Friday, October 5, 2012

The debate: I will never be done

My goal is to write more about the debate than any other person, ever.  I'm well on my way.

Obama's response: "There has to be revenue in addition to cuts. Now, Governor Romney has ruled out revenue. He's ruled out revenue."

Romney interrupts and says, yes, I have.  Also, "You never balance the budget by raising taxes."  Except that time in the 1990s when we did it under President Clinton.  Do we have amnesia?  Romney states that we don't want to go down the path of Spain.  But, there's this...from Paul Krugman,"But what Greek experience actually shows is that while running deficits in good times can get you in trouble -- which is indeed the story for Greece, although not for Spain -- trying to eliminate deficits once you're already in trouble is a recipe for depression.These days, austerity-induced depressions are visible all around Europe's periphery. Greece is the worst case, with unemployment soaring to 20 percent even as public services, including health care, collapse. But Ireland, which has done everything the austerity crowd wanted, is in terrible shape too, with unemployment near 15 percent and real GDP down by double digits. Portugal and Spain are in similarly dire straits."

But Obama, continues.

"When it comes to corporate taxes, Governor Romney has said he wants to in a revenue-neutral way close loopholes, deductions -- he hasn't identified which ones they are -- but thereby bring down the corporate rate. Well, I want to do the same thing, but I've actually identified how we can do that. And part of the way to do it is to not give tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. Right now you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas. I think most Americans would say that doesn't make sense."

Which is true. There are tax breaks for people who send jobs overseas.  "The Bring Jobs Home Act would stop tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas, and instead provide a 20 percent tax credit to businesses that bring them back home and hire American workers. The tax benefit can be used for costs associated with moving a production line, trade, or business located outside the country, back to the United States. The legislation would also close loopholes for shipping jobs overseas by stopping the deduction companies can currently take for the costs associated with outsourcing."  Unfortunately, Republicans in the Senate blocked this bill from even coming to vote.

Obama appeals to pity, next. 

Romney's response:

1. " But don't forget, you put $90 billion -- like 50 years' worth of breaks -- into solar and wind -- to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said you don't just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers. So this is not the kind of policy you want to have if you want to get America energy secure. "

It's a good thing that FactCheck is here.  Anyways, let's look at it, step by step.

a. Obama probably did forget.  Since he only spent $21 billion on solar and wind.  FactCheck has the exact breakdown at the link, I posted. 

b. Even if it was $90 billion, the figure Romney is using to come up with 50 years is $2.8 billion.  Or nearly $3 billion. If you just had to estimate, on what 90/2.8 would be...would you say 30 or 50 years.

c. But the $2.8 billion is not even accurate.  According to the Congressional Research Service, it is closer to $3.9 billion/year.

d. The industry says it's closer to $8.5 billion.

e. I'll go over the list of winners and losers, later. 

2. "The second topic, which is you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas -- look, I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about. I maybe need to get a new accountant. But the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case."

Which is simply not true.

3. "Let states do this. And, by the way, if a state gets in trouble, well, we could step in and see if we could find a way to help them."

Interesting.  Unfortunately, that would expand the deficit, would it not?  Let's say, we give states the chance to do Medicare and Medicaid by themselves but they fail.  The federal government has to intervene to fix it.  Doesn't that cost more money to begin with?  I'm grumpy today.

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