Wednesday, October 13, 2004


3rd Debate

Well, the nobel prize winner wasn't brought up but suprising as hell was the fact that Kerry actually pointed out that Greenspan supported the tax cuts and continues to support them...what the hell was he thinking? If that isn't in a commercial by next week I would be shocked.

I think that many people will think that Kerry won the debate on questions that I think his answers were about as awful as you can get. The question of reimporting drugs for example. I think he probably scored very well, but mainly because most people think that reimportation is a no cost solution. This is clearly not true. I hate to reach into the economic grab bag for the tried and true slogan we like to shout so much, but here goes..."there is no such thing as a free lunch." Still, my guess is that most Americans are sadly too shortsighted to see that it isn't a solution at all.

I also thought it was bizarre that Kerry's response to a shortage of troops included adding more troops? This has been his stance for awhile, but I think he needs to explain how he intends to add those troops. He can't just wave a wand. He either has to decrease standards for service, increase pay, or draft. He isn't going to draft...I think that is clear. That only leads to two other alternatives and I don't think decreasing standards would be a good thing for our special forces specifically. I think that means increased pay. The question then becomes, how much do we have to increase the pay? In a time of conflict, most assuredly more than in a time of peace just to maintain the same stream of recruits. I'm not against increased defense funding and increased funding for troops, but I think we need to acknowledge that it isn't as simple as saying "I'm going to just hire my troops so we don't have to have a draft." They have to be induced into service if we aren't drafting them.

Bush missed many opportunities to call Kerry on his rhetoric, but he failed to do so repeatedly. He instead went back to bullet points. Most liberal...blah blah blah. I don't think that is going to work and I don't think it played well.

Bush finally said what his plan to decrease the deficit is...we are going to grow our way out of debt. This is not a ridiculous notion and if history alone were to be our guide it would be very plausible, the question is whether or not historic trends can be trusted at this stage of the game. Kerry on the other hand, has exactly the same plan as Bush but he refused to say it.

Bush obviously didn't have much credibility when talking about how Kerry is such a big spender, but the irony is that Kerry is constantly attacking Bush for not spending enough so maybe Bush's point isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. Still I doubt that Kerry would increase spending on social programs by more than Bush has and I believe it is just rhetoric.

Kerry also tried to argue against what Greenspan had previously stated regarding social security. I think it is fairly clear that whoever is President after Kerry (should he be elected) is going to have to address the problem. Kerry doesn't want to. His response seemed to be that the surplus should have been stocked away for social security. If that is the "solution" than we had better hope that nothing unexpected were to happen, like another 9-11 that might cause us to have to touch that money. Even without the tax cuts, and assuming that the tax cuts generated absolutely no growth (which seems contrary to reason) we would still have a deficit. The money still wouldn't be there. His answer on this question probably worked too, but it shouldn't have. It was a moment when I wanted to chuck something at my tv screen.

I should have taken notes during this debate since I know I heard other things I wanted to address but my memory has caused them to mostly fade. I felt much angrier toward Kerry than Bush though. Maybe it was the partisan side of me striking out. Bush evaded several questions clumsily and everyone was quite aware that he was evading them. Has Bush already lost? I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that nothing makes me want to vote for either of the men more than listening to the other one speak.

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