Who Won the GOP Economic Debate on Tuesday?

Unless you’re an economics expert, choosing a winner in Tuesday’s debate on Fox Business News Channel would have required flipping a coin.  They all sounded credible – with the exception of John Kacich – they mostly advocated either a reduction in taxes or a fair, flat tax.

Years ago, Steve Forbes suggested a flat tax and he was laughed out of every television studio.  Some ideas are just ahead of their time.

Economic issues, for Conservatives, boil down essentially to reducing the size of government, lowering taxes for individuals and businesses alike, and holding public office-holders accountable.  The last requires a better, more efficient mechanism for removing officials who abuse their office.

All the candidates are onboard for bringing jobs back to America.  How committed they are to retaining them in a capitalist, free-enterprise system and reducing bureaucracy is another matter.

Heritage Action for America has published a Presidential Platform Review for each GOP Primary Candidate, in alphabetical order.  The criteria categories are:  Growth, Opportunity, Civil Society, Limited Government, Favoritism, and National Security.

The process of elimination is the best method for selecting the final candidate.  The top of the list for the majority of Americans is illegal immigration.  Any candidate who isn’t on board with sending the illegal immigrants back to where they came from (and they’re not all, by any means, from Mexico) will find them deported from Conservative Country.

That pretty much eliminates Jeb Bush right from the outset, as well as John Kacich, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, and Ben Carson.  As for the other candidates, HAA does not have platforms on the issue of illegal immigration for a few of the remaining candidates:   Christie, Huckabee, and Santorum.

Trump is the leading GOP candidate right now all because of illegal immigration.  The only other candidate with a strong stance against illegal immigration is Ted Cruz.  The issue must be pretty important to Conservative Americans if it has put Trump on top with a strong stance on only one other issue, jobs.

But if you’re doubtful of Trump (I am) and you’re not happy with Ted Cruz because of the government closure, which Conservative Americans approved but the Media did not, hence causing consternation among Moderate Republicans, here are some choice statements from the other candidates that may give you pause:

Jeb Bush:  “…for all the evidence of Governor Bush’s inclination toward limited government, his strong support of Common Core standards – well-intentioned as it may have been from an opportunity-promotion perspective [and it only promotes “opportunity” at the expense of higher-achieving students] – suggests that as president, Governor Bush may not respect the proper limits of the federal government’s role.”Governor Bush’s success in improving K-12 education in Florida appears to have weakened his commitment to federalism. As an ex-governor, he has been an outspoken supporter of the Obama Administration’s strategy of granting waivers to states to implement changes like the Common Core standards (though he has since qualified that support slightly and now claims merely to support states adopting higher standards based on their interests, not federal demands).

Ben Carson:  Dr. Carson has offered several broad, unconventional critiques of past administrations’ foreign policy. For example, he has said that Vietnam critics argued “with some validity that we had no right to assume that our way of governing was superior to communism.” “Dr. Carson has offered several broad, unconventional critiques of past administrations’ foreign policy.  For example, he has said that Vietnam critics argued ‘with some validity that we had no right to assume that our way of governing was superior to communism.”


Chris Christie:  Being a N.J. resident, I’m probably ahead of HAA in studying Christie.  The HAA citation most critical of Christie is his bailout of the Revel Casino in Atlantic City.  However, it was Hurricane Sandy that blew his credibility.  “…Governor Christie worked in concert with New Jersey special interests to lobby the federal government on behalf of a Hurricane Sandy relief bill many conservatives argued included unnecessary waste, lambasting lawmakers for their effort to review the bill to limit any waste and offset any [unnecessary] spending.”

Many of the homes involved were secondary vacation homes and rental properties, as well as dubiously affected minority communities like Asbury Park.  Did the money go towards restoring flooded or wind-damaged homes, or was it used to “cure” urban blight?

Ted Cruz:  HAA offers no criticism of Cruz at all.  He’s thoroughly Conservative.

And neither do I.  He’s my main choice at this point.

Carly Fiorina:  HAA takes on Carly for her previous stances on the federal government’s long-term role in education, her unwillingness to take on entitlement reform, and her previous support of cap-and-trade.  “During the 2010 election cycle, Fiorina was critical of bailouts, but during the 2008 campaign, Fiorina argued that The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) ‘was, unfortunately, necessary because credit is tight for hard-working Americans and small businesses.”

General Motors is hardly a small businesses, and still has not repaid all the money it was loaned.

Mike Huckabee:  HAA takes him to task for opposing entitlement reform.  Huckabee argued, “I just want to remind you, people paid their money.  They expect to have it.  And, if this government doesn’t pay it, then tell me what’s different between the government and Bernie Madoff, who sits in prison today for doing less than what the government has done to the people on Social Security and Medicare in this country?”

The government is to blame for bankrupting Social Security and Medicare, certainly.  The programs should never have been implemented to begin with, or at least, should have been sundowned.  Whatever the case, Social Security is now nothing but a file full of IOUs.  Retired workers are expecting their payments, current workers SSI taxes are going towards filling that void, and eventually, we’re going to hit a brick wall.  Just what does Huckabee propose to do about it?

The Democrats plan is to cut off Seniors’ electricity through their Climate Change agenda.  Residents will only be allowed to turn on their air conditioning during the night time hours and only during heat emergencies when the temperature rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Workers will be protected in their offices, children in their schools, and the sick in their hospitals.  What’s going to happen to Senior Citizens (aged 65-85) and the Elderly (85-plus)?

Well, you know what?  Generally, the elderly are not all that uncomfortable in the heat.  My Elderly P (Mom) would wear a turtle-neck shirt and a sweater in the Sahara in July.  She rarely turns on the air conditioner, except at night and then only at my brothers’ insistence.

Senior Citizens, on the other hand, the people aged 65 to roughly 85, are detrimentally affected by the heat.  In the event of a heat emergency, however, the government will favor the Elderly first in any centrally-governed “cooling centers.”  Whatever room is left will be occupied by Senior Citizens, determined by age.

Air conditioning is Enemy Number One on the Climate Change Agenda.  Banning or curtailing its use is as good a way of ensuring the deaths of numerous, Medicare-enrolled Senior Citizens as any one since Adolf Hitler has come up with.   The unlucky and hapless will be left to roast.

But huge amounts of money will be saved in the long run in caring for Medicare enrollees and Social Security recipients.  Don’t imagine that it can’t happen.  The technology is being developed to monitor everything from our electricity usage to our private communications.

It was August 1972.  My maternal grandmother was 77 years old.  She was suffering from heart disease and diabetes.  Yet her doctor marveled that she was alive.  Diabetics rarely lived to 77.

We were in the middle of a heat wave here in New Jersey and my grandmother was starting to have breathing problems.  My grandfather, ever the miser, refused to spend the money on an air conditioner.  We were poor but Mom had just started working.  She bought Grandma a one-room air conditioner to use in her bedroom.

Grandpa was furious and in rage over the higher electricity bill, he broke the air conditioner.  Not long afterwards – a few days later – Grandma suffered a heart attack.  Three weeks later, she died in the hospital.

Bobby Jindal:  HAA rates Jindal highly as a Conservative.  His only weakness is agricultural subsidies.  “Perhaps most significant is the emphasis Governor Jindal places on shoring up the agricultural industry.  On the trail, he has stressed his initial support for the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005, though he has pledged to let the ethanol mandate expire in 2022.  He voted in favor of farm bills in Congress, including one that contained a $7.8 billion tax increase.”

He’s also a proponent of corporate welfare that will attract businesses to Louisiana.  He makes an exception on his general stance against immigration amnesty to agricultural workers who would come here on guest-worker visas, paying taxes with the eventual reward of gaining eligibility for citizenship.

John Kasich:  Take your pick.  “His campaign said recently, ‘The governor has long believed climate change is real and we need to do something about it.’”

Enough said?

Rand Paul:  Constitutionally and fiscally, Paul is hot stuff and usually right.  But then you come to his platform on foreign policy, specifically the military.  “More than on any other set of issues, Senator Paul deviates from the Conservative mainstream [the Conservative what?] on foreign policy.  As reported by The Washington Post, ‘For Paul, advisers say, being a realist means he is skeptical of every possible military action, until [and unless] he is convinced that there is a crucial U.S. interest at stake and that the action will succeed.’”

If Congress had taken that position during World War II, Europe would be one big German socialist state, free trade would have been relegated to the historical dust heap, and not a single Jew would have been left alive in Europe.  However, the Iranians are the inheritors of German anti-Semitism.
What the heck is Rand Paul doing on the GOP ticket, anyway?  He’s a Libertarian.  He’s great as the nagging Conscience of Conservatism in Congress.  But as a defender of freedom?   I don’t think so.

Marco Rubio:  If it weren’t for his pro-amnesty stance, Rubio would be the candidate to beat.  About the worst HAA could say of Rubio is that his tax reform proposal is great except for the “expensive expansion of the Child Tax Credit, a program that is already rife with fraud.  As a consequence, its top individual income rate is considerably higher than some competing proposals.  Senator Rubio has also separately proposed providing a tax credit for businesses offering paid family leave, an unnecessary effort to tinker with labor markets.”

There’s also concern among Conservatives about whether Rubio is actually eligible to run for president.  Neither of his parents was a U.S. citizen at the time of Rubio’s birth in Miami, Florida in 1971.  Ultimately, they applied for citizenship and were naturalized when he was about four.  Still, the U.S. Constitution is specific.  The Democrats will certainly have something to say about that, given the passion of Birthers towards Obama.

Rick Santorum:  Santorum certainly found his voice during Tuesday’s debate.  HAA finds his position on federal involvement in society a mixed bag.  “…despite Senator Santorum’s strong stances on core issues and accurate diagnosis of many of the challenges facing our culture, he appears far too willing to view the federal government as a mechanism to prop up civil society.  Santorum was a vocal supporter of former President George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservative” agenda, which led to the proliferation of various government programs.  In Senator Santorum’s own words, compassionate conservatism ‘require[s] a role for government that some conservatives find disquieting.’”

Support strong families and churches, and the federal government won’t have much to do. Santorum appears to still be too squishy for the highest office in the land.

Donald Trump:  Trump can be accused of many things, but “squishiness” isn’t one of them.  However, where does he actually stand on other issues besides jobs, illegal immigration, and national security?  Those are top issues, to be sure.  But he also says he doesn’t have a problem with taxing “the rich.”  Which rich is he talking about?  Donald Trump rich or local businessman rich?  “[His] plan [for economic growth] is not perfect.   It would leave in place several anti-business elements of the current code, retaining the capital gains tax (which it slightly reduces) and the flawed system for expensing business investments, while failing to shift the United States to a territorial tax system.  Moreover, the class warfare rhetoric Mr. Trump has used to promote it cedes significant ground to those on the political left who seek massive tax increases.”

As of this time, The Let Freedom Rings blog ranks the candidates:

  1.  Ted Cruz
  2.  Mike Huckabee
  3.  Chris Christie
  4.  Donald Trump
  5.  Bobby Jindal
  6.  Carly Fiorina
  7.  Rick Santorum
  8.  Marco Rubio
  9.  Jeb Bush
  10.  Rand Paul
  11.  John Kacich
  12.  Ben Carson

There’s still time for candidates to listen to what Conservative Americans are saying about illegal immigration:  don’t tell us it can’t be done (it can) and don’t talk to us about the illegal immigrant “children”.  Americans have children, too, and it’s our representatives’ duty to think of them first.

We are the people of the United States.  People who come here illegally are people of other countries, who flout our basic laws, help to raise our crime rate, and siphon away our hard-earned money.  The operative word here is “illegal”.  The first people we think of are Mexicans, but there are also illegal Chinese, Indians, and Middle Easterners, who were allowed into the country as refugees or come here to have “border babies.”

Let’s see if any of the candidates change their position on this issue.  Depend upon it, there’s no issue that makes Conservative Americans angrier at the moment.


Published in: on November 13, 2015 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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