Come on guys (and gals) who are presidential wannabes as the process moves into other states, let’s start talking about stuff that matters.
Yes, the decline of the middle class is of great concern and lots of mouth power should be devoted to it. Other then that issue, most of the rest is generally trash talk especially on the Republican side where an in ordinate amount of word power is being directed at belittling the opponent of the moment.
Here are two issues that need more substantive discussion.
The first is a substantive discussion on foreign policy. A question I asked Hillary Clinton at the town hall meeting in Des Moines needs to be asked of all candidates.
That question was; on a ten-point scale with ‘one’ being, “the US should never intervene and should stay out of other nations affairs.” On the same scale a ‘ten’ would be, “I think the US should exert power whenever and wherever it is in our interests or to promote democracy across the globe.” So where do you rank on that scale? Another good foreign policy question would be to ask candidates to give the names of a few foreign policy experts they would use to advise them. This would be quite enlightening and give a sense of what their foreign policy objectives might be.
The second question would be regarding the debt.
As a Democrat who considers the nation’s debt and annual deficits as one of the country’s most pressing problems, I believe candidates need to state concrete and realistic solutions on how to fix it. Let’s take a moment and review the problem. Since 1940 through 2014, 74 years have passed and we have had deficits in 63 of those years and surpluses in 11. In recent memory, the years 1998 through 2001 brought surpluses totaling 784 Billion (with a B as they say.) The next four years after that brought us deficits totaling over 1.6 Trillion (or with a T as we now have learned to say). The depression of 2008/2009 added another almost 2.1 Trillion (again with a T) to the Bush debt. All the numbers are converted into today’s dollars.
So what happened? Creating a surplus required the following; no war, a pretty good economy and a joint effort by a Republican Congress led by Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House and John Kasich, then head of the House Budget Committee (and current Candidate for President) and a Democrat President, Bill Clinton.
The next four years after that brought us a Republican Congress and a Republican President who were bound and determined to cut taxes on the wealthy and go to war. Then we got into a Wall Street problem, the economy went south and the wars were off the books. There you have it.
It seems relatively simple to me. If I were a Republican I would consider John Kasich as opposed to the other candidates who, in most instances, based upon what they said in Iowa, would implement policies that would dramatically expand the debt.
I am however, a Democrat and therefore caucused for Hillary who has proposed tax policy that would help cut the debt and would bring back into the White House, her husband, the only President in recent memory who actually cut the debt. In this case pillow talk would be very advantageous to the country.