Thursday, February 21, 2008

Round 2: The economy

John King asks Clinton and Obama how they are different, how they would be different as president, on the economy. Obama goes first.

One thing that bothers me about this debate format is that candidates spend the first 30 to 45 seconds pointing out the obvious. Obama did this and then concluded the first part of the answer, "So it's clear that this needs to be a priority of the next president."

Well, duh.

Obama gives the following as specific ideas:

  • Amend tax code to end tax breaks for companies that invest overseas
  • End the Bush tax cuts
  • Give tax breaks to $75K and less, including payroll tax rollback; closing tax loopholes
  • Regarding trade deals: engage in trade but viewed through "wall street and main street," meaning labor, environmental and safety standards should be included
Obama also touched on creating a "green economy."

Clinton was asked how she would be "ready on day one" to lead with regard to the economy. She said she wants to:

  • Change the tax code to make it "reflect middle-class priorities"
  • Take a "trade time-out" (although it's unclear what that means and how long it would last)
  • Have a "trade prosecutor" who enforced the U.S.'s trade law (shouldn't that be part of the U.S. Trade Representative's job?)
  • Tighten enforcement of safety standards on imports
  • Regarding the foreclosure crisis, freeze, have a moratorium on home foreclosures for 90 days to allow people time to "work out a way to stay in their homes"
  • freeze interest rates for five years
  • Invest in the creation of "clean, green jobs"
  • "End George Bush's war on science"
Campbell Brown tried to stop her, but Hillary just bulldozed right on through. Wow!

Round 2 to Hillary! She does have some fire left in her!