Friday, November 30, 2007

Reflections on the Debate (St. Petersburg)- No. 1

One of the best questions at the CNN/YouTube Repub Presidential debate on November 28, 2007 came from 18-year old college student Sarah Ledarach, who asked:

Often, I've heard both politicians and voters express their concern with providing a better future for their children. A concern of my generation is the trillions of dollars of national debt and what kind of responsibility we will have for that in the future.

My question for you all is, if elected, what measures will you take to tackle the national debt and control spending?

Interesting responses were elicited. John McCain said that he opposed expansion of the SCHIP because it would have been funded by an increase in tobacco taxes, though his legendary courage did not inspire him to suggest that he would have supported childrens' health if it were paid through general revenues which, I suppose, would be dangerous in Repub primaries.

Mitt Romney advocated a cap on non-military discretionary spending, presumably to shield the Pentagon from the sacrifice other Americans would have to make.
And Rudolph Giuliani actually proposed "not to rehire half of the civilian employees that will retire in the next 10 years. That is 42 percent of the federal workforce that will retire in the next 10 years. Don't rehire half of them."

A responsive government- one which will be gutted by a 21% reduction in its workforce. More Americans thrown out of work- unless they are fortunate enough to be employed by the military which will not be asked to sacrifice along with other Americans.

But Giuliani argues "every business has done it." Does that include Halliburton? Other businessess with military contracts? Not likely. But that's evidently the Republican formula. Shield the Pentagon from scrutiny. Everyone else is fair game.

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