Backchannel the Debate

Backchannel the Debate

Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012

Join your fellow Civic Commoners for a civic backchannel discussion about the debate and the issues brought forth by the candidates.

Participants (26) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2014-10-21T07:02:09+00:00
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Recent Activity

Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012
"My 9-year-old daughter is quite excited for the debate.  Glad to see her take such an interest in..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 05, 2012
"Taxes on small businesses when the income is taxed at the owner's rate:  Would increasing the..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 04, 2012
"If no one would notice because we are downsizing true waste, we are in agreement!"
Jonathan Murray
on Oct 04, 2012
"The federal government should be downsized by at least 25%. Few citizens, if any, would miss what..."
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 04, 2012
"This is a succinct..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 04, 2012
"The fact that we are paying for the uninsured (and how much we are paying) is something people..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012
"Romney's plan (the most specific details I have heard) would create high deductible plans..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012
"Politifact's assessment of a similar statement by Ryan: "But by law, the board can’t ration..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012
"Abaolutely - and your answer is the kind of answer President Obama should have provided.  Answer..."
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 03, 2012
"When does the flip flipper alarm go off? Romney has flip flipped dozens of time since the..."
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 03, 2012
"Yes! "
Skip Claypool
on Oct 03, 2012
"I was waiting for Obama to provide some specifics as he was asking for Romney to provide some.  ..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012
"Universal health care predated Hitler.  Most sources trace universal health care to Germany's..."
Noelle Celeste
on Oct 03, 2012
"Wish the prez would have ended with ten things we've accomplished together over the last four..."
Skip Claypool
on Oct 03, 2012
"And Obama provided specifics?    Really?   Can you tell me some...?"
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012
"I think everyone did a great job. Really fun to have this conversation. Who should we invite for..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012
"I think Dan and Jason did a great job!"
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012
"Lengthy post but this is what I've come up with in terms of a basic idea on how to change..."
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012
"I have argued for a long time that there is a hierarchy of governmental..."
Mark Cassell
on Oct 03, 2012
"The problem with Romney is that he's promising everything - tax cuts for everyone, more military,..."
Jewel Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012
"I remember the promises, and if Obama hasn't succeeded, it wasn't for lack of trying."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012
"Jeff, I agree that Romney has done well tonight, but "self-made millionaire?" That kind of..."
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012
"Youtube cut of Romney mid-sentence.  Oh well..."
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012
"Voters should indicate whether this is something they actually want and vote accordingly / part..."
Andy Olsen
on Oct 03, 2012
"I think there's some truth to that claim. I work in banking, and I can tell you that my bank gets..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012
"Alright, backchannelers, your closing statements, please. Take as long as you want. "
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012
"Oh man. Great discussion ideas. "
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012
"The only thing that is going to change Washington, I fear, is another attack on the US from the..."
Jeff Bodziony
on Oct 03, 2012
"At the end of the day, politics is just politics; and each of these men will say whatever is..."
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012
"So, capitalism with a safety net.  On the health care issue, I've always had trouble..."
Ben Schmitt
on Oct 16, 2012 - 7:18 pm

My 9-year-old daughter is quite excited for the debate.  Glad to see her take such an interest in politics.  She keeps wondering how anyone could be Republican.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:37 pm

I think Dan and Jason did a great job!

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

I think everyone did a great job. Really fun to have this conversation. Who should we invite for the next time?

 
Expand This Thread
Mark Cassell
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:32 pm

The problem with Romney is that he's promising everything - tax cuts for everyone, more military, more health care, more medicare - and yet there's no pain.  I worry that folks will find Romney appealling because he's not saying where the cuts and pain would come. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:32 pm

Youtube cut of Romney mid-sentence.  Oh well...

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:30 pm

Alright, backchannelers, your closing statements, please. Take as long as you want. 

 

Responses(3)

Noelle Celeste
on Oct 03, 2012

Wish the prez would have ended with ten things we've accomplished together over the last four years and the ten things we need to do next to move forward. His closing was flat at best. 

 
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 03, 2012

When does the flip flipper alarm go off? Romney has flip flipped dozens of time since the beginning of this year and no alarm has gone off for him!!! Is being president more important than telling the truth to his policies?? 

 
Expand This Thread
Jeff Bodziony
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:29 pm

At the end of the day, politics is just politics; and each of these men will say whatever is necessary to gain votes, period- even if that is far from the reality of what they stand for or will do as President. We are in a season in which business and economics are of the most critical concern for this 4 year period. If that is my only criteria, there is no comparison for who should be leading the nation the next four years. We have a self-made, business saavy millionaire running against a man who appeared almost childlike by comparison in this arena tonight

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Jeff, I agree that Romney has done well tonight, but "self-made millionaire?" That kind of overstates it, no? Romney has always seemed like the kind of guy who was born on third base.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:26 pm

Anyone remember the promises to collaborate and find common ground from four years ago?

 

Responses(5)

Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012

And to change Washington? Is that even possible? Is it up to the voters to change Washington? or Can one man/woman actually do it?

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

Lengthy post but this is what I've come up with in terms of a basic idea on how to change Washington.... it's a post to a friend on Facebook.

 

A revolution is in fact what we need. So I propose a peaceful one that uses the system to change the system It starts with the creation of a 3rd party. I used to refer to it as the Middle of the Road Party but now call it the United Party. After all, how can we solve our problems if we are not first United on some very core basic goals.What are these goals? Jobs, Tax Policy (economy), EDUCATION, infrastructure. Leave the emotional issues on the table for right now as they don't move our country forward in terms of growth. That is not to say they're unimportant, but they don't solve problems for the greater good or the good of the whole.The United Party would organize and run in elections in every state at the federal level. They would campaign on those 4 principles. They would do this campaign as a United team. They would collectively raise funding to push this message forward. They would work to get elected collectively. Let's face it, it doesn't matter which party is in power, if they can continue to fight with each other and keep their cushy jobs, they have no motivation to really solve problems.When they get into office they have another mission aside from those 4 principles, eliminate career politicians. Restructure the system so that there is a term limit. Stagger the terms to keep new blood and old blood in the system in order to provide stability. Perhaps have a higher level advisory team that is elected to help maintain stability but they have no voting power. The point is, restructure the system so that the people elected to serve this country do so. Get in, get the job done, get out. Restructure these life long benefits as well.In terms of jobs, provide financial incentives to companies to employ people. Maybe provide small tax penalties for those that don't. Provide financial incentives for lending systems (either loans or investments from banks or private equity) to spur growth of new businesses. I ran a company and I can tell you funding is incredibly challenging. At some point the owner is left holding the bag even though they truly were real job creators. Provide organizations to help educate new business startups, and those businesses that do that should be successful but if they fail, provide some sort of debt relief if they've met all the qualifications. As it stands, given the high penalty for failure, I have no desire to run another company. Have successful companies pay back into the system that helps provide the organizations that made them successful.Fund education. Don't like prison costs? Don't like welfare recipients? Don't like crime? Educate people. Want to see more growth and entrepreneurship? Want to see more job creators? EDUCATE people. I'd go so far as to propose a federal education tax whereby companies that make X (and X is a large number) put 5 or 10% into this education fund. This fund then is distributed per student to the states. I'm sure the tea party folks would have a fit about this but we have significant pools of corporate wealth in certain segments of the population (think Silicon Valley). Imagine how much better our society would be if we had stronger educational institutions. Imagine the quality of employees these companies would benefit from if this were done. We as a country are going backwards when it comes to educating our citizens.Infrastructure - not everything can be done by private sector. Or at least there is a need for private sector and public sector to get big jobs done. We need a better power grid, little seems to be done about it. Some of the greatest aspects of our country are its natural parks. We have bridges and roads in dire straights. These pieces of the country will and do play a critical role in meeting the other objectives.So there is your revolution. Now you have a 3rd party that prohibits the two parties from grid locking the country. You have a tie breaker and decisions can't be shafted because of that fact. You also have a party that is truly aimed at serving the people. That's my two cents.

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

The only thing that is going to change Washington, I fear, is another attack on the US from the outside.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

Voters should indicate whether this is something they actually want and vote accordingly / part of the problem is saying one thing and voting for another - the intransigence? Some of that is what some voters actually want - electeds to "stand their ground" and stick to their principles, or they say. The problem is - we cannot govern that way, and a good leader, IMO, know that and live that and tell voters that.

 
Jewel Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

I remember the promises, and if Obama hasn't succeeded, it wasn't for lack of trying.

 
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Freddy Collier
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:24 pm
Dan, to answer your earlier question Jobs, health care, and education are the most important issues to me. Regardless of any issue, I believe that at the root of them all is the difference between people who gain financially as it relates to those issues and people who loose financially related to those issues. Let me be specific, when we talk about health care access there are two positions you can take, you’re either on the side of the financial health of the insurance companies or you fall on the side of the people who can’t afford access People suffer when capitalism becomes too imbalanced. Over the last few decades we have witnessed the chasm between the haves and have not’s get bigger. I believe in capitalism, when it allows all people a baseline to compete in the system. If people had basic opportunities such as health care access and low cost higher education those fundamental opportunities would allow people to compete better in our capitalist system. After all capitalism is about competition. Even competition can be fair and equitable. Interesting debate thus far.  

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

So, capitalism with a safety net. 

On the health care issue, I've always had trouble understanding the opposition to health care reform, particularly because we're all already paying for the uninsured and the mandate was a way to deal with that. It's an incongruence I've never understood.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 04, 2012

The fact that we are paying for the uninsured (and how much we are paying) is something people really understand because it is several layers deep.  It is both hard to put specific dollar figures to (since some of it is paid by the government(s), some by individuals without insurance (who are charged as much as 2000% more (based on bills I have tracked this year) for their care than the insurance company is billed, and some through however it is that providers fold in costs that are discharged in bankruptcy, and so on.  And people tend to react more strongly when there is a face attached to money.  In this case, either their own being forced to buy insurance - or all those undeserving poor people who are individually being given free insurance.

If you have never experience the randomness of the medical lottery - and have never been hit with bills that run into thousands of dollars several times a year (or more) - it really is a hard pill to swallow to have to pay a few thousand dollars and feel as if you are just throwing money away. 

 

 
Expand This Thread
Noelle Celeste
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:19 pm

Romney keeps using "trickle down" to describe Obama. what's your opinion of that turn of phrase?

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

it's really funny, because back in the 80s, it was the signature phrase used first to describe Reagan's economic policy and then to deride Reaganomics. So, in an era in which everyone seems to compete to see who can revere Reagan more, it's interesting. 

 
Noelle Celeste
on Oct 03, 2012

Exactly I know the reference that's why I find it curious. 

 
Expand This Thread
Bob Kachurek
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:18 pm

Romney's Roles of Government statements are essentially the same as Obama's: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness...

 

Responses(4)

Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

Pretty much, one wants to put the control at the State level, one wants to have it at the Federal level. This always left me wondering, am I an Ohioian first and American second, or American first and Ohioian second?

 
Bob Kachurek
on Oct 03, 2012

Yes. Either way, taxpayers need to pay for the benefits

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012

Agree on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but they provided totally different examples. The fact that Mitt mentioned the military first to ensuring life and liberty, that bothers me. We can ensure those things without the use of force. Sure we need a strong military as a deterrent, but is that what we invest in first to ensure life and liberty?

 

 
Bob Kachurek
on Oct 03, 2012

Good point, Jason. Many of us remember Cold War years when we dealt with Iron Curtain countries with ultimatums. Those were very, very worrisome, terrifying years of arms races and an out of countrol military industrial complex. We need to enter an age of finesse with diplomacy. Ultimatums and arms races and buying military hardware that we don't need are not the answers.

 
Expand This Thread
Phil Williams
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:16 pm

I think the problem is that Lehrer has been a terrible moderator... It seems like Romney has had every single last word.  Obama is playing to the rules more so than Romney, but I don't know how this is an appropriate format.  I am just annoyed with this whole thing.

 

Responses(3)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

I keep thinking: here's a guy who cut a kid's hair off while the kid was being held down - you better believe Romney knows how to rollover people and make up rules for himself.

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

It's the TV punditry coming out.

 

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:13 pm

The role of government: a great philosophical question, what's the mission of government?

 

Responses(8)

Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

The Preamble is a pretty good guide:  "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

This shoud be moved to it's own topic, it's a great question.

 
Jewel Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Provide a safety net.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

hey mom! thanks for jumping in!

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

That comes under "promote the general welfare." 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Does the federal government has a responsibility to help ensure a high quality public education? 

Romney says he likes some ideas, but wants to take money out and give it to private schools.

Obama says budgets matter because budgets reflect choices--and then he pivots to taxes again. (groan)

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Oh man. Great discussion ideas. 

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

I have argued for a long time that there is a hierarchy of governmental duties: http://clevelandsandwichboard.blogspot.com/2011/09/port-deli-681-8th-avenue-new-york-ny.html

 
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Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:12 pm

chuckle

 
Big_bird
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:10 pm

Romney says no pre-existing conditions; children can stay on parent plans. How does that get paid for if not a greater pool of premium payers. The math, sadly, does not work.

 

Responses(1)

Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Romney's plan (the most specific details I have heard) would create high deductible plans (~$5000/year, combined with some form of HSAs).  Those work reasonably well for people with routine health care needs and the ability to set aside money.

I have used such plans for - since until very recently they made much more economic sense since I typically don't spend more than a few hundred dollars a year on medical care for myself.  I take no regular prescription medications and have only had medical expenses that would have exceeded $5000 perhaps 6 years in my adult life.  I would have (and did) buy that kind of plan and would have saved money overall.  The variety I bought cost me around $200/year.  The insurance companies would have made money as well selling it to me.

They do not work well for people whose medical expenses far exceed $5000 every year (like both the other members of my family).  Pretty much anyone with regular medication needs or even a mild chronic illlness falls into this category.

They do not work well for relatively healthy people who cannot afford to save for a rainy health year, because in those years when costs exceed $5000, anyone who has not been able to save will still be out of luck for health care.

 

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:09 pm

How smart is it to call out an Ohio org like the Cleveland Clinic? Zing alright

 
Mike Shafarenko
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:08 pm

Above all, I am enjoying the fact that we have both sides represented in this back channel conversation.  

 
Ann Mullin
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:05 pm

Shout out to Cleveland (Clinic) on national television!

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012 - 10:05 pm

How many people will this debate actually persuade? Seems to me this election is already decided in terms of how individuals are going to vote.

 

Responses(3)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Before this, I did not think Romney would lie so blatantly. This debate has persuaded me otherwise. 

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012

Good point Scott. How important are the debates? You could argue if anything they should be help sooner. People are already voting and then you hold a debate?

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

This year we saw that the Conventions could be shortened without too much loss.  Maybe the debates should be earlier?  Before early voting?

 
Expand This Thread
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:59 pm

Twitter tweets indicate strong sense that Jim Lehrer is getting walked over by Romney. Anyone else think that? How is the moderator and format working for you?

 

Responses(5)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

I think Lehrer isn't being strong enough. There are things he could do to put the candidates in check, specifically with humor and guilt.

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

I realize that having the current prez and opponent is a Big Deal, but he needs to call them to order.  They're both ignoring the parameters.

 
Phil Williams
on Oct 03, 2012

I think that Lehrer needs to just stand up and walk away, or throw up the desk.  It would be way more effective.

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

maybe they need a means to cut their mic so it forces them to stay on topic and be concise.

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

I like the idea from the NPR story this morning:  Put the question on the screen (so viewers can remember what was asked).  I would add a timer.  Heck, they can do it for sports--why not the debate.  Add some buzzers.  Oh, and give Jim a yellow flag he can throw.

 
Expand This Thread
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:57 pm

OK, we're now on to Obamacare. Repeal or not? What do you think and why?

 

Responses(19)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

on a side note, wouldn't it be remarkable if Obama actually said, "Look, I wanted universal care, a single payer system, but I knew I could never get that through congress, and I didn't want to put insurance companies out of business. So, I went to the middle."

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

I wish he had.  We still need to have that conversation.

 
Phil Williams
on Oct 03, 2012

I agree with this statement... We should expand Obamacare

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

I recall Paul Ryan at the convention reaming Obama for spending all his time on Obamacare when we need jobs. He then said we still need jobs. He then followed that up with "when we're in office the first thing we'll do is fight to repeal Obamacare."

I ran a small business, health care was never something that crushed my efforts.

 
Jeff Bodziony
on Oct 03, 2012

Absolutely repeal; having an unelected board that decides what is covered and what is not is simply unethical. As a matter of fact, I don't know how the world at large does not know history well enough not to repeat it. Some time ago, there was a politician who ran on the platform of "Change", was elected, and immediately sought to create universal healthcare. He did, and used it as a springboard to advance his own immoral agenda. The man's name was Adolf Hitler, and that didn't work out so well for the nation he governed

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

So Obama is Hitler?

 
Jeff Bodziony
on Oct 03, 2012

To me, immorality is immorality. Obama is surely not as overtly sinister or violent as an Adolf Hitler, but from a governmental standpoint, a monumental liar and a trivial liar stand hand in hand. Obama has made flat out statements and promises in the past that have been proven to be utterly false today. There has never been a President to date who has strategically tried to steer our nation away from the moral fabric upon which it was built

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

Insurance companies make these decisions every day--and we don't elect them.  Is that a better choice?

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012

Cat,

You are rignt. Insurance companies keep a list of procedures they will approve. If your procedure isnt on the list, it isn't covered. Regardless of what your doctor says.

 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Woah, Jeff. That's a bizarre and inappropriate logical leap. 

Cat--good point.

aside: I love that the #Cle clinic keeps getting cited. 

 
Jeff Bodziony
on Oct 03, 2012

I'm not stating an opinion of mine; just a historical event. Just seems illogical for us to ignore that basic historical fact.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Currently insurance agencies determine what is covered or not.  This is not an essential change - it is only a change in which unelected entity makes the determination. 

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Can we get a citation on universal healthcare being the foundation of the nazi platform and the enabler of their agenda? This is a very interesting interpretation of history. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Universal health care predated Hitler.  Most sources trace universal health care to Germany's health care pursuant to Otto von Bismarck's Health Insurance Act of 1883. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Romney just accused Obama of not trying to collaborate with Republicans--I remember it differently. I remember Obama specifically staking out a plan to collaborate with insurers, health care providers, and Congress. GOP congressional reps were very obstructionist.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Is Romney misrepresenting the oversight board? 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Politifact's assessment of a similar statement by Ryan:

"But by law, the board can’t ration care. It can’t change benefits. It can’t change eligibility. It can’t increase what seniors pay."

Kaiser Family Foundation report on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

Seen on twitter: Romney will replace health insurance with freedom.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Don't repeal - unless it is immediately replaced with single payer.

The ONLY reason my daughter is still in school is because of the Affordable Care Act.  She hit the age at which she could no longer be covered unless she was a full time student or working full time.  Two chronic illnesses mean she cannot be a full time studnt - but she had to repeatedly enroll for full time hours then drop classes.  When the ACA took effect, she was on the verge of being put on academic suspension because she was not completing enough hours.

Her health care costs $40,000-$60,000 a year.  In a good year.  She cannot afford insurance (if a private insurer would voluntarily cover her), and she cannot afford to be without insurance.  She is on my insurance and now has complteted a full year at 8-9 hours (about what she can manage), and when she is on her own she will have guaranteed access to insurance with premiums she can affford.

Individuals with the kind of expensive conditions like my daughter will not survive on a free market basis insurance.

And - the only specific proposal I have seen from Romney requires high deductible plans (~$5000/year).  As an occasional expense that might work - but people like my daughter cannot afford to pay $5000 each and every year.

 

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:55 pm

Romney just said Dodd Frank is killing small and regional banks. Is that correct?

 

Responses(3)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

I think he actually said Frank Dodd...

 
Andy Olsen
on Oct 03, 2012

I think there's some truth to that claim. I work in banking, and I can tell you that my bank gets offers every month from smaller banks looking to sell. The cost of compliance with the regulations is proving to be very burdensome for smaller banks, and they're looking for exit strategies.

 
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Skip Claypool
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:54 pm

Typical npr nonsense.... We do not need a balanced approach.  We need to cut the dickens out of the government.   We are growing them far too much... Spread the wealth has never ands will never work.   Ask any communist leader. 

 
Bob Kachurek
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:51 pm

My wife has been a nurse for over 30 years. As President Obama is explaining the negative effects of Romney's voucher system and AARP's support for his approach, Obamacare, she is saying, "Amen, if Romney's system goes into effect, insurance companies will get wise and costs will definitely rise for seniors."

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

nice piece of reporting, Bob. It helps to hear voices from the front lines.

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:50 pm

I love that the audience is silent - it can get too distracting. 

 

Responses(1)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

And in the dark. I mean, there is no light on them. 

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:50 pm

Quick business item: be sure to refresh the page frequently. 

 
Kate Klonowski
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:48 pm

Healthcare: let them eat cake! right, Mitt? 

 

Responses(1)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

His wife might have some extra salt licks from the ponies to throw in. 

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:45 pm

Romney just told me that Social Security and Medicare will be around when I get old, but how? Can I get some details?

 

Responses(1)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Magic. Next question. 

 
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Skip Claypool
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:42 pm

Obama speaks about saving, but never generates cuts. Government has grown dramatically over his term.    That increases expenditures.   There is a long list....of increases where are the decreases?

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Skip--a few moments ago he talked about four trillion in cuts. He didn't get specific bbut said the specifics were online. So, he is talking about decreases, right?

 
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Skip Claypool
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:40 pm

The problem is most folks are ignorant about facts.  I often hear wealthy versus poor.   Nonsense.  The rich have no impact on what the poor can do.  i have been poor twice In my life.   No one got me out of that situation or prevented me from getting out of it.   Hard work, luck, and persistence did.  I did it myself without government help. 

 

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Hey there! Good to have you here, commissioner! Have any particular issues or statements in the debate so far resonated strongly with you? 

 
Skip Claypool
on Oct 03, 2012

I was waiting for Obama to provide some specifics as he was asking for Romney to provide some.   Much of what I heard was typical talking points and, from my view, easily dismantled.   I was hoping that Romney would take the gloves off and come down hard on much of the nonsense i heard for our president.   I think he played it safe.

 
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Ann Mullin
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:40 pm

It's only been 36 minutes, but so far I think this is awful.

 

Responses(7)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

I agree, Ann. They are so combative - it's as if the audience doesn't exist.

 
Kate Klonowski
on Oct 03, 2012

Agreed.  I'm dying.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Hi, Ann! Which part is the awful part? (I'm such a fan of politics that even ugly is pretty to me.)

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Agreed.  Very little direction.  Too scattershot and wonky for most viewers to follow.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

On the wonky stuff, I disagree. I like that they're both talking to voters like intelligent adults.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

They have toned down now that they have moved off taxes and economics, but both of them have been speaking in shorthand, using labels for legislation that most people have heard of by name, only, and most probalby can't even identify what the legislation applies to (let alone whether it is says, or is good or not).

Speaking to us as if we are intelligent is good, but speaking in a language which is not accessible to most listeners who aren't buried in the details on a regular basis puts it out of reach.

 
Ann Mullin
on Oct 03, 2012

That whole 36 minutes was nearly incomprehensible to me, and I have to believe to most of the population. Way too many numbers that couldn't possibly be absorbed or verified by the general public. It's getting a little better.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:39 pm

Romney just pushed back on Obama's claim that there are tax breaks for sending jobs overseas. need a fact check.

 

Responses(4)

Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

It would be great if fact check could be real-time.

 
Stephanie Wahome
on Oct 03, 2012

The moderator needs better control! Apparently we also need a fact checker to clear this 5 trillion issue! 

 
Andy Olsen
on Oct 03, 2012

This is why I prefer reading the articles tomorrow that fact check both candidates' claims. Hard to tell in the moment who's right or exaggerating without all the facts in front of me

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

I have found several articles which suggest that U.S. companies which shut down US plants and open overseas plants can take a deduction for the moving expenses.  Here is President Obama's Bluepring (which mentions it), but I'm looking for a more neutral source.

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:35 pm

Seen on Twitter: "MITT ROMNEY IS GONNA MURDER SNUFFLUPAGUS!"  

 

Responses(4)

Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

This made me laugh!

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

I was waiting for Mitt to bust out a Trump, "You're Fired, Jim!"

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

I think the Commons needs a button that says "made me laugh"

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 03, 2012

Civility in action!

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:32 pm

What level of spending cuts and revenue increases would you support?Obama says $2.50 in cuts and $1 in revenue increases.

 

Responses(12)

Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

I came out for Simpson Bowles practically before it was released - such shared pain approaches are the only way.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

SB had you at "hello," huh?

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Some info on Simpson-Bowles, for any who are interested.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

Totally - same thing I wanted for Pepper Pike - small increase in tax credit, small increase in income tax, small specific levy for infrastructure with a sunset

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

This deficit question is really interesting--Obama says increase taxes/revenue and cut. Romney says keep revenue neutral and cut. But his plan--reducing rates and reducing loopholes--would probably raise taxes on some individuals, right? 

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

He's never provided any details in order to answer that question. So no one can really say.

 
Skip Claypool
on Oct 03, 2012

And Obama provided specifics?    Really?   Can you tell me some...?

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 03, 2012

Right. If tax breaks are offset with loopholes, then the same people will be paying the same amounts, with the only diference being the published tax rates, which will appear to be lower. This changes nothing, unless you are in fact shifting the burden to the middle class.

 
Noelle Celeste
on Oct 03, 2012

I have no idea what that really means. 

 
Jonathan Murray
on Oct 04, 2012

The federal government should be downsized by at least 25%. Few citizens, if any, would miss what it whacked.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 04, 2012

If no one would notice because we are downsizing true waste, we are in agreement!

 
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Freddy Collier
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:31 pm
Politics today isnt about left or right its about wealth & Poverty  

Responses(2)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Hey there, Freddy! I'm glad you're here. What's the issue you're really interested in hearing about?

 
Jonathan Murray
on Oct 03, 2012

Not exactly. That's a narrative that has been advanced, but the reality is that politics is about whose snout is in the trough.

 
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Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:30 pm

This is where being president pays off: Obama's working knowledge of how cuts etc and budgets really work and what really can and cannot be done just sounds more authentic - accurate? not sure but far less pie in the sky 

 

Responses(1)

Jonathan Murray
on Oct 03, 2012

Naw, he's speaking off a script and when he has to go beyond that, all he has to rely on is repetition.

 
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Jonathan Murray
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:28 pm

Obama keeps repeating the script he has been handed, because that's what he knows how to do. Romney actually knows how to talk with depth and resonance about how our economy works.

 

Responses(2)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Interesting way to look at it. 

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

There was a good post above about responding to their personalities

 
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Jeff Bodziony
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:26 pm

When it comes to business, it seems that Romney's education and knowledge on the subject dwarfs Obama. He is right to call for the mediator to "change the topic"

 
Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:20 pm

Which study on taxes can you trust? Which candidate is providing the specifics on their tax plans?

 

Responses(1)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

At this point, the economy is so complicated that you can pretty much say anything and prove it. 

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:19 pm

OK, taxes. Obama is challenging Romney on his tax plan and on having moved on the plan he had been running on. Can anyone fact check this? Has Romney shifted?

 

Responses(9)

Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

Etch-a-sketch?  We've been told to watch for that?

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

this is getting very technical. I feel like I'm going to have to go back through a transcript to make sense of this.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Let us know what is actually true. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Way too technical for most people who are listening to the debates.  I don't think it is serving either candidate well.

 
Peter Comings
on Oct 03, 2012

Is government outstripping our ability to ... Oh wait I played that somewhere else. Lol

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

The element Romney is leaving out is Paul Ryan - I believe the 5 trillion is from the Ryan budget 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

I'm not sure it is changed, so much as it is pretty much brand new.  Here's an article which begins:  "With just a month to go before Election Day, Mitt Romney has finally started to talk about more specific ways he could pay for his proposed tax cuts."

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

This side-by-side piece also is useful.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 05, 2012

Taxes on small businesses when the income is taxed at the owner's rate:  Would increasing the personal income tax rate (which impacts Schedule C businesses) discourage those businesses from hiring?  (And are those businesses responsible for employing a significant number of employees?)

A very good analysis at the link below.  A caution, though, if I lost you at "Schedule C" you may need a tax refresher to plow through it.

The conclusion: Barack Obama's tax increase will impact around 500,000 individual business owners (people who are not eligible for corporate tax rates but who actually have employees) whose income, after expenses, exceeds $200,000.  Those individual business owners employ around 652,000 employees.

If an owner is considering hiring an employee, the owner is already poised to take an income hit in the amount of that salary (taxes, benefits, etc.) of the potential hire.  Paradoxically, a tax increase decreases the income impact of hiring an employee and may make hiring an employee cheaper than if the tax rates are left as is.

Hiring an employee, as a Schedule C employer, works the same way charitable deductions do with respect to your own taxes if you itemize deductions.  Whatever you pay your employee directly reduces your income - saving the you (the employer) taxes.  If taxe rates are higher, reducing the your income by the cost of an employee saves you more in taxes.  Effectively the money spent on the employee at a 39.5% tax rate only costs you 60.5 cents on the dollar (becuase of the reduction in personal income taxes that would otherwise have been paid had you just pocketed the money).  Without a tax increase (Romney's plan) that same employee would cost you 65 or 67 cents on the dollar.

There are, of course, other considerations - but - considering the impact of the increased tax rate alone if you are at the point of considering hiring an employee, increasing personal taxes might just nudge you toward hiring, rather than against.

 

 
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Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:16 pm

I suppose Romney did not ask a question because that would give Obama more time to talk, so talking yourself is better.

 

Responses(1)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

I noticed that, too.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:15 pm

OK, energy independence is clearly a theme that we're going to hear a lot about. I don't think Romney has said much about alternative energy (though I may have missed something). I did hear him say he loves coal. And I heard Obama say he wants more domestic production (which I think means natural gas, oil and coal) and he has voiced support for alternative energy. 

 

Responses(1)

Jonathan Murray
on Oct 03, 2012

I think what Romney said about alternative energy is that Obama picked losers, and in doing so spent in one year the equivalent of 90 years of tax breaks for oil and gas companies.

 

 
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Bob Kachurek
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:11 pm

"Jobs" was the question, President Obama. Not much about jobs in the answer. Nice "pivot", I guess (NPR article today). On the other hand, Romney seemed to address the question better, though he slipped in other ideas, too. Obama responded with a pivot about the educational system - not really jobs, though I guess it can apply to education jobs. Both mention closing the deficit, slightly off topic, obama pivoting into tax cuts...

 

Responses(3)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

hey, Bob! good to see you here! Do the pivots bother you a lot? They always bugged me when I was the guy asking questions.

 
Cat White
on Oct 03, 2012

Ahh, you also heard the Pivot Story on NPR this morning.

 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

thanks for posting! I missed it, but I'm adding it to my must-hear list.

 
Expand This Thread
Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:09 pm

Do you agree with Mitt Romney's five point plan to economic recovery?

 

Responses(3)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

I really like that he said he wanted to invest in education and expand trade with Latin America.

 
Noelle Celeste
on Oct 03, 2012

Sure we want to do what he said but those banks aren't really loaning to anyone right now. Plus no tax increases on the 1% is nuts. At least make them pay the 30% I pay. 

 
David Hovis
on Oct 03, 2012

I think the biggest missing piece is adressing health care.  I think we would have many more small businesses in this country if people who want to strike out on their own don't have to worry about losing health care. He hasn't really addressed that piece.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:05 pm

Starting with jobs. And not surprising, really, that Lehrer and the producers selected this as the starting place. Obama is going through history we all know. What do you think a president can actually do to help create jobs? Is that the best question? 

 

Responses(7)

Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Romney begins with some tender stories, providing a human face for the joblessness. And outlines a five point plan:

  • Energy independence
  • Open up trade with Latin America
  • Hold China accountable.
  • Invest in education
  • Help Small business

 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

I thought that plan answer was very weak - way too technical and remote in terms of results for the woman he mentioned went up to Ann Romney to plead her case.

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

Obama is turning the conversation to education. I see this as a good thing--education is our national workforce development program. It is literally the government program on which the future of all industries rest. 

 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Yes, but he needs to connect the dots to the question to which he was responding.

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

Seems to me education can solve many of the programs. I've been working on trying to answer the question of "how many children on government assistance that receive a quality K-12 education go back to government assistance?" I think that might be one of the most powerful numbers in terms of growing the economy. Less people on assistance, more people as producers into the system. Win. So, I agree, Dan, education is our greatest move to grow our nation.

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

Abaolutely - and your answer is the kind of answer President Obama should have provided.  Answer the question - as well as talk about what he wanted to talk about.

 
Jonathan Murray
on Oct 03, 2012

The only jobs government can create are government jobs. The best thing government can do to create jobs is to get out of the way of the private economy--and a lot must be done to unburden the private economy from the restraints of the currently expansive federal government.

 
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Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012 - 9:01 pm

OK, I know Jonathan isn't going to base his vote on the outcome of this staged drama, but what are you looking for tonight? Strong answers? Vulnerabilties exposed? We know they'll be focused on domestic issues--which issues do you want them to speak on?

 

Responses(7)

Mark Cassell
on Oct 03, 2012

I look forward to Romney's arithmatic.

 
Jonathan Murray
on Oct 03, 2012

Dan, there won't be anything new said tonight. What each candidate says will be rehearsed, scripted, and staged. A lot of it will be dishonest spin; some will be outright lies; a bit will be sleight of hand. However, the turning point in these types of debates seems to have less to do with any substance, but with personality--humor, a witty retort, an unexpected gaffe, a petulant gesture.

 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

I suspect you're right, and much of it also has to do with the theatrics of the whole affair.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

that is exactly what is disappointing me the most in my own response to these. I am responding to them based on personality. 

I really want to punch Romney in the sternum. 

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

I'm glad you're at least a little self-aware about this.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Also, I can't believe I have not tickled the president yet. 

 
Nancy Reeves
on Oct 03, 2012

So you have a "thing" about tickling political leaders?

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012 - 8:56 pm

The debate is almost underway, be sure to refresh the page in order to see the latest comments, thoughts, and ideas.

 

 

 
Jonathan Murray
on Oct 03, 2012 - 5:38 pm

I can't believe that people make important decisions like voting for President based on a staged drama.

 

Responses(4)

Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

 
Daryl Rowland
on Oct 03, 2012

The drama is only one of several ways people judge the candidates. It does reveal character to some extent.

 
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Jason Russell
on Oct 03, 2012 - 3:21 pm

The first presidential debate of the 2012 election begins tonight at 9pm. It can be seen on most news networks or online on Youtube.

 

Responses(11)

Conor Meagher
on Oct 03, 2012

Jason, thanks to you and all your staff for a creating a powerful tool to engage any individual to debate the critial, yet compliciated issues that face them today.

"Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate." - Hubert Humphrey

Sincerely,Your Levin College of Urban Affairs Classmate 

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Lehrer needs to get some control. 

 
Noelle Celeste
on Oct 03, 2012

I agree 100%. 

 
Scott Karlo
on Oct 03, 2012

Absolutely agreed. When the dead horse has been beat sufficiently, call them on it, sum up what they're saying and move on.

 
Mike Shafarenko
on Oct 03, 2012

Agree - I feel like they're talking in circles about their tax plans. But, I don't envy Lehrer's position.

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Jim Lehrer has no control. He is the replacement ref of these debates. 

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

Obama just told Lehrer that he is doing a great job. Romney is not the only politician onstage who is a blatant liar. 

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

The faces are KILLING them on the split screen - cannot believe they aren't better trained abohat that - Romney's inability to sound likeable in anyway is sooooo not good for him if he's going to make gains

 
Dan Moulthrop
on Oct 03, 2012

where you watching? I'm watching PBS and not seeing a lot of split screen.

 
Jill Miller Zimon
on Oct 03, 2012

My daughter just said, "It's all about him - not about the American people" Romney - she is in 10th grade watching for honors history class

 
Andrew Samtoy
on Oct 03, 2012

President Obama needs to stop nodding whenever Romney criticizes him. 

 
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