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Mitt Romney Trounces President Obama In First Debate

Mitt RomneyIs the headline too much over the top? I don’t think so. Mitt Romney really did trounce President Obama in the first of three debates last night in Denver. It wasn’t even close. Romney looked like he was charged up and ready to do battle, and do battle he did. From the beginning of the debate, he had the President on the defensive. This was especially true when Romney refused to let the President choose his own definition and description of what his proposals are and what they would do. Mitt Romney used the hammer of the truth to drive home how much of a failure the President has been and how badly America needs a new direction.

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From the beginning of the debate, it was clear the moderator had no intention of allowing a real discussion of the issues. President Obama was asked the first question because of a coin toss and Jim Lehrer tried to cut Mitt Romney off when he was giving his answer to his opponent. It didn’t work then and it didn’t work throughout the debate. Time after time, Lehrer tried to control the discussion and keep Romney from giving he full answer he wanted to give. Every time, he was rebuffed by Romney. Maybe the headline should read “Romney trounces Obama and Lehrer”.

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Let me go back to something I mentioned in the first paragraph. Throughout the debate, Obama tried to make up his own facts and change the description of what Mitt Romney proposes to do to fix the problems Americans are facing. The most glaring example of this came when he continually tried to portray Romney’s tax reform plan as raising taxes on the middle class. Romney had to drag him back to the truth several times, kicking and screaming. The President wanted to have his say, to falsely describe what Romney has proposed, and end the discussion. Jim Lehrer tried to play along, but Romney didn’t allow that to happen. For months, the Obama campaign has distorted the facts and flat-out lying in their attacks on Mitt Romney. Those lies were shown for what they were last night.

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Another part of the debate that stood out for me was the discussion on Medicare. I can’t count the times the President tried to lie about the reforms Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to make to Medicare. He attacked them for wanting to turn Medicare into a voucher program. In doing so, he conveniently forgot to mention the small fact that he has his own pilot program that is launching in several states that does exactly that. If you care to read up on what the Obama administration is really trying to do to Medicare, you can click on the link. I wish Romney had brought this up, as it shows exactly how the President is lying about Medicare. One thing Romney did bring up, several times, is the fact that Obama has robbed over $700 billion from Medicare to help pay for Obamacare. That’s another inescapable fact that Obama couldn’t get away from last night.

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Speaking of Obamacare, I was more than pleased with how Mitt Romney defended his Massachusetts plan and highlighted the differences between it and the monstrosity that is Obamacare. The President repeatedly tried to claim his plan was essentially the same as the plan in Massachusetts, but Romney didn’t let that happen. He explained the differences, such as no appointed health boards that decides how much health care a Massachusetts citizen can get. He also pointed out that it was a state plan and should not be used on a federal level. In other words, he doesn’t want the federal government to take over health care. Obama didn’t necessarily like that fact, but a fact it is.

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I could go on and on, but I think I have made my point. For weeks and months, many of us have tried to show the differences between Mitt Romney and President Obama. At the risk of sounding too cliched, the difference is like day and night. The last segment of the debate was about the role of government and the style of governing. Clearly, Obama believes government needs to have a large role in our lives and the decisions we make every day. Clearly, Mitt Romney believes government should have a somewhat more limited role. Admittedly, many of us would like to see government take an even smaller role than that proposed by Romney, but that doesn’t take away the differences that exist between the two men. Those differences showed up in big, bold letters last night in Denver. Americans have a choice to make and the waters that have been a little muddy have just cleared up, more than a little. The choice really should be easy to make.

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A word of caution to those of us who are supporting Mitt Romney. This race is not over. There are still two more debates, three if you count the whipping Joe Biden will be taking from Paul Ryan on October 11. It may be a few days before we see how the polls respond to Romney’s performance last night and a lot of things can happen between now and November 6. Mitt Romney needs to do do the same thing in the last two debates that he did last night. He needs to be assertive in his campaigning and when it comes time to face off against the President, he needs to keep using the hammer of the truth to point out exactly how big of a failure Obama has been. This debate should be used as a spring-board to propel him forward, through the remaining days of the campaign. He can win this election.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • I was only able to watch half of the debate for reasons of my own, but I agree with your analysis. Remember during the Republican primary when we all worried that the debates were too divisive and antagonistic? Romney learned in that baptism of fire and it showed last night. Thanks to Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and the rest for “prepping” Romney for last night.

    • Romney was really ready to rumble in Denver. He had his head in the game and Obama clearly didn’t. He needs to have a couple of repeat performances later this month.

  • Obama will be better preparred and will likely go on the offensive at the next debate. This is far from over. Having said that, Romney did a great job last night. Lehrer was dreadful, though he at least allowed them to debate. At one point Obama urged Lehrer to change topics after Romney went on the offensive. That came off as incredibly weak. The polls over the next week ought to be interesting.

    • Dragonconservative

      I agree with you, Steven. Romney cannot get complacent, but must continue to step up his attacks on the Obama campaign.

    • Romney needs to start campaigning like he debated Obama. If he gets complacent and sits on his hands, a good debate or two won’t be able to salvage his campaign.

  • Maybe the headline should read “Romney trounces Obama and Lehrer”.

    Excellent observation. Mitt did an excellent job last night piercing the hope and change fantasy bubble, but you are right that it is far from over.

  • I am only a tad bit more reserved in my take of the debate. Romney did very well and Obama looked lost. I did think Romney missed a couple of good opportunities; but I was very pleased in all. Obama looks so bad trying to defend his record. This ain’t 2008, is it?

    • To be sure, it is not 2008. Obama is discovering how hard it is going to be to win against an opponent who is willing to take the fight to him. Romney never backed down in his challenging of the President’s facts and as we all know, Obama hates to be challenged on anything. I just hope Romney continues the attacks in his campaigning. When the second and third debates come around, he needs to be ready to continue the challenge. It is a proven fact that when Obama has to answer challenges to his policies and his failed record, he has trouble doing both. Romney should capitalize on that and drive the facts home.

  • Lehrer was a joke; it was as if Romney was simultaneously debating TWO opponents. The most telling moment was when Lehrer prompted a struggling Obama by saying spontaneously “So your approach (to deficit reduction) is more BALANCED (than Romney’s)” Unbelievable!

    • Jim Lehrer had no intention of allowing Romney to make his points and counterpoints. He showed that tendency from the beginning. Romney didn’t let him get away with it and Lehrer didn’t know what to do.

      Didn’t you just love it when Romney told Lehrer he would cut off his funding?

      • A satisfying moment.

      • lou222

        And to think that Jim Lehrer was the most “unbiased” of all the moderators that were considered!! As for cutting off PBS, it would not hurt my feelings, at all. And, yes, Romney was debating 2 liberals, as far as I was concerned.

  • The good news is that the next debate will be foreign affairs. Let’s see obama spin his way through the mess he has us in.

    • lou222

      B, do you think they will be checking for an ear piece on Obama? He will have to be fed his lines on that one.

      • He’ll need all the help he can get in the next debate, Lou. Although I think it would be a mistake to underestimate him: he is afterall our president BECAUSE of his oratory skilss (certainly not because of policies or abilities). I think Romney is well-positioned for the next debate–he has shown that he has the skills. Obama’s biggest risk is that he will over compensate and come off petty and desparate. The pressure will certainly be on the pres.

        • lou222

          John, I think paying close attention to his jaw clenching, his eyes glaring and his general mannerisms will tell us alot. I believe he is starting to lose his cool and his “rough” edges will start to show. That could contribute to his downfall. No, we can’t let down our guard, until he is OUT of our house. Even if not re-elected we still have a couple of months he can damage us further.

  • Mike

    I never thought Romney would beat Obama unless Obama made myriad mistakes…wrong. Obama left his A game back in 2008 and came to play like a little leaguer while Romney version 2.0 was finally released and scored a big hit. And Romney got all the style points too. A very good evening for him and it could swing some in the middle.

    But I still didn’t hear from Romney what I’m waiting to hear — an economic plan based on reality and with hard facts and numbers to back them up. “I will create 12 million jobs” and “I will cut taxes 20% for everybody, eliminate estate taxes, and taxes on dividends and capital gains, and I will fund it by eliminating preferences and exemptions that I will work out with Congress” is incredibly thin. Every non-partisan economist will tell you there isn’t enough money in all those things to cover the proposed tax cuts. Of course, Obama’s proposal is even thinner and less effective. I’m hoping to hear something more from Romney/Ryan in the weeks ahead.

    • Laurie

      I find the “12 million jobs” sort of hollow, considering that that’s almost the exact number that most economic forecasters have said is already in the works through 2016. It doesn’t take a bold economic plan to read forecasts and prognosticate accordingly.

      • Actually, “most economic forecasters” do not agree that 12 million jobs are “already in the works.” IHS Global Insight predicts 9.7 million. The 12 million figure was predicted by Moody’s Analytics and its forecast “assumes no recession and a stronger recovery.” Moody’s forecast also assumes that by “2014 and 2015, annual economic growth improves to about 4 percent, up from 2 percent now.”

        What current Obama policies do you believe will generate that level of growth?

        • Laurie

          IHS Globals been a bit of an outlier. The rest bring in the estimate between 10-12 million jobs being created in the US, and that’s irrespective of who’s in the Oval Office. So Romney says he’ll create either 20% more jobs than projected by the CBO (which would be impressive) or about the same as other projections. Since he’s given me no indication how he’d do that, I can’t point to the why, nor evaluate it. He likes it that way.

          It’s a good question: Which Obama policies generate that kind of growth? I tend to think that growth has much to do with market demand rising, since we’re an economy 70% dependent upon consumer spending. We know that consumer confidence is much higher right now. We know that the retail auto sector has led the US economy in growth and numbers all year long. GM has led all automakers in that sector. So, continuing the auto bailout seems to have made a very big difference. I could point to that policy action as a good one. Going forth? It’s a good challenge for me to tackle.

          • Romney has promised to reduce capital gains taxation, corporate taxes and reduce government regulations across the board, as well as free up domestic energy exploration and production. These promises, if kept, make me think Romney can deliver 12 million new jobs. Obama’s contrary actions and promises make me think he can’t.

            See Romney’s 59 point economic policy here:

            As for the rest of your comment, explain to me how consumer “spending,” as opposed to “saving,” drives economic growth.

            I’m confused about your optimism with regard to the GM bailout. Here’s another point of view from Forbes: “General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy — Again.”

            • Laurie

              I’ll look at Romney’s plan in depth. I am truly interested, because no matter what I might think this could be our President, so I should get informed. Curious, though, to see what “opening up energy markets” means. I live in Texas. The oil and natural gas industry is booming. Real production, historic rates never seen even in the 70s. Take a peek at what’s going on in Midland/Odessa, along the coast. I giggle every time I go to West Texas. Very popular for the conservatives to complain about Obama and even his “energy policy”, even when their stunning, historic and unimpeded success is sitting in front of their nose. Ditto for those in Wyoming and North Dakota, experiencing much the same boom and still denying it from a conservative perspective.

              As for the GM bailout…My optimism is about the bailout at the time it happened. Did we know that GM and Chrysler were bankrupt? Of course. But most people in the auto industry (and Bush and Obama, as well) also know of the extreme interdependence of the Big 3 because of supply and other contract pipelines? Yes. If GM and Chrysler had been thrown into bankruptcy,it wasn’t just them that would have been disrupted. They would have taken Ford with them. Disrupting this interdependence when the economy was teetering would have toppled the US industry, including Ford. The shock waves from all of this disruption would have been worldwide. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Ford’s CEO:

              “If GM and Chrysler would’ve gone into free-fall they could’ve taken the entire supply base into free-fall also, and taken the U.S. from a recession into a depression,” [Alan] Mulally says in the accompanying video, taped Friday at Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, MI. “That’s why we testified on behalf of our competitors even though we clearly did not need precious taxpayer money.”

              So- instead of taking the American auto industry out, the bailout allowed it to remain a key player in the economic recovery over the past few years. Does GM still have problems? Yep, and they’ll need to be dealt with. Now that the world and US economy has stabilized somewhat, it’s probably a good time to reorganize. 4-5 years ago? The consequences would have been devastating.

              On balance? You bet I think the auto bailout was a good thing. Do take a look at the sector numbers, the increase in exports and the stunning shot it’s given the US economy. Would that happened without the bailout? Feel free to argue with 2 Presidents, 3 industry CEOs and Congress. I sure don’t.

  • I really agree that Romney did a good job of handling Lehrer. Your title is not at all over the top, as polls show that most Americans agree with that description. It was a route of Obama. I have renewed hope for a Romney victory, and I think his debate performances will fire up the base and get our people to the polls. Obama’s performance will do the opposite. I am hoping for a bandwagon effect, as more and more people become aware of Romney’s superior qualifications for high office.

  • Laurie

    I didn’t get to see much of it, but my husband told me basically the same thing as your headline does-Romney looked good, Obama didn’t.

    Not sure if anybody here ever checks out David Frum (former Bush speechwriter) @the Daily Beast, but I was interested in what a confirmed Romney supporter would have to say about the debate. He certainly had some advice for Obama:

    “Here’s the point Obama missed: Even on Romney’s own telling, his tax plan involves a huge downward shift within the universe of high-income taxpayers. The hedge-fund guys get a new 28% maximum rate; America’s orthodontists and high school principals lose 30% of their tax deductions.

    The appropriate rebuttal to Romney’s tax plan is not, “You’re a big liar, and you will tax the middle class no matter what you say here tonight.The rebuttal is: “Governor, your own economists say that in order to cut taxes for people earning $10 million, you will raise them on people earning $100,000. I guess you could say they’re all ‘high-income.’ But basically you are going to cut your own taxes, and pay for it by raising the taxes of your house manager back in La Jolla – assuming you’re paying your house manager what he or she is worth. The Porsche customers get a tax cut; the Porsche sales force gets a tax increase. Is that fair?””

    Through the W years, the only real economic upward movement was among those who make $100,000-$200,000. Many, many of these people are the small/micro business owners/job creators, the protected ones, the deserving ones that Mitt Romney and the Republicans have promised for years would receive a tax cut. They’ve kind of beat us over the head with it.

    I find it not surprising that Romney would choose last night to moderate his position in front of 50 million viewers, many of them low information and new to the table. What I do find surprising are the cheers from the right today and the admonitions that we must not call Romney out on this. Yeah, I guess it was his plan from the beginning, but I remain unconvinced that he won’t do this over and over again, to the detriment of everybody except the very wealthy.

    Had a link to the tax plan, but is WSJ. If you subscribe, you can get it.

    • Just wondering, Laurie: do you seriously believe Romney is running for president so he can cut his own and his rich friends taxes? Or are you just being controversial. Not arguing with you; I truly am curious.

      • Laurie

        No, no- that was David Frum who said that- c’mon, he’s a perspective guy. Give him his hyperbole!

        What I do seriously believe, John, is that Mitt Romney will implement policies, tax and otherwise, that are heavily weighted to the very, very wealthy.

        I also seriously believe that Mitt will say anything to get elected. Last night, he flat out lied to 50 million people, stating that his health care plan “covers preexisting conditions” so people can get insurance. Bald face, and completely refuted just hours after the debate by his own advisor:

        “And his adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, asked after the debate if Romney was really promising to cover people with preexisting conditions, admitted that he isn’t. (“With respect to pre-existing conditions, what Governor Romney has said is for those with continuous coverage, he would continue to make sure that they receive their coverage.”)”

        Whoopee! There’s already a law on the books for those with continuous coverage. Romney’s plan completely skewers tens of millions of American men, women and children. And if he’ll lie to 50 million people about that, what won’t he lie about?

        • Okay, Laurie, thanks. I’ve got to be honest, I was actually kind of hoping you DID believe that (it sounded that way to me in reading your post) because I thought it would be so funny. My daughter, Molly (who I love dearly and respect completely) is a liberal and actually believed that Bush started the Iraq war so he could PERSONALLY steal their oil (it’s the kind of thing you can’t argue about–not that I’d want to). Molly, incidentally, graduated with honors from a major university business school and is now completing (straight As) a masters in education, so it’s not what you think.

          And by the way, I saw the debate and an hour or more of the punditry afterward and never heard Romney’s adviser make any kind of statement impugning his honesty about pre-existing conditions. Not that I doubt you; I just didn’t hear it. I do find it interesting that when a liberal (I may be assuming too much about you) AGREES with a point Romney makes (such as pre-existing conditions), they (she) automatically assumes he must be telling a lie. I’d think they or she (the liberal) would be HAPPY he is proposing something they agree with. But no.

          And again by the way, I didn’t know Romney as a presidential candidate had actually articulated a health plan for the nation as you seem to suggest. Perhaps yet another misinterpretation on my part. I just heard him say he would repeal ObamaCare and replace or retain certain popular provisions. Of course his Massachusetts plan was passed by an 87% Democratic legislature as a compromise, and–as he specifically stated–(of course he could be lying) he is not planning to promote it as a national plan in any event.

          I enjoy your comments and your skill making them. Looking forward to more.

          • Laurie

            🙂 I’m a grown up, John.

            Has Romney articulated his health plan? He’s certainly sketched it out. In the debate in front of 50 million voters he said:

            “preexisting conditions are covered under my plan.”

            It was unequivocal and sans the qualifier he’s popped in other times he’s spoke about this i.e.”with continuous coverage”- a statement that is without teeth, considering there’s been a law on the books since 1996 that takes care of that regardless of any other plans that come to the table.

            That you didn’t hear Romney’s adviser say “nah, that isn’t true”… Not surprising. Why NOT say what you want people to believe when most voters are listening, and then the opposite when you know most won’t be? Hop up out of your advocacy of any candidate (and I’ll do the same when asked for reason) and tell me: If Obama spouted something completely false about a policy/planned policy of his, and then David Axlerod went into a press room an hour later and said “nah- not true”, would you accept that from the campaign? I doubt it. But, even when faced in print with the absolute contradictions of your candidate’s positions, mostly what I hear is “well, I wasn’t aware that…” or “I didn’t hear him say”. I find that odd, that too many are willing to say this without real consideration of what that says about the candidate and his leadership styles.

            I’ll be frank. I observe a lot of the political debate from the left as well as the right. Many on both sides give incredible quarter to their candidate’s non-specificity while being outraged that the opposition would dare do the same. People seem to hear what they want to hear, ignore what they wish (even when a candidate reverses himself within an hour) and go on with their zealous advocacy as if they’re “informed”. Again- the right is still complaining that we didn’t know enough personally about Obama in 2008 (and bashing the left with it), and yet seem entirely comfortable supporting a candidate who not only withholds standard financial disclosure but doesn’t even tell you what he’s planning. 2008 = 2012, to me, with the way the right is blindly following Romney into whatever corner he leads. I understand that this, for some, is a “not Obama”, but it doesn’t make it any less hopey-changey, to use a popular battering term of the day.

            • I’m sorry if I offended you in any way. I know you’re a grown-up, Laurie, and I’ll say it again with complete sincerity: “I enjoy your comments and your skill making them. Looking forward to more.”

              It’s interesting that with universal agreement on Obama’s abysmal performance in the debate (confirmed by strident liberals Chris Matthews, Bill Moyer, Michael Moore), all they have is to bleat that Romney is a liar. I’ve heard commentary from the national networks about the debate–they are never shy about aggrandizing Obama and mocking Romney–and they are not reporting that Romney is a liar. I think the libs need some good cheese to go with their fine whine.

              Your take on the “facts” drives home the relevance of your own comment: “People seem to hear what they want to hear, ignore what they wish (even when a candidate reverses himself within an hour) and go on with their zealous advocacy as if they’re ‘informed’.”

              And just for the record, I don’t believe Romney lied in any way, although Obama clearly mischaracterized his opponent’s positions on taxes and the like to smear him. I might say that was a lie, but I don’t want to anger anyone.

              Finally, I’d like to suggest that–based on the debate and the excellent discussion here–you drop your support of Obama and vote Romney in 2012.

              • Laurie

                No offense taken, John, thus the smiley face.

                You’ll never believe that Romney lied because your invested in him. At the debates (have read quite a bit of the transcripted moments and seen clips), he argued with Obama quite a bit about his plan to lower taxes for rich people. “No I’m not. That’s not true”. That’s when he started talking his plan to raise taxes on those making 100k+. Not a cut, but a raise.

                Not five minutes ago, I heard him on the stump. To this crowd, he said he’s not going to raise taxes on anybody. Who do we believe- this Romney? Romney at the debates? Romney on his website, where his permanent plans can be viewed by all? My head spins.

                And please. One debate sways my vote? I’ve had almost 4 years to see an imperfect President enact health care legislation that will benefit me, bring the unemployment rate under 8%, create a net-positive jobs recovery and stand firm on several other economic decisions that made a huge difference to me and millions of others in the country. Stock market- in the tank 4 years ago- is back. All those things enable me to say yes, I’m much better off today than 4 years ago.

                If any factor should sway me, it’s that Romney’s plans (on his campaign site and what he’s been saying for a couple of years, anyway) put me in line for real, measurable tax cuts. But I don’t just look at my own situation, I look at the entire country. And, for me, Romney has given me no indication that he’ll be good for the vast majority of Americans.

                • Thanks, Ben Bernancke (a Bush appointee), for the stock market recovery. Love him or hate him, low interest rates and a strong dollar go a long way.

                  I’m glad, Laurie, ObamaCare has helped. My insurance premiums have soared since the enactment (on my wife’s BlueCross/Shield and my Medicare supplemental) and three doctors have turned me down as a patient because they are “no longer accepting new Medicare patients). I’m not making this up. Lucky for YOU, though.

                  I know it’s too much to expect that a single debate and a few blog posts will turn you, at least so soon. Afterall, it took a hundred years after Gallileo for people to accept the world revolves around the sun. And you’ve probably been practicing being enraged at conservatives for some time. But you are obviously intelligent (I’m NOT being a smart-ass) and I believe you will eventually see the light. Please post when you do–we’ll all be waiting.

                  • Laurie

                    The Medicare question is a big quagmire for us all. Not for me, though, if the Ryan Plan becomes the law of the land. After paying for 37 years to take care of other people, Paul Ryan tells me I’m phased out.

                    As far as your comment at my being outraged with conservatives, you miss it completely. I’m flabbergasted by any group of people who would nail the opposition to a rock, call them a liar, for doing or saying X, but then their guy does it and in comes the excuses. Usually beginning with “I didn’t hear that”, or “I’m not aware of…”. Can’t remember if you were here when I was a participant before, but if not: I worked in the national, conservative and perspective media for 5 years at progressing levels. I know the arguments, I know the memos, I know where (and why) most of the disinformation originates. It isn’t outrage so much as astonishment that people will buy what I used to package, produce and sell so easily. Often to their detriment.

                    I have no outrage at people advocating for a position, nor at conservatism consistently practiced. But neither do I respect the politicians who change those perspectives monthly, daily, even hourly. Far too close to a talk radio or TV show host for my liking.

    • Seriously? David Frum? The male Arianna Huffington? The RINO whose favorite Republican is Jon Huntsman? Who derides Rush Limbaugh? Who has called Ron Paul an “ignoramus?” Who has called Paul Ryan a “right-wing nut?” Who wants to “help Europe?” Who “believes the conservative establishment is too committed to “tighter money, immediate reductions in spending on social programs” and lower taxes for higher income earners that he believes will damage attempts at economic recovery.”*

      This is the “confirmed Romney supporter” to whom we should turn for an informed critique of Romney’s economic plan?

      I don’t think so.


      • Laurie

        Refute the person, fine. But perhaps you might want to look into the evidence that supports. Nah. That’d be too logical.

        • You referenced Frum. I didn’t. Perhaps you should make a specific, logical argument rather than arguing from authority.

          • Laurie

            Sherman, really? I didn’t “argue from authority”, I put up a quote from somebody. Logically, since Romney’s plan does call for raising taxes on everybody making $100,000+, it seemed a good segue. I regret that I didn’t quote the Daily Caller, since that seems to be the go-to around here, but then, the Daily Caller didn’t print the info. And David Frum didn’t create it- Romney did.

            • Laurie, just as a general reply to your comments here…

              The fact that Romney lies does not imply that Obama tells the truth. The fact that conservative websites and publications print some of the news subjectively does not imply that liberal websites and publications print all of the news objectively. Your observation that “people seem to hear what they want to hear” does not exclude you.

              I understand that you will vote for Obama because you benefit from his programs and policies. That is your right. Our disagreement arises from the fact that this benefit comes to you at my expense. That is not your right.

              I believe in private property rights. I believe that the only legitimate way that what is mine can become what is yours is in a free and mutually voluntary exchange. I further believe that in such an exchange both parties always benefit.

              You, apparently, share neither of these beliefs.

              I think a society based on your beliefs is unsustainable and will eventually tears itself apart. I think a society based on private property and voluntary exchange will endure in peace so long as these principles are mutually abided.

              I prefer to live in a society based on my beliefs.

              Now, at least, you will understand that our political differences run a bit deeper than even David Frum imagines.

              • Mike

                Laurie hardly needs my help or support but your last shot there was wayyyy out of line. You have played very loose with her words — a criticism I’ve seen thrown at Obama many times in this discussion. Laurie NEVER said she’ll vote for Obama because his policies helped her. She observed that those policies helped her “and millions of others.” She thinks Obama is what’s best for this country and, while your Ayn Rand view of the world is yours to share, it’s hardly even mainstream conservative thought. And Rush Limbaugh IS an idiot worthy of derision and contempt from all thinking people.

                • I wrote: “I understand that you will vote for Obama because you benefit from his programs and policies.”

                  Laurie wrote: “I’ve had almost 4 years to see an imperfect President enact health care legislation that will benefit me…”

                  If that’s playing “very loose with her words,” I’ll vote for Obama.

              • Laurie

                Oh. My. What the heck is this?

                “I believe in private property rights. I believe that the only legitimate way that what is mine can become what is yours is in a free and mutually voluntary exchange. I further believe that in such an exchange both parties always benefit. You, apparently, share neither of these beliefs.”

                Bizarre, off base and typical of the sort of comment that people on these boards often make to try to stop discourse.

                I had initially logged on to say “WOW! I’ve had far too much to say on this thread. Not a troll, honest. And I’ll be quiet for a while. :)”

                But now I’ll stay. Super interested in you telling me all about what I believe. Knock yourself out.

                • Like David Frum I tend to be a “perspective guy.”

                  I inferred what you “apparently” believe from your support for Obama, who is an income redistribution guy, just as Frum inferred from Romney’s tax plan that “Porsche customers get a tax cut” and “the Porsche sales force gets a tax increase,” and just as you inferred that my philosophical comment was an attempt “to stop discourse.”

                  That was not my intention. Rest assured, I am truly interested in what you believe.

    • The quote you are using from David Frum is based on incorrect assumptions. I have found the Google link to the Wall Street Journal article he linked to and Martin Feldstein, the author of that article, does not say cutting taxes on the very wealthy will automatically require taxes to be raised on the not so wealthy. David Frum is incorrect in saying that. Feldstein explains how it would work and he should know, as he was one of Reagan’s economic advisers.

      Obviously, I can not quote the entire article here, but if anyone is interested, you can do a Google search for “martin feldstein romney tax plan”. The Wall Street Journal article should be the third or fourth one done.

      Laurie, you seem to be convinced Mitt Romney is going to cut taxes for the very wealthy, at the expense of everyone else. I believe you are mistaken. He has said he has no plans to do that and has the evidence in his corner. Until he proves me wrong, I will operate on that assumption.

      • Laurie

        Unbelievable, Larry. I’m not the one saying Mitt would cut taxes for the rich- Romney is. He’s been going around for years saying “across the board 20% tax cuts in marginal rates”. Across the board. Everybody. And, by the way, despite what he might be spouting today, it’s still on his website.

        I’ve also heard Mitt Romney say, over and over again, that he would not raise taxes on American families and job creators. An example:

        “The very idea of raising taxes on small businesses and job creators at the time we need to create more jobs is the sort of thing only an extreme liberal could come up with,” Romney said.

        Now, Romney says he’s going to raise taxes on EVERYBODY who makes $100,000 or more, cutting their deductions etc. Is he an “extreme liberal”? Lots of small business owners and job creators in that group.

        Romney has been all over the map on this. For every Martin Feldstein, there’s a counter that says Romney’s plan (as still exists within his public campaign) will cost the country 4+ trillion. Who’s right? Who knows? We can’t even get a straight answer from Romney, day to day, week to week, about what he’s actually proposing.
        You’re comfortable with that, and that’s fine. I’m not, though, and I’ll continue to try to wade through not just the media spin but also the spin the candidate, himself, is giving.

        • I’m not sure what you are finding so unbelievable. I did not say Romney was not going to cut taxes for the rich. What I am disagreeing with is the quote you used from David Frum, which suggests Romney can not do so, unless it is at the expense of those who are not so rich. Believing that requires certain economic assumptions to be made. Martin Feldstein explains his reasoning like this.

          The critics’ claims are based on calculations by the Tax Policy Center (a project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute), which used a computer model to forecast personal tax revenue and Alternative Minimum Tax liabilities of taxpayers at each income level in 2015. Such forecasts are inevitably speculative.

          To avoid the resulting uncertainties, I decided to analyze the Romney plan using the most recent IRS data, which is based on tax returns for 2009 and published in the current issue of the IRS quarterly publication. (Although 2009 was a low-income year because of the recession, using that year is preferable to looking back to some earlier period.)

          You are right, there are counters who disagree with Feldstein. Just as some of us disagree with the counters you mentioned. I am far from being an expert on taxes, but my personal opinion is that we are likely to something somewhere between the two positions, if Romney is elected and enacts his plan. For what it’s worth, I’m not so sure Romney is aiming for a lot of lower taxes, as much as he is wanting to simply the tax regulatory code. Again, that is just my personal opinion.

    • As far as taxes, I heard Dennis Miller ask a caller this way. “I pay almost 50 percent in tsxes now (state & fed). I’m not complaining, but that’s what I pay. How much is enough? 60? 70? give me a number.”

      • That’s the thing. No matter what number you come up with, liberals like Obama always want more. They are never satisfied with how much people that are wealthy pay in taxes.

      • Laurie

        Miller lives in California,though, and pays a good share of that to local and state taxes. If he’s really concerned about taxes, perhaps he should move to an area where he could actually mitigate a good portion that he pays, or work within his state and local areas to lower his taxes. Federally? He already pays historically low rates.

        I don’t ask anybody to agree with me. Just consider the source of some of the stuff you hear. Dennis Miller makes over 1 million dollars a year from his syndicator to rile people up. It’s his job to be contrary, not to examine just where he’s actually paying those taxes.

        • Mike

          Sorry to have missed the back and forth on this interesting discussion. When you propose a plan as complex as Romney’s, changing a tax code that is already so complex to start with, there will always be significant numbers of people who are impacted in negative ways not intended by the candidate to be the “average” person in that group. Saying that taxes for the middle class will not go up is nonsense because there is always going to be a distinct group for whom they will in fact increase. Then the Dems will shout and scream that Romney lied…and they’ll be right even if 95% of the middle class do not see any increase at all.

          My problem remains with the fuzzy math and even fuzzier details on deductions. You guys hoot and holler about transparency so I don’t get how you can possibly be comfortable with what Romney has presented?

  • For the first time Romney was able to escape the Liberal media.

    The thing is if you really listened Romney never said that there would be no nationalized healthcare… he also said our economy NEEDED to have regulations (I think he said “of course”).

    So while I’m encouraged by how he did, we are more Left than we were 30 years ago.

    • You make a very valid point. That’s something Romney needs to work on, as well as the rest of the country.

    • Mike

      Is this the centrist flip-flopper, so badly skewered by the conservatives in the primaries both this year and in 2008, back to show his true colors?

    • Laurie

      Yes, Harrison, and he’s also escaping any sort of conservative scrutiny. What do most conservatives call a politician that they believe has escaped full scrutiny and vetting by their own?

      Right. Mr. President.

      Not asking you to support Obama, just to actually look at what Romney says, changes when it looks bad, says differently and then changes again. Sometimes within hours.

      • Mike

        “Right. Mr President.” Hilarious! It’s great to have you back Laurie.

  • Steve Dennis

    Chris Christie promised us that this debate would turn the election upside down and he was right. Romney was brilliant last night and he injected new life into a campaign that appeared lifeless over the last few weeks. Romney can not sit back on this success, he must build on it and never let up!

  • Dragonconservative

    I agree with most people on here. Mitt Romney certainly destroyed Obama, and was able to shut down Obama’s main points, such as the supposed $5 trillion dollar tax cut. However, Romney needs to be sure that he performs just as well during the second debate. Obama is sure to try and pull some stunts in the next debate. However, before that debate, we’ve got the VP debate, which will make for some good entertainment for conservatives.

    • Mike

      “Mitt Romney certainly destroyed Obama, and was able to shut down Obama’s main points, such as the supposed $5 trillion dollar tax cut.”

      Not quite. Romney certainly is proposing a $5 trillion tax cut — if you look only at the promised changes to the tax rates (down 20% across the board, cut corp tax rate from 35% to 25%, eliminate tax on dividends, cap gains, and estates, etc) without taking into account the promised reductions or eliminations of tax deductions and preferences. It’s completely unfair and misrepresents Romney’s plan to say he’s cutting taxes by $5 trillion but technically it’s true.

      That’s politics. Romney did the same thing with Medicare in slamming Obama for cutting Medicare by $716 billion. Technically true but it’s pretty important to note that not a single dollar of that will reduce benefits to the elderly. It will be borne by the doctors and hospitals in lower reimbursements.

      The game of semantics is one only we political junkies, like those of us who frequent Political Realities, can really appreciate. But most people don’t get much further than the headlines or the 30 seconds nightly news will give to a story so these word games have serious consequences. It’s a game and a very ugly one at that.

      • I think as you pointed out, Mike, Romney’s plan readjusts rates and deductions to be tax-neutral; overall it is not a tax cut or increase. What it does do is lower the rates used by small businesses, the only ones qualified under IRS rules to use personal rates, thereby stimulating jobs. The liberal “tax analysis institute” relied upon by Obama later recanted (according to CNN)their claim of a $5 trillion cut, saying they had failed to properly analyze the impact of limiting deductions. Obama knows this but persists in his false characterization of Romney and his plan. Desperation is so unbecoming.

        • Laurie

          Which small business are those? As you know, 94% of all businesses in this country are pass-through entities and pay no corporate taxes at all. So I ask about the damage to the businesses, not to the persons.

          • Sole proprietors, partnerships and so-called Sub-S Corporations (subject to an IRS imposed limit on their size to elect this tax status) pay taxes at individual rates under the IRS code. While they are taxed as individual income, they are nonetheless taxes on the profits of the business, over and above the taxes on the other personal income of the owners. These taxes on small business are not subject to the 15% cap on capital gains and dividends (although if the taxpayer has these kinds of other income, they would be taxed, too).

            So, reducing the taxes on these small businesses that employ 25% of Americans (according to the notorious Mormon-liar Mitt Romney)and are the main drivers of NEW jobs, this allows more money for those businesses to reinvest in growth–which generates new employment.

            In the world of commerce, profits=growth=jobs; NOT profits=greed=kill-the-rich

            These profits need not be paid out to the owners to be taxed under personal income tax rates. Reinvested earnings are the main source of new capital formation in small businesses. Just for the record.

            • Laurie

              John, as a small business owner I’m extremely familiar with the tax laws as they govern S-corps. I have no idea what you were trying to get at, but the truth is that S-corps along with the other pass-through entities are NOT taxed at all as corporations. Love having a discussion, but would appreciate it if you’d stay on point.

              You begin with saying that Romney “lower the rates used by small businesses…” and then go on to talk about capital gains on personal income. Please, let’s try to stay with the topic. There are NO tax rates that are applicable to 94% of all business in the country because none of those business pay business taxes. Period.

              Want to protect us all from capital gains is interesting and again- Romney’s plan puts me in line for tax cuts all over the place that most people won’t ever even consider, let alone qualify for. At the same time, I couldn’t care less (personally) about the deductions lowered by 30% for many, since we paid off our mortgage a few years ago, wrote our last college tuition check this September, don’t need the Child Tax Credit or any of that stuff. I also pay FICA taxes on only half that which a normal worker who makes the same as I do, given my business status. That’s me and about 5 million business owners in the country. Romney’s plan makes sure that we all get to continue to skip out on these FICA taxes along with all the other tax benefits he’ll give me and approximately 3.8 million other businesses in the country (out of 6 mil in the US) that employ 10 or less people in the country.

              And you know what? Those are not the businesses creating jobs in this country. But we appreciate your support for our bank balances and our retirement plans, just the same.

      • Dragonconservative

        In case you haven’t noticed, Romney’s plan is to eliminate deductions, thereby making up for any loss in revenue that would come from cutting taxes. Such a system will simply grow the economy without adding to the deficit. Then, when the economy grows, the deficit decreases on its own.

        • Mike

          Look, I get that DC — I hear what Romney is saying but I don’t understand how it works or how the math works. Do you really think Romney is going to convince the special interest groups that benefit from those deductions to go along? He’s going to need every bit of the elimination of mortgage interest decution and charitable gift deduction, just to name two, to make this work and there is NO WAY that is going to happen without an enormous fight. And even then the math simply doesn’t add up to make the deductions sufficient to offset the loss in revenue.

          I am truly a strong supporter of Romney’s broad idea of tax reform though I think he should start with a determined focus on business growth — cut corporate tax rates to 25%, create strong business incentives for small business owners, and pay for it by maxing out deductions across the board. Something along the line of what Martin Feldstein first presented (I think his idea was a limit on deductions of 2% of gross income). Of course the people that would hit hardest are the wealthy but it’s technically not a tax increase so it may even be palatale to Republicans and you might even get Dem support for such a plan.

          What do you think?

          • Dragonconservative

            Yes, the broad idea of tax cuts will work in this economy. However, so will the idea of deductions. About 46% of Americans do not pay income taxes; that is the result of crazy deductions and such a complicated tax code. Therefore, those 46%, some of whom are very rich, will pay income tax, thereby making up for the supposed 5 trillion dollars.

          • I am far from being an expert on the tax code and the resulting complexity that drives an entire industry of tax lawyers and accountants. Having said that, I agree with you about Romney’s broad idea for tax reform. Let me clarify my statement.

            You and I have had discussions before about raising taxes. You believe it has to be done, along with cutting spending. I believe raising taxes is a mistake, especially at the beginning of any attempt to cut the deficit. You believe any such attempt has to be done in a balanced way. I agree with that, except for the fact that the liberals in Congress seem to have a habit of promising spending cuts, but refusing to follow through with them. That’s what they did to President Reagan. What I don’t want to see happen is higher taxes and no spending cuts.

            I believe Romney’s plan has a chance to work. Some taxes will be cut, along with some deductions. He hasn’t outlined those deductions and I believe there is a reason for that. This is my speculation only, but I believe he will work out exactly which deductions will be eliminated with Congress. If he can accomplish those goals, cutting taxes and deductions, he will be successful at simplifying the tax code. In my opinion, that is more than just a good thing, it’s a great thing to see happen. The results of that should all be positive for our country.

            Given the current state of gridlock in our government, I actually believe Mitt Romney is much more suited to straightening this mess out than is Barack Obama. The President has shown little or no inclination of working with either party in Congress. Romney has shown he can do exactly that in Massachusetts. That should be a good thing.

        • Laurie

          How, exactly, does cutting deductions by 30% for middle-high middle income workers “simply grow the economy” all by itself?