Democratic Debate

The Democratic Party debate last night on CNN was more of the same. Hillary sounded like she understood the issues, Obama sounded good. And I drank some good wine watching it.

*Disclaimer #1:* I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. That means that I agree with the Republicans on capitalism, the free market, taxes, etc. (to an extent), but I agree with the Democrats on civil rights, helping the less fortunate, etc. (to an extent).

*Disclaimer #2:* I think Hillary Clinton is very pretty and intelligent and I’m attracted to smart pretty women. I’m not physically attracted to either Obama or McCain.

*Disclaimer #3:* I drank wine during the debate.

In this debate, as usual, I feel good about the intentions of the Democratic nominees but cringe at their views on economics.

On healthcare, Obama and Clinton offer very similar plans — they both want to make healthcare affordable. Okay, I like affordable (whatever that means), but how do you pay for it? Cutting doctor’s salaries? No, I want my doctor to be educated, experienced and financially-incented to keep me healthy for a long time. My garbage man gets paid no matter how healthy I am and, consequently, he doesn’t seem to care at all about my health. The government has to subsidize it, but where do they get the money? They say ending the expensive war in Iraq plus getting rid of the Bush tax cuts will do it. That’ll work for the first few years, but not long-term. What else would the government not be paying for that it probably should be paying for?

On the economy, Obama said this:

bq. “Now, what I’ve said is that we have to restore a sense of fairness and balance to our economy, and that means a couple of things. Number one, with our tax code: We’ve got to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas and invest those tax breaks in companies that are investing here in the United States of America.”

This sounds like there are specific tax breaks for companies that fire Americans and hire people in foreign countries. Of course there’s no such thing. Rather than be clear, he seems to be trying to instill a sense of outrage in the American people that there are evil companies acting against Americans and the Bush administration is encouraging it. It sounds really good (for him, that is), but what he really means, I think, is that companies all get tax breaks and he wants to take them away from the ones that are outsourcing. And he doesn’t understand that outsourcing is actually good for the country and for the world. It’s bad for the specific people who lost their jobs, of course, but it’s good for everyone else in the world.

Hillary talked about investing in technologies to create more jobs and to improve the United States. She said:

bq. “We’ve got to get back to being the innovation nation. Think of everything that goes on at this great university to create the new economy…”

I agree, but let’s be clear, the US is still the innovation nation. I don’t mind tax dollars going to help fund even more investment in technology and innovation, but she shouldn’t make it sound like it’s not happening at all and we need the government to make it happen.

The topic of Obama plagiarizing came up and Hillary harped on it. When this allegation came up a few days ago I thought that some dummy in her campaign thought it was a good point and made too big a deal about it, but seeing her continue it made it clear that she agrees with it. It’s a stupid and weak argument, she needs to let it go. I couldn’t care less if the President plagiarizes, I’m not hiring a writer for President. I don’t mind if the President steals good ideas, it sure beats coming up with his own bad ideas like our current President tends to do.

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