Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Some Presidential debate questions

1) Government experts recently admitted that a single program (Medicaid) wastes up to $100B per year. For comparison, the proposed tax increase on the "wealthy" would bring in an estimated $70B per year.

Q: Is it moral to raise taxes on anyone when the government wastes so much money?
[re-frames the debate]

2. In the 2008 election cycle, approximately 75% of the donations from Wall Street went to Barack Obama and the Democrats. Analysis of census results shows that the wealthiest U.S. districts vote for and donate to the Democrats.

Q: Why do the Republicans favor the wealthy, while the wealthy favor the Democrats?
[exposes a false narrative]

3. President Obama constantly tells us that his stimulus program "created or saved" millions of jobs. Labor department statistics indicate that almost half those jobs were in Texas.

Q: Why did President Obama create so many jobs in Texas, even though they didn't even vote for him?
[exposes a false narrative - credit Jonah Goldberg]

4. About 80,000 prisoners were taken in the Afghan war. Of these, about 800 were sent to Guantanamo Bay (1%), and 3 were water boarded. Now, instead of taking prisoners, suspected terrorists are blown to bits using drones, sometimes along with their families.

Q: Is the new Obama policy a more moral position than the old Bush policy?
Provocative bonus Q: Does President Obama deserve another Peace Prize for taking it? 

5. The top 5% of earners make 28% of the income, but pay 40% of federal taxes (income, payroll, etc.)
Q: What would be their "fair share"?

6a. According to the non-partisan United States Congress Joint Committee on Taxation, the "Buffet rule" would raise about $5B per year. That's about 0.4% of the recent budget deficits.

Q: Who will pay the other 99.6%?

6b. Going back to the Clinton era top tax rate of 39.6% would raise about $70B per year, or 6% of the deficit.
Q2: Who will pay the other 94%?
Q3: How many jobs would this create?
Q4: If this strategy creates a lot of jobs, why not raise it to 100%?
Q5: If this is so important, why didn't Democrats enact it when they had total control?
[puts things into proper perspective]

7. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care act forces insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.

Q: Why can't this provision be extended to home and auto insurance?
Then people wouldn't have to purchase home insurance unless their house burns down,
or auto insurance only if they have an accident.
People would save a lot of money they can use to buy stuff, which will improve the economy.
[Free lunch theory]

8. There have been surveys that show up to 40% of Republicans to be "birthers".
There have also been surveys that show up to 40% of Democrats to be "truthers".

Q: Which is worse, a) believing someone was born in another country, or b) believing they murdered thousands of Americans, and caused two wars that killed 10's of thousands?
[based on media reporting,  a) is clearly much, much worse]

Bonus Q: Who was the original "birther"?

9.There are many claims that, in general, women make less money than men for performing the same job.
Q: Why would any employer hire a man?

Q: Should the 12 million or so illegal aliens in this country be given amnesty?
Q: Why would anybody immigrate legally?

Q: Why do the states with the largest tax levels also have the largest budget deficits?

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