The Debate: Why I Have No Enthusiasm For These People

I didn’t have a chance to watch it on-time, so I’m looking at it the next day having read very little about it. I’m only going to comment on things I find interesting or blatantly wrong, because I’m not getting paid to do this. Below are my reactions:

Mexican VAT Tax: Poor Example

-Holt presses Trump again regarding “how do you bring jobs back?” To be fair, he already answered that: by renegotiating trade deals. I’m not convinced that Mexico’s 16% VAT tax  is really the key factor in US-Mexico trade. He could have chosen a much better example.
A VAT tax is essentially a sales tax, meaning it also applies to Mexican goods sold in Mexico, meaning it hurts Mexican companies as much as American ones. So it only hurts us in the same way it hurts all sales in Mexico, in that “if Mexicans paid less taxes on stuff, they’d buy more stuff, and some of that stuff might be American stuff.”

The Recession Was Not Because of Tax Cuts

Turning it to Clinton: there was a “failure to invest in the middle class” but this was, again, only very indirectly due to tax cuts, in that it eliminated tax revenue from the federal budget. Otherwise, it put a “trickle” of money back into the economy. Not solving a problem isn’t the same as causing a problem, though. If anything, that trickle of money very slightly delayed the recession. It exacerbated inequality, but inequality is its own problem that didn’t cause the recession: a fraudulent asset bubble, poor oversight, and poorly-crafted regulations did, in combination with the normal business cycle and the simultaneous failure of the auto industry due to its own internal problems.

We can, and do, run deficits all the time to continue to fund things we consider priorities. Having slashed taxes created some budget strain, but not investing in the middle class was a separate choice.

This is the part where my reactions get shorter.

I don’t know if the quality of the debate decreased, or if I am just a low-energy person right now.

“Fighting ISIS Your Entire Adult Life”

What?

“We are in a bubble right now… if you raise interest rates even a little bit, [the stock market]’s gonna come crashing down.”

Possibly.

“The Fed is doing political (sic) by keeping interest rates at this level.”

This, though, doesn’t make much sense. If low interest rates are the only thing holding the economy together, why would the Fed knowingly cause the economy to crash by raising them, election or not?

Tax Returns and Emails

Blah, blah, blah, done to death.

“Braggadocious”

This is the best word I’ve ever heard him use. This is a new frontier of best words.

“6 trillion dollars in the Middle East, and we could have rebuilt our country twice.”

Not sure about twice, but it is a huge waste.

Trump’s Business Record

Blah, blah, blah.

Race, Policing, Gun Control, Birtherism

Do not feel like touching this today.

To sum up the foreign policy section:

If Hillary wins, I’d hope that she does what she says compared to some of what she’s done or supported in the past. If Trump wins, I’d hope he doesn’t do many of the things he says.

Cybersecurity

Russia: Just because Hillary said it doesn’t make it not true.

ISIS

Trump: “vacuum” in Iraq: half-accurate. There would still have been a vacuum in Syria that no Iraq policy would have fixed.

“Take the oil:” I hate this one so much. This is one of the most disappointing things for him to harp on.

  1. See above: taking oil out of Iraq would not have prevented ISIS’ growth in Syria.
  2. If he doesn’t want to engage in nation-building using American resources, that’s one thing, but taking the resources Iraq would use to rebuild their nation is un-building. How do you honestly expect that to turn out for Iraq?
  3. Does he mean set up a permanent presence to use US troops to guard oil wells for the US oil industry? Or does he mean literally pump all the oil out of the ground so there’s none left? Because that’s not entirely how geology works.
  4. This just in.

“Blow them out of the water”

Yeesh.

The Iran Deal

I could write a whole other post on this, and maybe I will.

“If she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

That was a bit surprising.

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