Guess this is Official James Pethokoukis Memorial Week on the blog here, since the U.S. News columnist and blogger has watched both presidential debates with an eye toward innovation and competition. (Post on the Dems here.) Looking at the Republicans in New Hampshire last night, he writes:
Social Security reform was never mentioned, and there was virtually no talk about what the next president could do to juice the long-run growth potential and competitiveness of the U.S. economy—you know, the things that will help us raise our standard of living, deal with the tidal wave of entitlement debt, generate the technological innovation necessary to deal with climate change, and give us the resources to crush the jihadists.
About the only guy who really touched on any of this was Rudy Giuliani. In his closing answer, Giuliani said the candidate who can unite the Republican Party is a person who will fight the war on terrorism and “second, someone who will be on offense for a growth economy. Fight this impulse to raise taxes, do socialized medicine . . . .” Then Blitzer cut him off.
Apparently Blitzer was enamored of his own well-coifed voice. Senator Dodd’s campaign put out a clever chart on the amount of time each candidate consumed. Compared to Blitzer, pikers all.
Anyway, not sure Pethokoukis is completely right. According to this NYT transcript of the debate, “tax” or “taxes” were mentioned 20 times, and taxes obviously encourage or quash innovation. But point taken.
Really, this is what we need: One debate, per party, devoted strictly to manufacturing. Or, to be ecumenical, the economy. We like services and farming, too.
P.S. In his analysis, Pethokoukis goes on to examine Giuiliani’s proposals for health-care reform. Interesting stuff.
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