Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Debate: Did Obama Blow It or Throw It

Candidates' debates are rarely informative and often incredibly dull. Participants are uptight and heavily programed to avoid saying any thing off script.

Last night's debate seemed different. Both Obama and Romney spoke calmly, almost conversationally, despite the strict alternation of two, three or one minute speaking slots. Both candidates were polite: as Obama spoke Romney smiled; as Romney spoke Obama often nodded as if in full agreement.

But strangely, for an experienced and polished political performer, Obama perpetrated several remarkable blunders.

During an argument about corporate taxes, Obama charged that American companies receive tax incentives to move jobs offshore, but then remained silent when Romney declared Obama's claim to be entirely fictitious. Does Obama not know what he is talking about? Does he routinely spout nonsense off the top of his head? And if what he said were true, how does the failure of his administration to eliminate such a job-killing provision reflect on his own competence?

In fact, Romney could have made much more of this than he did, for the only tax incentive that American companies have to offshore jobs is the tax that Obama wants to increase on profits of corporations located in the US. Romney did state that the corporation tax is a job killer, but he failed to make the point in the context of Obama's assertion that the corporations received tax incentives to offshore jobs. What corporations face are tax disincentives, which Obama intends to increase, to locating jobs in the United States. Which is why GE, for example, employs over 900 accountants and lawyers to determine where in the world it is most tax-efficient to locate their operations.

Equally bizarre was his claim that the oil industry is subsidized. Technically, the claim is true, but as Romney pointed out, the subsidy of about $2 billion per year is trivial compared with the $90 billion in subsidies given by the Obama Administration to, so-called, green energy companies including the likes of Solyndra, the bankrupt solar cell maker, and the luxury car makers, Tesla and Fisker -- companies that contribute campaign funds to the Democratic Party.

The $35 Million estate said to be Obama’s next home (Source).
But were these blunders?

Obama's performance lacked not only energy but even engagement. He seemed like a man offering a mere pro forma performance, as though the succession had already been decided. It's the economy that matters and for the next four years America needs a corporate restructuring expert at the helm. Romney is the man with the credentials. Which raises the question: has the choice already been made? Is Obama just counting the days until he is free to retire to a luxury family compound in Hawaii?

We entertain no conspiracy theories without evidence. But Obama's debate performance was certainly suggestive, if not of a conspiracy to throw the race, at least of the absence of a serious determination to win it. 


  1. Strange things going on!

    - Aangirfan

  2. Look up the voting records of politicians that voted on this:

    at www-ontheissues-org

    "Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005)"

    Not only does that show corporations have been getting handouts for years, a vote was taken in 2005 to halt it and a lot of politicians voted NO, meaning to let it continue.

    BTW: Obama voted YES to repeal, meaning he tried to stop it.

    1. You need to be more specific, if you want to convince anyone.

      During the debate, Obama said during:

      "Right now, you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas."

      But when challenged on it, he failed to specify what this deduction was. Moreover, I see no reference to a relevant Obama vote in Mar 2005 at the web page you cite.

      The fact is, Obama appeared to oppose cuts to job-killing corporate taxes on "small" businesses. If he is not so opposed, he sure made a botch of explaining his position during the debate.