The Clinton / Trump debate

The Clinton / Trump debate

I took some notes during the September 26th debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It was the first time to have a good “compare and contrast” between their policies. I took so many notes that I had to split this into 2 episodes!

It may seem like a lot of time to spend on one debate performance, but we finally got to compare and contrast policy issues directly between the two candidates. For the most part. So I think this is worth the time.

Mentioned links:

The first Trump-Clinton presidential debate transcript, annotated

Why Hillary never makes Equal Pay Day pay off

Top 1% pay nearly half of federal income taxes

Hey, Barney Frank: The Government Did Cause the Housing Crisis

The successful Clinton economy was based on tax cuts. No, really…

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Show transcript

I took some notes about what the candidates discussed at the September 26th debate, but I want to start with my general impression. Overall, Trump, while I agreed with more of his policies, really didn’t come across very well. At the start of the debate, he was incessantly interrupting Clinton, and it really sounded impolite. Sometimes, I can understand it, but it was just constant at the beginning. He got better as the debate went on, but it was really bad form.

And the thing is, when he got his time to speak, he could have then addressed the issues he had with her answer. But instead, he belabored some points, especially defending attacks against him personally, that he left little time for discussing his policies. Clinton seemed to have his number. She baited the hook, and he went for it, leaving many of her disastrous policy ideas unanswered.

Even the email scandal got shorted, which is something he should have been harping on. Instead, he once alluded to them when she asked him to release his tax returns. He said he’s release them before the end of the audit, against the advice of his lawyers, if she released those 33,000 deleted emails. That was it. And of course, Lester Holt’s biting, probing question to Mrs. Clinton were those words that are seared into our minds now, “Do you want to respond to that?”

I don’t know about you, but I, for one, am ready to abandon the idea of a biased media.

OK, but seriously, she didn’t respond to it, but Lester could stand tall and defend his moderating with, “Well, I did ask her about the emails!” And her answer was, “It was a mistake, and I take responsibility for that.” Which is political-speak for, “Shut up.”

Now Lester did actually ask some pointed questions…of Trump; about his tax returns, about his support of Stop & Frisk, his birther past, and a potentially sexist remark about Mrs. Clinton. But he never really went any more in-depth with Clinton on any of her policies or her past; even the recent past. So Trump was certainly double-teamed.

But he had plenty of unforced errors as well, so he bears much of the blame. He should have been able to knock this out of the park. Instead, I think he hit a double.

OK, enough of the baseball analogies. On to the specifics.

Clinton said she would invest in you and your future. That means she’ll take your money and give it to companies that the government thinks should not have to compete in the marketplace to sell their stuff. Always be wary of any politician that promises “investment” in anything. And she’s on board with the government paying your whole college tuition, because we know how college costs have dropped because of more and more scholarship money. Or not.

She wants equal pay for women, and she’ll start by paying the women on her campaign staff the same as the men. (Heh, just kidding; she didn’t say that last part. That would require practicing what she preached.)

She says the rich will pay their fair share, though she never says what their fair share is. The top 1% pay almost 50% of the federal taxes, so clearly her definition of “fair” is not what you might think it is.

Trump wants to reduce taxes on small and large businesses to bring companies back to the US, which is a policy that some cities and states have tried with some success. Clinton doesn’t want tax cuts for anyone who could remotely be considered wealthy, even if it means job growth. Because, as we all know from President Obama; those companies that created those job? They didn’t build that. It’s all courtesy of the government.

Clinton engaged in a bit of class warfare by accusing Trump of profiting from the housing crisis. Because no one should benefit when policies by Democrats ruin the hopes and dreams of families that believed their promises. Trump just accurately predicted the failure of those policies.  Who would you want in the Oval Office; someone who supported failed policies, or someone who knew they would fail even before they were implemented?

On taxes, Clinton said that Trump’s tax cuts would “blow up” the debt. But in fact, the good economy, and the first budget surplus we’d had since who knows when, that we had under her husband’s administration was built on the foundation of tax cuts hammered out by Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress. No debt “blow up” then. Instead, she promised that all her programs would add, “not one penny to the debt.” Where have I heard that before?

[Obama sound clip about health care not adding one dime to our deficit]

And we know how that turned out. Well, at least Clinton says she won’t increase the debt by one penny, so I guess we’re going in the right direction. Maybe that’s political-speak for “only $5 trillion deeper in debt”.

Clinton said that Trump hadn’t released his tax return because maybe he’s not as rich as he says, maybe he’s not as charitable as he says, maybe he took all the deductions allowed by law so that he didn’t pay any federal tax. Well, she didn’t mention deductions because that would mean she’s against people taking tax deductions. But winding up with a zero tax bill isn’t a crime if done legally. If you don’t want Trump to take deductions, change the law.  You’re running for President; deal with it. Don’t insinuate that following the law is somehow evil.

Oh, and all those “maybes” she listed? Maybe she’s just trying to get you to distrust Trump without any evidence. But yeah, Donald; it’s time to get this issue put to rest. To make sure you get this sensitive information to the world as soon as possible, just email them to Mrs. Clinton.

Well, that’s all for this time. Part 2 will be next episode. It may seem like a lot of time to spend on one debate performance, but we finally got to compare and contrast policy issues directly between the two candidates. For the most part. So I think this is worth the time.

Filed under: Budget & SpendingEconomics & TaxesElectionsGovernmentRace Issues