral, the best thing any Govt can do is borrow as much as they can, to allow their people more choice over how much to leave? You have a technical point, but I don’t think it will win any votes. Or have I got it wrong?

  32. 32 32 Will A

    Why be upset with Candy Crowley?

    Today all the undecided voters will surely be thoroughly investigating the veracity of the different claims last night.

    This is why undecided voter are undecided. They are still spending every moment of free time trying to gather as much information as possible about the candidates.

  33. 33 33 Ken

    neil,

    So why is it wrong to allow people to sue for illegal discrimination???

    Why do you think it is good that people can sue for discrimination?

    If I refused to patronize a store that was run by a white man, I am discriminating against this man and reducing his profits. Should he be allowed to sue to force me to patronize his store since his store is as good as anyone else’s and the only reason I don’t patronize his store is because he’s white?

    What about a woman who quits because she was assigned a new boss, where the new boss is a man and the old boss is a woman? Should the employer be allowed to sue this woman due to lost productivity and replacement costs to find a new person to fill her job? She left because she didn’t want to work for a man, so should legal action be allowed to be taken against this woman?

    The most galling aspect of all discrimination legislation is this: if there is any disparity in outcomes between races, gender, whatever, guilt is simply assumed. No longer does the maxim “Innocent till proven guilty” apply. The maxim is twisted to “Guilty till proven innocent”. Having outcomes showing disparity between gender or race does not indicate discrimination based on race or gender. Differences in outcome depend on a myriad of variables and the assumption that men and women, or that blacks, whites, Asians, etc., working at corporation X are uniformly educated, motivated, and able (and therefore uniform outcomes is a expected) is just that: an assumption. And often a bad assumption.

  34. 34 34 Ken B

    So why is it wrong to allow people to sue for illegal discrimination???

    Why do you think it is good that people can sue for discrimination?

    If discrimination is illegal it should be possible to sue over it, like any other illegal activity that can cause you harm. If owning a pet is illegal I sould be able to sue you for your dog’s barking. The real question is whether it should be illegal. I think your debate is getting a bit muddied over this.

  35. 35 35 Al V.

    The mystery to me is how Romney can create 12M jobs while shrinking the size of the deficit and the size of the government. How do we “achieve energy independence on this continent by 2020″ without government spending or subsidies via tax deductions or credits? How will Romney “level playing field on which [American businesses and workers] can compete and win” without government intervention? How do we “provide Americans with the skills to succeed through better public schools, better access to higher education, and better retraining programs” without government spending?

    Those promises don’t sound like small government promises. They sound like Bush borrow and spend warmed over. I’m not saying that Obama has a better plan, but at least he’s not giving us glass and telling us they are diamonds.

  36. 36 36 ZT

    “Romney talks about all the advantages of legal immigration, then opposes illegal immigration despite the fact that it has all the same advantages.”

    Certainly it has some of the same advantages, but all of them? Illegal immigrants do not have the same tax compliance rates and create challenges for law enforcement. They’re probably not net-negative, but if you can replace x illegal immigrants with x legal immigrants, I see lots of reasons to make the swap.

    “Obama: “Natural gas isn’t just appearing; we’re encouraging it”. This is like Al Gore inventing the Internet. The govt does not produce natural gas.”

    He said “encouraging,” not building. As an Econ prof shouldn’t you be applauding this? He’s actually using language that recognizes distinctions between the government instituting incentives for economic activity and the government “doing” economic activity.

    “Big slip on Romney’s part saying Obama had not called the Libya attack an “act of terror” the day after the attack. Obama responds brilliantly by not contradicting Romney directly but instead saying “Please proceed, governor”, allowing Romney to dig himself deeper.

    Edited to add: I typed this believing (on the moderator’s say-so) that Romney had in fact gotten this wrong. He hadn’t.”

    The moderator did get this right– Obama’s statement after the text directly implied that he considered the act an “act of terror.” Some morons at Fox are trying to convince people that Obama injected a random sentence about “acts of terror” into a speech about something he didn’t consider an “act of terror;” this goes beyond credulity, even by Fox’s standards. See this quote from the Rose Garden speech 1 day after the attack: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/from-video-to-terrorist-attack-a-definitive-timeline-of-administration-statements-on-the-libya-attack/2012/09/26/86105782-0826-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_blog.html

  37. 37 37 Steve Landsburg

    Harold (#31): Yes, this is my point exactly, and, as is so often the case, you’ve said it better than I did.

  38. 38 38 Ken B

    @Will A: This from Kaus explains why Crowley was out of line http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/16/crowley-was-out-of-line/

    It also notes a few things ZT ignores, like the ‘act of terror’ was a general reference made just after discussing 9/11.

    In any case I provided the official transcript and full unedited audio of the actual remarks. Make up your own mind.

  39. 39 39 neil wilson

    I know it is difficult to separate facts from deeply held opinions.

    My point is that the law of the land is that you can sue for past discrimination. Should you be able to? That is an opinion question. The fact is that you can.

    Congress wrote a bad law. They intended for it to set a time limit for suing AFTER you discovered that you were discriminated against. Look at the Congressional record. They used the wrong words in the actual legislation.

    The Court was split three ways. The conservatives hated the law and wanted to prevent Ledbetter from suing. The liberals loved the law and wanted Ledbetter to be able to sue. The moderates actually read the law and said the meaning of the law was clear and the intent of Congress should not be considered when the words are clear. The moderates sided with the conservatives.

    My point is that I think it is wrong to be able to illegally discriminate and to only be open to a lawsuit for your illegal actions up to three months before they were discovered. That was the intent of Congress in the original bill.

    Unfortunately, the conservatives in Congress made the law more lawsuit friendly by holding out for a complete victory. The conservatives should have agreed to a narrow reading of the law and allowed lawsuits to cover the period of discrimination. Instead, the liberals had control and made the new law more intrusive than it should have been and covers a lot more acts that many people would think should not be sueable.

    Sort of like the same thing with ObamaCare. If a few conservatives would have traded their votes for a better bill then we would now have a better healthcare law. Instead, the conservatives went all in and got nothing in return.

    Do you really think that a future Congress is going to reinstate the doughnut hole for drugs? Do you think they will repeal the ban on pre-existing conditions? Do you think they will force kids under 26 off their parent’s policies? Do you think they will reinstate lifetime caps on benefits?

  40. 40 40 nobody.really

    28. Romney admitting that as governor he prioritized gender over qualifications when staffing his cabinet. This does not bode well for his appointments as president.

    First, I don’t think he said that.

    CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?

    ROMNEY: Thank you. An important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

    And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men.” They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.” And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?”

    And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.

    I went to a number of women’s groups and said, “Can you help us find folks,” and they brought us whole binders full of women.

    In short, Romney said that he took affirmative actions to solicit applications from women. It’s unclear how having more people applying for a job would skew the hiring process away from meritocracy. Moreover, it’s far from clear that the labor market is a perfectly functioning meritocracy such that soliciting applications from people within certain underrepresented demographic groups would result in less efficiency rather than more.

    Second, not to worry, it was all bullshit anyway. Romney’s gubernatorial effort to promote women was, in fact, an effort started by outside parties before Romney’s election – and in any event, Romney hired roughly 30% fewer women than his predecessor. But arguably this does represent a measure of gender bias on Romney’s part, given that Romney had no female partners during his tenure at Bain Capital.

  41. 41 41 iceman

    Al V – doesn’t seem all that mysterious to at least imagine a consistent small-govt rationale for most of these things:

    “create 12M jobs while shrinking the size of the deficit and the size of the government”
    The proposition that smaller govt = higher growth (at least over the medium + term) doesn’t seem that controversial, the usual concern is distributional issues. To be sure adding deficit reduction to the mix requires an extra dose of supply-side, and you don’t have to believe that but it’s not exactly a new theory.

    “achieve energy independence…without government spending or subsidies”
    Open ANWR and otherwise get out of the way of drilling and fracking? The concern is environmental issues.

    “level playing field on which [American businesses and workers] can compete and win” without government intervention”
    Easy – lower corporate tax rate (unless you call that “intervention”)

    “better public schools, better access to higher education, and better retraining programs” without government spending?
    First one easy – make them compete for students; the other two you have a fair point about the Romney “plan”

  42. 42 42 Joel

    There was a lot of talk in the debate about the economy and unemployment. The best way to fix the economy is to ban people from reselling used goods. If people cannot buy used goods they will be forced to buy new goods and this will create more manufacturing jobs. People will start spending more money on new products and manufacturers will have more money to raise workers wages. Higher wages will in turn allow the workers to spend that money, creating a multiplier effect, and thus stimulate the economy. This is a much better solution than printing money because we won’t have to cut down all those trees to use for paper bills, and that will be much better for the environment! There is no other solution that improves the economy and the environment at the same time! Plus, the general welfare of society will be improved because they will all get to use newer, better quality products, which are safer and don’t have as many dangerous chemicals, instead of using old, out of date products that use lead and BPA and the like.

  43. 43 43 Kirk

    I’m trying to figure out if Joel’s post is satire. I hope so.

  44. 44 44 nobody.really

    24. Obama descending into sheer demagoguery here: Saying Romney pays at a lower rate than laborers do, ignoring that Romeny’s income is almost all from capital, so what he’s paying are *surtaxes*.

    Is this capital paid into a corporation? Does Romney regard corporations as “people”? Don’t we expect people to pay taxes on their (taxable) earnings?

    If we say that tax laws should not apply to corporations because their shareholders are subject to taxation, then we should also say the First Amendment and the right to influence political campaigns does not apply to corporations because those rights are held by the shareholders.

  45. 45 45 Scott H.

    @ nobody.really

    That’s not a great effort on an obviously false equivalence.

    There is nothing illegal about corporations paying taxes. The issues with taxing corporations typically center on fairness and efficiency.

    As far as the rights of the shareholder, here is the often overlooked last part of the first amendment…

    ” or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  46. 46 46 nobody.really

    49. Romney mentions he believes in God. Fails to mention that he also believes Joseph Smith told the truth about those tablets. Or does he?

    Hey, at least Romney’s not part of a cult. At least, according to Billy Graham. At least, since last week.

  47. 47 47 nobody.really

    44. He used the phrase “trickle down govt” again; I like this.

    The etymology of “trickle-down government”.

  48. 48 48 Will A

    @ Ken B #38:

    I’ll try to be a little bit more obvious in my sarcasm. Once that happened, Romney had to be scared about what else she might do with in the rest of the debate.

    Also, what makes it worse is that the voters that both candidates are trying to reach will not be the ones fact checking the next day.

    Oh how I long for those days when politicians were honest with the American people.

  49. 49 49 Al V.

    Re “24. Obama descending into sheer demagoguery here: Saying Romney pays at a lower rate than laborers do, ignoring that Romeny’s income is almost all from capital, so what he’s paying are *surtaxes*.”

    My recollection is that a fair portion of Romney’s income, at least when we was CEO of Bain, was carried interest. Personally, I don’t view carried interest as investment income, and feel that it should be subject to income tax, not capital gains. Does anyone argue that carried interest is really investment income?

  50. 50 50 James Strong

    Tires are used to produce cars.

    I refuse to believe Obama is actually stupid enough to subsidize and tax car production *at the same time*, so I have to assume the tariff is nothing more than blatant political pandering.

  51. 51 51 Ken

    neil,

    I know it is difficult to separate facts from deeply held opinions.

    It’s easy to think that you speaking from facts, but others are only speaking from opinion.

    My point is that the law of the land is that you can sue for past discrimination. Should you be able to?

    No.

    If a few conservatives would have traded their votes for a better bill then we would now have a better healthcare law.

    Do you even understand the conservative position with regards to health care and government in general? This statement is like saying the government passed a bill that allows politicians to beat you physically as bad as they want whenever they want, but we’d have a much better bill if they’d only worked to allow politicians to only punch you in the face whenever they want. See how much better that is? Everyone gets what they want. Citizens get beaten less severely, but politicians still get to punch people.

    Do you really think that a future Congress is going to reinstate the doughnut hole for drugs? Do you think they will repeal the ban on pre-existing conditions? Do you think they will force kids under 26 off their parent’s policies? Do you think they will reinstate lifetime caps on benefits?

    Things that can’t go on won’t. These are all unsustainable, so whether politicians want to or not, these are all going away one way or another. It’s simple math. Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money. Ask Gorbachev.

  52. 52 52 Al V.

    nobody.really, I believe that corporate income should not be subject to income tax, for two reasons:
    1. As you highlight, a corporation can do four things with its profits: return them to shareholders (a good thing), reinvest in the business (creating jobs), donate to charity (good for the charity, and society as a whole, if not necessarily good for the shareholders), or increase salaries (a form of reinvestment). Only the last thing is one that we might argue is not a good thing, but isn’t it the responsibility of the board and the shareholders to govern the business?
    2. Corporations spend a huge amount of money avoiding taxes. That seems to me to be a waster of money (H&R Block would disagree). The left have made a great deal of noise about GE not paying anything in taxes for 2011, but isn’t that a corporation’s job? GE exists to make money for its shareholders, and if it can save more on taxes than it spends on avoiding taxes, it should. I think it is not a productive use of resources for corporations to pay lawyers to create tax shelters, move money offshore, etc. I understand and support that companies do this, but I think as a nation we would be better off if they didn’t have to.

    And as corporations become more adept at avoiding taxes, corporate income tax is continually shrinking as a percentage of federal revenue, from 28% in the 50s to 10% today. The effort we as a nation put into simultaneously collecting and avoiding corporate income taxes seems disproportionate to the value we receive.

    Finally, if we eliminate corporate income taxes, we would reduce the effort that corporations expend on lobbying the government, as they no longer have to jockey for credits and deductions.

  53. 53 53 Al V.

    Oh yeah, and regarding “Hey, at least Romney’s not part of a cult.” Whenever somebody tells me they view LDS as a cult, I respond, “To an atheist, all religions are cults.”

  54. 54 54 Martin-2

    “21. Romney wants to cut tax rates to spur small business. So—-favoring small business over big business? Is this any better than Obama favoring manufacturing?”

    It seems to me that Obama favors manufacturing and green energy at everyone else’s expense, but Romney favors small business and the middle class in a way that isn’t costly to everyone else. Or maybe it is if he’s still creating distortions.

  55. 55 55 Kirk

    nobody.really – that was an interesting link on Trickle Down Government, so thanks.

    I don’t think Romney cares where it comes from, and probably most people won’t know about it. It sounds good as a description of what he’s accusing Obama of, and makes a great zinger in a debate, especially when repeated often. Since these two bozos are just like the rest of the politicians, and have no interest in telling us the truth or demonstrating real courage, the line is a winner.

  56. 56 56 Steve Landsburg

    Joel (#42):

    The best way to fix the economy is to ban people from reselling used goods.

    This is a mere half-measure. Why not ban people from reusing used goods? You buy a car, you get to use it once and then you discard it. Think how rich that would make us!

  57. 57 57 Scott F

    Re Harold #31 and SL #37,
    That is only true, if you believe in Ricardian Equivalence. While it is certainly technically true, I really doubt every tax-paying individual (or even a substantial fraction of the people) realizes what it would take to offset the effect of the debt for their posterity. Many people may realize the effect of the debt on their children’s inheritance after it is too late to make up the difference.
    Of note, their children will probably be much better off then they were anyway, but it is still a concern to address.

  58. 58 58 Martin-2

    Steve (56) – ” Why not ban people from reusing used goods? You buy a car, you get to use it once and then you discard it.”

    What you and Joel don’t seem to understand is that arbitrary job creation isn’t the only thing real people care about. They need to be green jobs. Your plan only works if the cars are all hybrids.

  59. 59 59 BC

    Re: ZT (#36):
    “…if you can replace x illegal immigrants with x legal immigrants, I see lots of reasons to make the swap.”

    Well, if you give documentation/visas to the x illegal immigrants, turning them into x legal immigrants, then you will achieve the swap that you desire. Having legalized the immigrants, they will no longer “create challenges” for law enforcement. This is the sense in which illegal immigration offers all the same advantages as legal immigration.

  60. 60 60 Ken B

    @Steve: Just as long as we can re-use jokes. I comment on more than one blog!

  61. 61 61 Harold

    ” or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    That comma there would be unececessary, unless you wanted to make it clear that the right to peaceably assemble was distinct from the right to petition. i.e. people have the right to assemble and they have the right to petition, not the right to assemble and then petition as an assembly. At least thats how I read it.

  62. 62 62 Ken B

    @Harold: That comma is an example of what’s called in the right recondite circles the “Oxford comma”. The second last element of a list, the one just before the ‘and’, is usually not followed by a comma. But as with most of English orthography, it has varied from time to time and place to place. Oxford was the centre (sic) of a campaign to restore its use before the ‘and’. Few use the Oxford comma now. Simpler usually wins and has won here.

    There, my pedantry for the day done and it’s not even 10 am yet!

  63. 63 63 Al V.

    Ken B, I don’t know if you like alternative rock, but the indie band Vampire Weekend has a song called “Who Gives a F*** About an Oxford Comma?”

  64. 64 64 Ken B

    @Al V: Cool. And it’s on Youtube too! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_i1xk07o4g

    And I’ve always wondered how you pronounce F***. Now I know. :)

  65. 65 65 nobody.really

    Here’s the 1st Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The final clause following the semicolon has two elements: peaceable assembly and petition.

    As I understand it, the Oxford comma only applies to lists of three or more. Thus, even the fine folks at Oxford would not use a comma in this situation.

    The Oxford comma is useful to help distinguish between items in a list and introductory phrases. Sometimes we use a comma in the same manner as a colon, to distinguish between the introduction and the list.

    I dedicate this book to my parents, Marge and Homer.

    Contrast that sentence with this:

    I dedicate this book to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

    Here, you might want to use an Oxford comma to signal that “my parents” is merely one item in a list of three or more, rather than an introductory clause. Unless, of course, your believe that your parents really are Ayn Rand and God. I’m not talking about anyone in specific on this blog, mind you….

    Anyway, that’s who gives a F*** about the Oxford comma.

  66. 66 66 Ken B

    I myself like the Oxford comma. It is recommended by Strunk & White.

    In nobody.really’s example I would punctuate “my parents: Marge and Homer” or “my parents Marge and Homer,” Or at least I would if I were being careful.

    Aat’s just commas. Just don’t get me started on semi-colons. …

  67. 67 67 Harold

    The Oxford comma is also useful for single things connected by “and”. So I like all sorts of music; jazz, rock, rythm and blues, and classical. Not sure about the semi-colon. it has been a bit of a mystery to me.

  68. 68 68 Kirk

    I’m the lazy guy who reads the sentence out loud and puts a comma in if I make a slight pause. I can’t be bothered learning the rules!

  69. 69 69 Will A

    Things would be much clearer if the founding fathers were computer programmers, then they could have used parenthesis:

    (
    (
    (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
    religion)
    || (prohibiting the free exercise thereof)
    )
    ||
    ! (
    abridging (freedom of speech) || abridging (freedom press)
    || abridging (the right of the people peaceably to assemble) )
    )
    &&
    !(abridging (freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.))

    The would of course also need to make sure that the left and right parenthesis were correct.

  70. 70 70 Ken B

    @Will A: EEK! I made my living doing LISP for a short while.

  71. 71 71 Tristan

    Romney didn’t actually say that he gave females preferential treatment in the hiring process. Instead, he identified the fact that his hiring pool was skewed. Maybe women are less persistent or assertive when it comes to putting their name out there, or possibly the people he had scouting for him were sexist and overlooked women. In any case, it seems like an intelligent decision to make sure you didn’t miss some good applicants from a segment of the population you hadn’t been considering.

  72. 72 72 iceman

    Al V: with regard to your comments, regarding: corporate taxes, and, carried interest:

    A simpler case, I think, against corporate taxes, is: they are just an opaque way to: increase the tax incidence on real people, while making it harder to: figure out who they are. (The overall effect could well be: regressive?)

    The main case, I’ve heard, for preferential treatment of: carried interest, is: that it is derived from: after-tax income (value) of: the corporate investments. So, ironically, I think your point stands, if: you get rid of: corporate taxes.

    PS Has Oxford ruled on: when to use the happy face with the wink ;)?

  73. 73 73 Al V.

    @iceman, I don’t know if Oxford has, but Verizon (or perhaps Motorola) has. If I text someone ;-) my phone turns it into a graphic winking smiley, but if I send ;) it just goes as text.

  74. 74 74 nobody.really

    Things would be much clearer if the founding fathers were computer programmers, then they could have used parenthesis:

    (
    (
    (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
    religion)….

    Not bad; now try the 2d Amendment.

  75. 75 75 Al V.

    @iceman, Re. carried interest, it is true that it is derived from the after-tax value of investments. However, the carried interest is paid out of the investment fund to the investment manager. The investment manager has not invested any funds, so I don’t see how the investment manager can claim that the carried interest should be treated in the same way as capital gains are.

    Let’s say that Fund X is a LLP managing a hedge fund valued at $100M. The terms of the fund are that the fund receives a carried interest payment of 30% of all returns above 5% annually. In 2011, the fund grows to $115M, so the partners in Fund X are paid an aggregate fee of $3M [30% x ($115M - ($100M x 1.05))]. Mr. R. is the senior partner, and gets 40$ of the fee, or $1.2M. Why is that $1.2M taxed at a capital gains rate? Mr. R. didn’t invest anything in the fund, he just managed it. It looks like straight performance compensation to me.

  76. 76 76 Will A

    Programming would help even more with the 2nd amendment.

    Here is how I would program the 2nd amendment.
    Citizen c = New Citizen(social_security_number)
    If(c.in_well_regulated_militia())
    {
    c.setCanBearArms(true);
    }
    else
    {
    c.SetCanBearArms(false);
    }

  77. 77 77 Economiser

    Al V.:

    In your example, Mr. R’s compensation is taxed at a capital gains rate because it’s not a “fee;” it’s an interest in the partnership. After the allocation of the carried interest, Mr. R is now the beneficial owner of a little over 1% of the fund, and his distributions are treated the same as the other equity owners.

    The problem is that it’s really hard to distinguish investment income from labor income in many cases. If you start trying to change the rules only for the carried interest situation, you run the risk of inadvertently picking up other situations that perhaps should not change. Or you wind up creating loopholes.

    If anything, it begs the question as to whether different types of income should be taxed at different rates. I know Steven is a big proponent of low/no taxes on capital gains, but if the enforcement issues are difficult, maybe they should all be taxed the same.

  78. 78 78 Mike H

    I know Steven is a big proponent of low/no taxes on capital gains, but if the enforcement issues are difficult, maybe they should all be taxed the same.

    In practice, many countries compromise. For example, in Australia, capital gains are taxed at half the rate of earned income. Interest and dividends are taxed at the full rate.

    In theory, investment income should not be taxed. In practice, it’s too easy for some taxpayers to disguise earned income as investment income.

    Two possible solutions : (1) tax consumption instead. Many countries do this to an extent. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for other taxpayers to disguise consumption spending as investment spending. (2) tax investment income at the same rate as earned income, but allow a full deduction on funds invested. This was recommended in the Mirrlees review. Unfortunately, it’s probably still too easy for still other taxpayers to disguise consumption spending as investment spending.

    Each policy in theory produces no distortions, but in practice does because taxpayers disguise their income or spending. Perhaps there’s an optimal mix of these policies that minimises these distortions, or maximises revenue, or (in some fantasy world) does both.

  79. 79 79 Austin

    Re: #30 on Prof Landsbug’s list – Obama has the gall to say that he opposes government bureaucrats in Washing making people’s healthcare decisions for them.

    This was absolutely outrageous! What a freaking idiot.

    I had a similar moment of screaming curse words at the TV during the VP debate. Biden *actually said* that the economy would take off if Republicans would “just get out of the way.”

    WHAT?!

    Republican’s aren’t perfect, but they’re the only ones standing between us and the government steamroller that is about to run us over. Thank God they’re there! To suggest that the Administration’s government stranglehold would resurrect the economy if only the Repubs would get out of the way is, unequivocally, the DUMBEST thing I have EVER heard! ARGHH!

    The economy is waiting for YOU to get out of the way of the market, you FREAKING IDIOT!

  80. 80 80 Ken

    Steven,

    This is a mere half-measure. Why not ban people from reusing used goods? You buy a car, you get to use it once and then you discard it. Think how rich that would make us!

    I guess all old, worn out ideas become new again. Don’t worry about having to work so hard to buy a new car every day, soma will fix you right up!

  81. 81 81 David Wallin

    Joel r/42

    Though Steve improved on it, this is a wonderful idea. But, its superiority over printing cash isn’t the saved trees. No wood fiber makes it into U.S. currency. They use cloth and linen, a major source of the former is trimmings from the jeans-making process. But, does that count as selling a used good? What you hit on a near perfect idea, but we can no longer have banknotes. (Of course, I too hope you were just using satire.) {BTW, a supporter of the Oxford comma}

  82. 82 82 Ken Arromdee

    Oh yeah, and regarding “Hey, at least Romney’s not part of a cult.” Whenever somebody tells me they view LDS as a cult, I respond, “To an atheist, all religions are cults.”

    There are religions with more and less cultlike behavior. If the religion requires a lot of monetary contribution, has a large portion of control over the person’s private life, and ostracizes and/or severely punishes dissenting members, it’s a lot closer to a cult. Mormonism isn’t completely a cult because there are other traits it doesn’t have, like a charismatic leader, but it’s a lot closer than, say, reform Judaism.

  83. 83 83 Jonatan

    “This is a mere half-measure. Why not ban people from reusing used goods? You buy a car, you get to use it once and then you discard it. Think how rich that would make us!”

    What a great, succinct argument.

  84. 84 84 Becon

    Marco Rubio not afraid to say equal pay legislation does more harm than good.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/21/marco-rubio-lilly-ledbetter_n_1997298.html

  85. 85 85 Mike H

    @Jonathan #83, I’m sorry, that argument has now been used once, you can’t re-use it.

  86. 86 86 Draco

    This piece on The Corner should make Steve feel a little better about Romney on China. I know it does for me.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/331102/obama-media-reportedly-preparing-slam-romney-flip-flopper-china-eliana-johnson

  87. 87 87 Will A

    @ Draco #86:

    What makes you feel better about it. The fact that in the past Romney spoke positively about China and now speaks negatively about China in a effort to get elected?

    Being a flip-flopper isn’t only about words it’s about tone.

    You can see how the following could be seen a disingenuous:
    We need to make sure that we are friendly with China and on the first day in office I’m going to label China a currency manipulator.

  88. 88 88 Will A

    @ Draco #86 (and Will A #87):

    If Romney said in the debate something like, “On my first day in office, I’m going to reach out to China and explain how it is important for both of our countries to succeed. I will then explain how their current setting of their currency is hurting both of our countries. I will then drive toward a mutually agreeable resolution.”

    and I missed it, disregard my previous statement.

  89. 89 89 Draco

    @ Will A #87 & #88

    Psst. I’m going to let you in on a little secret Will. Huddle real close. You can’t always tell the American people the truth about your positions and still get elected. And sometimes, you even have to dissemble in order to get elected. In this case, I’m glad that Romney is apparently dissembling, because what China has been doing for the United States has been a big, big win for the American people. Even though the American people by and large are too ignorant of economics to understand that fact.

  90. 90 90 Ken

    Draco,

    You can’t always tell the American people the truth about your positions and still get elected.

    Really? You appreciate being lied to and actually think it’s great when your guy lies?

    Your statement is just the type of sentiments that has created the worst political class in American history. Congratulations on accepting and encouraging politicians to lie to get elected.

  91. 91 91 Austin

    Politicians need no encouragement from us to lie.

  92. 92 92 Ken

    You get more of what you accept and encourage.

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