Tuesday, September 27, 2016
She played him like a three-dollar fiddle....
Did you watch the Presidential Debate last night? What did you think? I'm in a unique position to comment as I don't plan to vote for either of them. As if you care, here are my thoughts:
Overall, Donald Trump had a few good ideas, but he failed to articulate them in terms voters could understand. He often didn't connect the dots. For example, he claimed that our trade deals to date, particularly NAFTA, were bad for working Americans. Hillary said NAFTA was a net jobs creator for the USA. But Trump didn't follow up with, "yes, but we lost millions of good paying manufacturing jobs and gained lots of lower paying transportation and distribution jobs. That's a major reason our middle class is in decline." I think he'll see that as a lost opportunity.
He said he didn't think many NATO members were paying their fair share of the organization's costs. I tend to agree. But he could have followed up with "those Europeans who enjoy that comfortable social safety net you're so envious of can only afford to do that because they scrimp on their own defense....they know we'll cover their a$$ if they're ever seriously threatened. We can't afford those things for our people because we're paying to protect their people."*
But he didn't.
*Not all 28 NATO countries are stingy funding their military. Notable exceptions include The UK and France.
Trump pointed out that there were TRILLIONS of dollars of earnings kept by American companies overseas because our high corporate tax rate prohibited them from bringing it back here. Why didn't he expound on that by asking "why would they want to bring it back here and pay 35% when they can leave it in Ireland or the Cayman Islands and pay a single-digit tax rate?" That might make a believable case for a corporate tax cut.
But he didn't.
When he said that he would stop American companies from moving overseas, and Hillary asked "how", he said he would put a big tax on their (now cheap) products being brought back here for sale. In other words he would start a trade war....a big no-no.
He could have pointed out that as our tax laws are now written, companies that make a move overseas can take a one-time tax write-off for the expenses involved, often up into the $BILLIONS for large companies. In other words, the American taxpayers are subsidizing their move....the very taxpaying workers being laid off are paying their former employers for laying them off!
But he didn't.
Hillary let more than a few opportunities slip by, too. When Trump said his massive tax cut (to the wealthy) would enable them to create new and expand existing businesses and jobs, all Hillary said was "Trumped-up trickle-down economics doesn't work". Why didn't she quote some of the authoritative research (such as by the Wall Street Journal) that says there is at least $1.7Trillion in wealth sitting idle on the sidelines right now because wealthy individuals and companies can't find enough good places to invest it, and when they do, it's often overseas? A tax cut to the wealthy will likely create relatively few new American jobs.
A lost opportunity, Hillary.
When she pointed out that years ago Trump was sued for racial discrimination regarding the leasing practices of his properties, his comeback was, "and I settled that without admitting any guilt." She could have said that was like a mobster saying sarcastically "I didn't do it, nobody saw me, you can't prove a thing." It isn't that he didn't discriminate, it's just that he got away with it. Bye-bye black vote.
But she didn't.
I could go on and on, but you saw the same thing I did. Basically I thought Hillary looked poised and well rehearsed, while Trump was just scattershooting and rude. Hillary goaded him and he took the bait. She had him on his heels most of the night.
Overall I didn't get a warm fuzzy about either. Ummm....where was the Libertarian candidate? The stage looked plenty big enough for a third podium to me. ;)