William Thien

Romney 19.5, Obama 12. Haymakers and Upper Cuts.

Posted on: October 20, 2012

Some asked for my score of the most recent (10/16) Obama vs. Romney debate since I scored the Ryan-Biden debate like a boxing match. I will take credit for being the first to do it this way, to actually provide points.

Though I still don’t really hear what I want to hear from either presidential candidate, the Romney vs. Obama debate was indeed very interesting. I score it 19.5 to 12 in favor of Romney. President Obama made some excellent points, though, so I don’t want the final score to suggest that Obama wasn’t in the ring.

Of the two, Romney appeared to make more technical connections while Obama debated more like Muhammed Ali might fight, taking and deflecting a lot of solid blows while hoping to get a knockdown punch in. President Obama came close on the subject of leasing federal lands to oil producers.

There was a time or two when Romney used the term “trickle down government” which earned him a point in addition to his striking point. Obama’s stance was generally always sound. Romney’s was clearly more aggressive and he appeared to react more quickly.

So let’s examine the questions, of which the moderator said there were eleven. I counted twelve actual questions with the final question being number twelve. I will provide an explanation to the questions that I believe need more thorough explanation as to my scoring. I did not provide any points when they strayed off the subject of the question from the moderator since to me that is kind of like air-boxing.

1. On the subject of School Loans, Obama won 1.5 pts to Romney 1.0 pts. I myself believe school loans drive up the price of a college education artificially and substantially because of the increased availability of money. Prices reflect what the market will bear. If more money is made available, colleges will ask for more. And who can blame them? It’s that simple. But if there are no jobs for the graduates coming from programs colleges say will get them a job, I see no need to put those students in debt. It should not be so easy to obtain a college loan. Furthermore, not everyone needs a college education. The drive to “overeducate” everyone by forcing them into college makes it difficult for employers to obtain skilled labor in The US. Obama wins this one, though.
2. On the subject of Gas Prices, Obama 2.5 pts to Romney’s 2 pts. I believe Obama won this round for a number of reasons. First, his explanation as to how the federal land leases are currently being administered, that producers can’t merely sit on leases in perpetuity, seems like an effective way to manage the lands. In that way the federal government can make plans for the land and not have to include producers in the process. Plus, as President Obama said, they are making money off of the new scheme whereas before they were not. With regard to making the country “energy independent,” which has been a catch phrase for many elections, not just this one, I believe we can’t rely solely on fossil fuels, which is clearly Romney’s intention. Obama wins this round. To me this was the first of Obama’s haymakers, though Romney deflected it.
3. Eliminating Deductions: Romney 4 pts, Obama 2 pts. I think Romney offers a more suitable plan for structuring deductions and the tax code. This was something Obama promised during his first election which never materialized. The tax code in this country is out of hand and needs to be dealt with promptly. It favors primarily the wealthy and is killing the middle class, particularly single tax payers who are propping everyone else up because they have no deductions though single taxpayers comprise a large percentage of the population, almost half I believe. Removing deductions for certain taxpayers as Romney suggests seems like a suitable alternative for now, though much more is required of our elected when it comes to streamlining the tax code. Romney’s discussions throughout the election about lowering the tax rates for small businesses comes into play here and is an idea to which I don’t think President Obama has any solid defense. It’s a Romney win.
4. Women’s Issues: Romney 1, Obama 1.
5. Undecided Voters: This of course is an issue I have been discussing rather thoroughly to date. Obama 2 pts, Romney 1. This does not mean that were I an undecided voter that I would vote for Obama, merely that it appeared to me he addressed the question with a better response. But it’s not really an issue in of itself, so let’s just leave it at that for now. We are dissecting debate questions here in order to provide a point score.
6. Increased Cost of Living: Romney 2, Obama 0. Obama didn’t even answer the question. Romney had a thorough understanding of why prices have increased and appeared to have a way to address the problem, though seemingly dubious at times. Inflation is becoming a real problem at the store, particularly with food prices. Gas prices have doubled during Obama’s presidency as Romney pointed out several times for which he scored. This is where Romney’s plan to increase national production of oil and coal comes in solidly. It’s a reality issue. Developing alternative energy is extremely important, but we can’t completely forget about the present. Solid Romney upper cut.
7. Immigration: Romney 3.5 pts, Obama 1. Though this question wasn’t quite phrased in the manner in which it was meant to be discussed, that it was meant to discuss illegal immigrants from “Mexico,” and not the rest of the world, Romney seemed to answer the questions more honestly while it appeared to me that President Obama positioned his response to achieve more votes. I like Mexico. I like Mexicans. Mexicans are a decent, hard-working people. But the problem of illegal immigration in The US is at the very least an expensive problem as their visits to the hospital and use of public services without paying taxes gets transferred to you and I. Undocumented workers also undermine our workforce substantially as employers jump at the opportunity to pay someone a fraction of what they would pay an American worker while also offering no benefits and not having to report. Romney clearly meant to address the problem in his response. President Obama appeared to want to offer only amnesty type solutions. The matter of what to do with families of illegals that are here and have children born in The United States will have be addressed, though. Neither candidate seemed to have a suitable solution for that problem. We can’t merely send the parents back to Mexico and put the children in foster care. That would end up costing more in the long run as social problems arise. Upper cut, Romney.
8. Libyan Embassy: Romney 2 pts, Obama 1. Having read numerous books on the subject of using indigenous private contractors to provide security services in war and during police actions, particularly at remote outposts, I can understand why the terrorists were so effective at taking control of the US facility in Libya and why President Obama was so hesitant in his response to call the matter “terrorism” in The Rose Garden the day after. Such hired forces are usually not very well trained and often a bunch of children with AK’s can subdue them. Diplomatically, it would not be a suitable move for Obama to make accusations without analysis. Romney, though, clearly knew that more thorough security was required. Though the situation is being examined in hindsight, I believe Romney would have provided an attachment at the very least for security at the first sign of need or request from the sight. Romney wins this round.
9. Assault Weapons: Romney 2 pts, Obama 0. Though I too am dismayed at the recent mass shootings, disarming everyone is not the answer. Why? The government also has assault weapons. Assault weapons are in fact child’s play in comparison to what the government has. Back in the day when the citizenry had muskets and the government had muskets, things were a little more even. The reason that many people have assault weapons is not so much because of their neighbors, it’s because of what the government has, I am certain. With a law governing every step we take, and just about every conceivable technology used to enforce those laws, the government definitely has the bully pulpit when it comes to weaponry. The reason I don’t think we should ban assault weapons is because the government has assault weapons. Enough said. Roundhouse, Romney.
10. Jobs Overseas: Romney 2 pts. Obama 1. I agree with President Obama that we should not be providing tax breaks to companies producing goods overseas. I don’t see much of a way to get around that unless we change the law and provide incentives for companies to move their production back to The United States. Also, we can offer tariffs for US companies producing outside of The United States and then bringing the products back here just as we do to foreign companies. But Romney’s response seemed more thorough, which is why he got the two points to President Obama’s one point.
11. Electronic devices made in China: Romney 1, Obama 0. Romney seemed to have a better understanding of the process. But I would add that President Obama would be well within his privy to add a tax to such products brought into the United States that were manufactured outside of the country by a US Manufacturer and then sold here under US branding. They should be treated in the same way as a foreign manufacturer because they are indeed manufactured in a foreign country, which is probably how the law is stated governing such taxes in the first place. I am certain there are plenty of people willing to make pads and pods right here in The US of varying types. It’s just that the manufacturers don’t want to surrender their profit margins. But if the US is the largest market in the world for such products, I see no reason to undermine it by giving those jobs away. Tax products made overseas but that have US branding. No question. Furthermore, the question recently came to the fore about some Chinese manufacturers implementing technology used to spy on US citizens into their cell phones and other electronic technology. I should think it is basically a no brainer. Tax such products. Tax then them to death if you have to.
12. Final question: instead of scoring this one, because it was really just a bunch of fluff from both candidates, I wanted to add my analysis of the event. I believe President Obama and Candidate Romney have some excellent ideas. On the issue of taxes, I favor Romney’s ideas about taxing small business at a lower rate. I believe President Obama’s point that Hedge Funds were taxed as a small business needs to be addressed, though. Hedge funds are a sketchy business to begin with and have historically been at the center of a number of significant financial debacles in The US that have sent shudders into the financial markets. Since they are so socially costly, they should be taxed proportionately.

I don’t favor raising taxes for any one social or economic class because I believe taxing just the very wealthy is unfair. Even if they pay at a lower rate, they pay usually so much more than the rest that it seems unfair. For example, Romney paid close to two million dollars in income taxes last year on 14 million. Not close to the rate that I pay. But did he use that amount of services, that much more than I did, or a family of ten even? Probably not. As a family, the Romney’s have probably not used that much in government services. But they paid substantially more than I did. Simply taxing the wealthy because they have the money doesn’t seem fair to me. Fairness to me seems like halting the government program that rewards a woman for a night of illicit behavior and then having a child as a result, to which my taxes go to support, for its entire life, who when he or she matures, statistically is more likely to attack me in a parking lot than improve my life somehow. To me, it seems more fair to begin now to curtail the socialist system that once was designed to be a safety net and is now a source of perpetual abuse and misuse, which by the way, could be seen to include various forms of corporate welfare, too. I think Romney’s idea of reducing the number of deductions for the wealthy is a better solution than merely raising their taxes. To me that is unfair. Also, next they will say, since we raised their taxes, your taxes are next, by the way. You can bet on that.

I didn’t see any complete knock downs in the debate, though President Obama threw some real haymakers. But Romney deflected them well and appeared to offer a thorough counter for each.

Though they were both standing and relatively unscathed at the end of the bout, I give this match to Romney. Romney 19.5 pts to Obama’s 12.

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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2 Responses to "Romney 19.5, Obama 12. Haymakers and Upper Cuts."

Reblogged this on William Thien and commented:

Romney 19.5, Obama 12.

I wrote a couple of pieces about the Orlando Sentinel and The Tennessean endorsing Romney.

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