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Synopsis of the 2012 VicePresidential Debate
by Robert Randle
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Martha Raddatz of ABC News moderated the only televised debate between Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Vice President Joe Biden. The first question she asked was about Libya and the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the embassy in Benghazi. Ryan accused this of being an intelligence failure of the Obama administration and Biden accused Romney of politicizing the event before he knew all the facts.

Raddatz: Military strike against Iran? Ryan says that despite the administration saying that all options are on the table to prevent Iran getting a nuclear bomb, Iran disregards such a warning, and that sanctions are not working. Biden says that sanctions are having a devastating effect on Iran’s economy and accused Ryan of wanting to go to war.

Raddatz: Can you get unemployment under 6%? Biden says yes and attacks Romney over his comment about the 47% of people not willing to take responsibility for their lives and wanting to let Detroit go bankrupt.

Raddatz (to Biden): Why not very slowly raise the Medicare eligibility age by 2 years as Congressman suggests? Biden didn’t answer the question but accused Ryan of wanting to turn Medicare into a voucher system and privatizing Social Security. Ryan quoted a statement by Obama in 2008, “If you don’t have any fresh ideas use stale tactics to scare voters.”

Raddatz (to Ryan): You were one of the few lawmakers to stand with President Bush when he was seeking to partially privatize Social Security- Ryan agreed, and said it was for younger people. Let younger people have a voluntary choice to make their money work faster for them within the Social Security system. Ryan also does not want to increase benefits for wealthy people but slowly raise the retirement age over time. Biden said that all [??] studies show that if you are in your 40’s now you will get $2,600 less in social security, and if you are in your 20’s now you would get $4,700 less benefits under their plan.

Raddatz: If you are elected who will pay more taxes and who will pay less? Biden says that the middle class will pay less taxes and wants the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire because $800,000B goes to people making $1M (120,000 families will get an additional $500B tax relief for the next 10 years). (1) Ryan said that there aren’t enough rich people and small business to tax to pay for spending under the present administration.

The Canadians drop their tax rate to 15% and the avg. tax rate on business n the industrialized world is 25% but the president wants the top “effective” tax rate on successful small business to go above 40%. Ryan said further: 2/3 of our jobs come from small business, and this would affect 56% of small business income, costing 700,000 jobs that don’t even pay for 10% of deficit spending increases. Ryan ends with this point: what we are saying is to lower tax rates across the board [by 20%] and close [tax] loopholes on higher income people. There are 3 bottom lines:
1. Don’t raise the deficit.
2. Don’t raise taxes on the middle class.
3. Don’t lower the share of income that is borne by the high income earner[huh??].

Raddatz [to Ryan]: You have refused to offer ‘specifics’ on how you would pay for that 20% across the board tax cut? Do you actually have the specifics or are you still working on it and that’s why you won’t [can’t] tell voters? Do you have the specifics; do you know exactly what you are doing? Ryan talked about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil working together on a compromise budget and lower tax rates 20% which would raise about $1.2T, and foregoing about $1.1T in loopholes and deductions. They [Romney/Ryan] would deny loopholes and deductions to higher income taxpayers so that (1) more of their income is taxed, which has a broader base of taxation, so we can lower tax rates across the board.

Raddatz [to Ryan]: Can you guarantee this math will add up? Ryan said absolutely! 6 studies have verified this math will add up [he doesn’t name not one of them, though]. Biden sad that Ronald Reagan gave specifics on what he was going to cut in terms of tax expenditures; 97% of small businesses in America make less than $250,000; small businesses like hedge funds that make $600m - $800M a year count as small businesses because of “pass-through” [??].

Mitt Romney paid 14% on $20M and someone making $50,000 paid more in taxes than he did. The biggest loophole is the “carried interest” loophole and capital gains loophole; will they tax that? That’s not enough-the reason why the AAI, the American Institute Enterprises study, and Tax Policy Center study say that the only way you can find $5T in loopholes is to cut the mortgage deduction for the middle class, cut healthcare deductions and take away the deduction for college tuitions.

Raddatz [to Ryan]: Is Biden wrong about that? Ryan said he was and mentioned that Jack Kennedy lowered taxes and increased growth rates [Biden had a golden opportunity to say, “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy”].

Raddatz: Civil War in Syria? Biden said the last thing we need is another war in the Middle East and are supporting the Free Syrian Army in conjunction with NATO and Arab allies among Jordanians, Turks and the Saudis. Ryan says that we outsource our policy through the UN and give Vladimir Putin veto power over our decisions in this matter.

Raddatz; What role does your religion play in your own personal views on abortion? Ryan says he is Pro-Life, not just because of his Catholic faith but because of reason and science and believe that ‘life’ begins at conception. The policy of a Romney Administration is to oppose abortion EXCEPT for rape, incest, or the life or the mother s at risk. ObamaCare infringes upon religious liberties for Catholic charities, churches and hospitals. In respect to the Democratic Party used to say they want abortion to be safe, legal and rare but now that support it without restriction and with taxpayer money. The Vice-President went to China and sympathized with their 1 Child Policy of sterilization and forced abortions [Biden didn’t respond].

Biden believes that life begins at conception [like Ryan] and accepts the Catholic Church’s judgment on abortion but refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, Muslims and Jews. He won’t impose this view on others and don’t believe we have a right to tell a women how to control their bodies because that’s a decision between a woman and her doctor, and the Supreme Court. No religious institution, catholic or otherwise in Catholic social services, Georgetown Hospital or any hospital has to either refer for contraception; none has to pay for it; none has to be used as a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide.

Raddatz: If the Romney/Ryan ticket is elected, those who believe that abortion should remain legal, do they have reason to be worried? Ryan said that we don’t believe that unelected judges should make this decision- that people through their elected representatives and consensus through the democratic process should make this determination. Biden says that the next president will get to make 1 or 2 Supreme Court nominations; that’s how close Roe v. Wade s to being overturned. Just ask yourself: “Would Robert Bork be Chief advisor to the court for Mr. Romney, do you think he would appoint someone like Justice Scalia of the Far Right who would outlaw abortion?” We pick people with an open mind and who do not come with an agenda [really??].

President Obama said-
1. If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it [20M people projected to lose their health insurance under ObamaCare or 7.4M seniors who are going to lose coverage].
2. I guarantee if you make less than $250K your taxes won’t go up [of the 21 tax increases under ObamaCare, 12 of them hit the middle class].
3. Health insurance premiums will go down $2,500 per family [they have gone up by $3,000 and are expected to go up another $2,400].
4. I promise by the end of my first term I’ll cut the deficit in half in four years [ we have had 4 budget proposals and the debt is $1T].

Ryan: That’s what we keep getting from this administration, speeches and not leadership. The president broke his biggest promise to bring people together to solve problems.

Biden: The Ryan budget will kick 19M people off Medicare and 200,000 children off Early Education; eliminate tuition tax credits and cuts in education by $450B; and increase tax cuts for the very wealthy.

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
October 12, 2012

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