By Edgardo Peregrino
As an anarchist my first instinct was to ignore the debate altogether. But due to the fact that many of my friends and family are both Republicans and Democrats I felt that it was my duty to inform them as to why they were and are still wrong. I know to my fellow anarchists that it sounds absurd that I would even do this in the first place and many of you also know that I barely have any faith in humanity. But consider this a public service no matter how you slice it.
On taxes, Obama repeated the same tired old talking points about how he added jobs, invested in infrastructure and that he cut taxes for the majority of Americans. He also insisted on blaming Bush, especially on the Bush Tax Cuts and the 2 wars even though Obama himself endorsed and continued many of Bush's policies such as the expansion of the police state, the surveillance state and the use of drones. Obama then argued that Romney wanted a $5 trillion tax cut without paying it and also accused him of wanting to raise taxes on the middle class. He even brought up Clinton by invoking the debatable claim that Clinton had a budget surplus from 1998 to 2000.
Romney, on the other hand made a few statements pandering to small business and then provided a 5 point plan that turns out to be contradicting. For example, when he talked about opening up trade, he at the same time said that he was going after China for unspecified reasons. Essentially he was advocating protectionism while demanding free trade. He also mentioned energy independence, specifically opening up drilling offshore but gave no further specifics. He made the confusing suggestion that he would not lower the tax rates for the wealthy but did not say that he would raise them. At some point he said that everyone should pay more taxes while arguing against higher taxes on small business.
Both candidates may have differed rhetorically, but they both believe in using force to confiscate the incomes and earnings of Americans, immigrants, and anyone who is basically working. The problem is not whether anyone is paying their fair share, whatever that means, but the fact that coercion is even on the table. People should be able to keep everything they earn and not surrender it in the name of giving more revenue to the leviathan.
On the deficit, Obama continued the same tired talking points of blaming Bush and talked about the Simpson-Bowles plan even though he himself was reluctant to support it. He talked about a balanced approach, but never made any specifics.
Romney gave platitudes but did not provide any specifics. He made a joke about defunding PBS and mentioned Big Bird. He also mentioned Solyndra and wanting to grow the economy but again did not mention any specifics.
Both men refused to make any specifics because they know who funds their campaign. Reducing the deficit would upset lobbyists and corporate interests who rely on government subsidies and special monopoly privileges. They dare not bite the hand that feeds them.
Entitlements and Healthcare
Obama made the jaw dropping suggestion that Social Security was on solid footing and only talked about tweaking it. He then argued how his healthcare plan would benefit young people who are in their parents' insurance plans, would prevent discrimination based on preexisting conditions and would prevent bankruptcies in the future. He did correctly point out that the MIT adviser who advised Romney on his healthcare plan did consult with him on the Affordable Care Act. He then proceeded to accuse Romney of wanting to cut from Medicare and turn it into a voucher program.
Romney responded by suggesting that Obama was the one who wanted to cut Medicare by $716 billion. He also tried to make it clear that his healthcare plan was different from Obama's even though both plans are essentially the same. Romney also said that he would not touch the entitlements and rebuked the argument that he wanted to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
If you read closely, both candidates have made it absolutely clear that welfare statism is here to stay. They have no interest in removing the very system that is enslaving the poor and making them worse off than they were. They also forget the fact that mutual aid societies had existed in the United States and parts of Europe in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These mutual aid societies would help those who could not help themselves and had an intricate network of doctors that were willing to help the needy. In the end, welfare has to be done voluntarily and not through the barrel of a gun.
There's not much to say since Obama continued to blame deregulation even though there were regulations in the books at the time of the 2008 collapse. He also praised the fact that he passed Dodd-Frank that supposedly reined in the banks.
As for Romney, he blamed regulations for the crisis, but had no interest in removing all regulations as he continued to suggest that some regulations were necessary. He even made the claim that a free market is not free without regulations.
Both candidates have decided to ignore the reality that it was both the government and the Federal Reserve that caused the crisis. Not to mention that there was cooperation between the big banks and the Federal Reserve to protect their profits from competition. Central planning and central banking were the cause and yet both candidates insist on perpetuating the very policies that collapsed the economy. And as for Romney's comment, a free market is not free as long as there are impediments to it whether they come in the form or tarrifs, regulations, taxes, and other restrictions on the market.
Role of Government
Obama contended that he and Romney were different on the role of government. He made the progressive argument that the job of the government was to keep people safe despite the fact that he did not make any cases as to how the government keeps people safe. He invoked Lincoln and the fact that he subsidized the railroad industry. He went on and on about funding eduation and training programs and accused Romney of wanting to cut education.
Romney argued that he would not cut military spending by one cent. He assured the audience that he would maintain the status quo on education since he did not talk about any new changes he would make to education.
Both candidates still support a government approach to every problem. This is another case of people not understanding that violence is not the answer to non-violent problems. As for Obama invoking Lincoln, I'm not shocked because most politicians admire Lincoln for various reasons. Government is only good at creating victims, criminals and perpetuating violence here and overseas.
As much as I hated watching the debates and as much I shouted at the TV nonstop, my goal in the end is to convince people that both men have no interest in you and that if you want someone to represent your interests, how about looking in the mirror instead.