Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Debate thoughts

Romney promises that his tax reform wont raise taxes on middle class, increase the deficit, or lower taxes on the wealthy.  A promising change in policy.

I wish Obama had addressed the idea that small businesses need less taxes to hire more workers.  I'm pretty confident that businesses hire if demand is high, but if there's no demand, they wont hire more workers no matter how profitable.  Business profits are very high right now.

I wish they wouldn't talk past each other.  I actually like that Romney has been addressing points (somewhat).  Obama is really just making and expanding his economic stump speech. 

Bringing down rates while decreasing deductions is about incentive effects, not about budget effects; that's the whole point of revenue neutral reform.  So Romney's early point about businesses not having enough money to hire workers doesn't get fixed by his proposals.  I mean, I guess he can move that cost to someone else while being revenue neutral, but who? 

Romney: cuts through attrition based on the "is it worth borrowing from China for?" principle.   Borrowing money from China doesn't seem like a huge risk to me, I mean... are they going to come collect?  I'm pretty sure they only have one aircraft carrier.  That's not going to go well.

I think it's kind of unfair to hold Obama's pre-recession deficit promises against him.  Recessions cost money to fight, and they dramatically reduce tax revenue on account of no one has money to pay taxes.  Also, there are plenty of programs like unemployment that automatically grow.

Romney definitely has the best of the early energy policy exchange, albeit through conceding his early policy position.  I don't know how John Taylor would feel about discretionary rescues for failing state poverty programs.

I like that the debate is fairly respectful thus far.  That makes me not hate myself.

I hate how Romney presents interesting useful general principles without every being willing to instantiate them.  Why is Obama spending more time detailing Romney's proposals? Because Romney's proposals either violate his expressed general principles, or are super unpopular, or both.

Romney's "private plan better than medicare" argument is silly.  You can switch from medicare any time you want, so long as you can afford it.  Ditto for private plans.  They compete against one another.  Also, medicare is cheaper than private health insurance.

Appeals to authority are *really* annoying in this format, because they are completely contentless and hard to verify.

Always, Romney is avoiding details in favor of interesting but hilariously general problems.  Total lie about Dodd-Frank.  The "too big to fail" thing is all about setting up plans to put those banks through specialized bankruptcy procedures, not backstopping them.

Dealing with the cost of healthcare: all of the cheapest healthcares are socialized. Dear Mitt Romney, why are we ignoring that fact?

Every private insurance company is an unelected board that decides what they'll cover in insurance.

Why didn't Romneycare cause companies to get rid of insurance coverage?  It is the same as Obamacare.

Government is awesome at cost control. It just sets the prices and that's what they are.  It may be bad at providing equal quality on a given price point in the absence of market failures, but that's not what they're talking about.  And, for the record, healthcare is basically the definition of market failure.

Also, on every single point about healthcare, why do we never reference every single European nation--a group that has unanimously solved the universal healthcare problem in a variety of interesting ways?

Romney's preferred health care policy is that every state implement Romney care.  So Romney's preferred policy is Obamacare, but run by states?

Liberals think that supply side reforms are necessary for education and healthcare, I think.  Have to consider that more.  Not sure how I feel.

Romney seems to start every thing with agreeing with Obama, or discarding the accurate description of his prior policy positions provided by Obama.  I mean, fair enough.  

"trickle down government" is one of Mitt's "clever" phrases.  Emphasis on "", Mitt's, and phrases.

I'd like to just have Obama say "I will return to Clinton era policies: policies that coincided with the most prosperous time in our nation in recent years.  In what way is that radical or dangerous?"

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