First Debate

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First Debate

Did you watch it? How did you feel about your candidate's performance? Did it affect your vote for either candidate or was your mind already made up?

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I watched part of it. It did not really change my mind one way or the other.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Did you watch it? How did you feel about your candidate's performance? Did it affect your vote for either candidate or was your mind already made up?

I agree with what a lot of the news articles are saying. Mitt "Won" that debate and Obama was off his game. He didn't discuss or bring up a lot of things that he should have. He let Romney get away with saying some things that he shouldn't have. And i agree with one of the commentators....Obama looked tired, exhausted, while Romney looked eager to be there and ready to get his message out.

Aside from plowing through Lehrer's requests to stop discussions and move on, Mitt didn't come off as quite as obnoxious as he usually does to me. Say i didn't know anything about him and had never heard of him before. Listening to him last night, i would have come away simply thinking that I don't agree with his policies or methods for fixing things but he seems passionate and ready to try. Not "wow, this guy is obnoxious and out of touch and i don't trust him to be ready to care for the people who need it the most"

All that being said, no, it doesn't change who i would vote for at all. A)I just don't agree with his approach on how to fix things. B)I DO know more about him and the things he has done outside of the debate and C)Just like Obama called him on last night, he won't tell you 'how' he's going to do a lot of it, just swears he is...and that was still evident in a lot of things last night, even with how well he did.

If Romney could present himself like he did last night all the time, i probably wouldn't hate him so much, he'd just be another candidate that i really just don't agree with and thats all.

I probably won't be around much to respond....it is the beginning of a crazy weekend for me, but had to throw my opinion out there.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Just like Obama called him on last night, he won't tell you 'how' he's going to do a lot of it, just swears he is...and that was still evident in a lot of things last night, even with how well he did.

But isn't that how Obama got elected? Preaching on Hope & Change, without any real specifics on how he was going to accomplish that?

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I wasn't able to watch as much as I wanted. For some reason the kids wanted dinner on the table and to be tucked into bed rather than witness democracy in action. :roll: I was pleasantly surprised that Romney held his own pretty well and didn't make a complete *** of himself like he has on so many recent occasions. Kudos to his trainers. I was not surprised by how few details he had about what he actually plans to do. There were a number of times where I wanted to hear specifics and only heard rhetoric. Obama, I thought, gave a lot more details about his plans although I didn't hear as much about his accomplishments as I wanted. I know this is the first debate and other subjects will be debated in the others, but I really felt like Obama didn't sell himself quite as well as he should. I don't think this debate would sway anyone who had already decided, and I hope that anyone who thinks they were swayed by one candidate or the other would do some fact checking because I know Romney was lying or at best stretching the truth to a thread a number of times.

Two things that Romney said that I really wished Obama would have jumped on. First, Romney said he's going to create 12 million new jobs. Yeah, well, both Moody's and Macroeconomics have projected that our country is going to create 12 million new jobs no matter who is elected president, and the Congressional Budget Office has projected about 10 million jobs no matter who is elected president. Romney made it seem like those jobs will only happen if he's elected, which is not the case. Obama really should have said more about that. And Romney claimed that the major difference between Obamacare and the Massachusetts program was that "we didn't raise taxes to pay for it." He's right that *he* didn't raise taxes, but taxes *have* been raised since he left office to pay for that program. And actually, the federal government is picking up a greater percentage of that program's cost than the state of Mass. is! I was nearly yelling at my TV for Obama to nail Romney on those two things but he didn't.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

But isn't that how Obama got elected? Preaching on Hope & Change, without any real specifics on how he was going to accomplish that?

Obama had a very detailed platform in 2008, certainly better than anything we've seen from Romney. Below is copied from a blog posting dated Feb 13, 2008.

Here is Obama's platform for the 2008 election on the most central issues in the United States today, according to the Boston Herald.
Education
1. He opposes vouchers being used at private schools because he believes they undermine public schools.
2. Calls for higher pay for teachers and pay based on merit as well.

Healthcare
Fully supports a universal health care plan and has stated that we require a plan with "everybody in, nobody out. A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan."

Taxes
1. Proposed an $80 million dollar tax cut for the poor and middle class
2. Spoke out against estate tax cuts

Budget Deficit
1. Eliminate tax credits that are no longer useful
2. Clost corporate tax loophole
3. Restore the PAYGO policy, which does not allow federal spending without a plan to make up for lost revenue.

Foreign Policy
1. Hopes to bring a "responsible" end to the war in Iraq as soon as possible.
2. Rebuild and construct alliances worldwide in order to battle such problems as global warming
3. Invest in "humanity" by providing foreign aid.
4. Called for an expansion on the United States Armed Forces

Immigration
1. Implement a guest worker program, providing a path towards citizenship for all undocumented workers.
2. Supports granting drivers licenses to illegal immigrants
3. Voted for the Secure Fence Act, which would allow 700 miles of fence to be built along the United States-Mexico border.

Abortion
1. Abortions should be legal according to Roe vs. Wade.
2. Female contraceptives should be covered by health insurance

Gun Control
1. Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic weapons while increasing restrictions on purchasing of firearms.
2. Supports child-safety locks on firearms.

Iraq
1. Introduced the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007, which calls for a limit on the number of troops in Iraq, wit the hopes of removing all troops by March 31,2008.
2. He has stated that "no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else's civil war."

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I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Romney has never been my favorite candidate, though I did plan to back him anyway, so I wasn't expecting much. I thought he did a great job and I was shocked that MSNBC and some of the other media that usually back Obama really couldn't even spin it any other way.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Romney has never been my favorite candidate, though I did plan to back him anyway, so I wasn't expecting much. I thought he did a great job and I was shocked that MSNBC and some of the other media that usually back Obama really couldn't even spin it any other way.

I totally agree, and thought he was actually specific where he needed to be, corrected misinformation that was out there. And yet also stated his main goal which was creating an environment where business grows. Obama admitted he wants to raise taxes, and I totally disagree with him, so glad he admitted it and I will stay on the Republican side of the aisle.

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Obama said he wants to raise taxes on the ultra-rich. I see nothing wrong with that since their effective tax rate would still generally be lower than most middle-class and lower-class Americans, and even many upper-class Americans. That's because you can't shelter money from income taxes if you need it to live on.

Romney OTOH wants any tax increases to be "revenue-neutral," which means that if some taxes are raised, others should be lowered to counter the increase. However, Romney has failed to identify what tax deductions or credits he would eliminate to do this. This reeks of entitlement to me. Rich people wanting to stay rich by not paying their fair share.

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It wasn't just on the ultra-rich, he also wants to keep and increase taxes on small businesses, and energy taxes and fees and on and on.

It isn't entitlement.. It is fair. Why should your income determine how much you pay for a service? Oh sorry a loaf a bread for you is free, but for someone else it is $50, and then on the way out they are charged another $10 in fees that they didn't expect (ie capital gains), and then their son when he goes to make a sandwich has to pay another $10 (ie death tax etc). Seriously!

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3. Restore the PAYGO policy, which does not allow federal spending without a plan to make up for lost revenue.

ROFLMAO

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Did you watch it? How did you feel about your candidate's performance? Did it affect your vote for either candidate or was your mind already made up?

Yes, I watched but it was more like I was listening while doing homework. My candidate's performance was fine... Could have been better, could have been worse. The debate has not changed my mind on whom I am voting for.

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

It wasn't just on the ultra-rich, he also wants to keep and increase taxes on small businesses, and energy taxes and fees and on and on.

It isn't entitlement.. It is fair. Why should your income determine how much you pay for a service? Oh sorry a loaf a bread for you is free, but for someone else it is $50, and then on the way out they are charged another $10 in fees that they didn't expect (ie capital gains), and then their son when he goes to make a sandwich has to pay another $10 (ie death tax etc). Seriously!

I don't really call raising the top tier of personal income tax a "tax on small business." It's a small increase in the overall tax rate on a few high earners who each happen to employ a couple of people. Here's the summation of a very good blog entry that goes into great depth about how wrong Romney is about that claim.

So Romney is right that some small business owners will pay a higher tax rate under Obama’s plan. But that amounts to only 500,000 people, with only about 652,000 employees. The vast majority of small business owners and employees won’t be affected. What’s more, those who are affected might have more reason to hire.

Romney says most small businesses will see a tax hit. Here’s why he’s wrong.

Romney keeps promising to cut taxes (not mine, though, and I'll actually have $2000 less in my pocket than under Obama) and he's promised to increase defense spending (WHY?) while also balancing the budget. How the hell is he going to do that? He had a brilliant opportunity last night to lay it out for us, and he didn't.

And I have no idea what you're trying to say about energy taxes. Obama wants to make the tax credit for renewable energy permanent *and* refundable. And he also wants to reinstate the research & development that expired last year, but so does Romney, I'll admit that.

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I thought Romney was rude to Jim Lehrer and that turned me off.

What I do like about Romney is that he talks fast. It's easier for me to listen and comprehend what he is saying. I get that Obama thinks a bit more, but his......rate.....of.....speech....bores.....me. There shouldn't be a comma after every word you say!

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"Spacers" wrote:

I don't really call raising the top tier of personal income tax a "tax on small business." It's a small increase in the overall tax rate on a few high earners who each happen to employ a couple of people. Here's the summation of a very good blog entry that goes into great depth about how wrong Romney is about that claim.

Romney says most small businesses will see a tax hit. Here’s why he’s wrong.

Romney keeps promising to cut taxes (not mine, though, and I'll actually have $2000 less in my pocket than under Obama) and he's promised to increase defense spending (WHY?) while also balancing the budget. How the hell is he going to do that? He had a brilliant opportunity last night to lay it out for us, and he didn't.

And I have no idea what you're trying to say about energy taxes. Obama wants to make the tax credit for renewable energy permanent *and* refundable. And he also wants to reinstate the research & development that expired last year, but so does Romney, I'll admit that.

I do not know a lot about what Romney's plan is, however I have talked to a few different small business owners that this will affect. Take for example one truck driver that I know. Yes, he might make more than $200,000 a year, but out of that $200,000 he has to pay fuel for his truck, maintenance on his truck, insurance, and other business expenses. That makes it look on paper that he is making a lot of money, when actually he is not. I have heard other people give similar examples. If you tax a small business owner to the point of not being able to hire new employees, that hurts the economy, not helps it.

Now I do not think people like Bill Gates should pay the same taxes as a single mother college student, but I do not think the tax burden should fall on the shoulders of the people who can get us into a recovery.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not know a lot about what Romney's plan is, however I have talked to a few different small business owners that this will affect. Take for example one truck driver that I know. Yes, he might make more than $200,000 a year, but out of that $200,000 he has to pay fuel for his truck, maintenance on his truck, insurance, and other business expenses. That makes it look on paper that he is making a lot of money, when actually he is not. I have heard other people give similar examples. If you tax a small business owner to the point of not being able to hire new employees, that hurts the economy, not helps it.

Now I do not think people like Bill Gates should pay the same taxes as a single mother college student, but I do not think the tax burden should fall on the shoulders of the people who can get us into a recovery.

Given what you've said here, Obama's plan isn't going to affect your truck driver friend one bit. Obama's tax plan doesn't touch the first four tiers of taxable income, which is up to $212,300 for a married couple filing jointly. If your friend made $200,000 in income, after business expenses and personal exemptions and itemized or standard deductions, he's probably down to the 15% tax bracket. And he'll be in the same tax bracket after Obama's changes if his income & expenses remain the same. Even if $200,000 is your friend's taxable income, his tax rate isn't going to increase.

Just for fun, let's say your friend's taxable income is $500,000. Under the current tax structure, his tax liability would be about $145,000. Under Obama's plan, it would be about $168,000. That's an increase of just $23,000 for someone with half a million of pure net income after covering his business expenses, personal exemptions, and tax deductions. Sorry, I'm not crying over that "burden." Not at all.

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I thought Romney did a lot better then expected. I liked his more aggressive approach.

I was shocked at how poorly Obama performed. He just seemed to be out of his game completely last night.

BTW did anyone read where Al Gore said Obama did poorly because of the altitude in Denver? I think that is possibly the most humorous reasons for losing I have ever heard!

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"Spacers" wrote:

Just for fun, let's say your friend's taxable income is $500,000. Under the current tax structure, his tax liability would be about $145,000. Under Obama's plan, it would be about $168,000. That's an increase of just $23,000 for someone with half a million of pure net income after covering his business expenses, personal exemptions, and tax deductions. Sorry, I'm not crying over that "burden." Not at all.

Except that instead of paying that $23,000 to the government, that small business owner could put that money back into the business and hire someone. That $23,000 could pay a salary or at least part of one. Most small business owners are putting that profit back into their company.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I thought Romney was rude to Jim Lehrer and that turned me off.

What I do like about Romney is that he talks fast. It's easier for me to listen and comprehend what he is saying. I get that Obama thinks a bit more, but his......rate.....of.....speech....bores.....me. There shouldn't be a comma after every word you say!

LOL and Obama wasn't?

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I don't really care since Harper will continue to sell Canada down the river to whoever is in power.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Except that instead of paying that $23,000 to the government, that small business owner could put that money back into the business and hire someone. That $23,000 could pay a salary or at least part of one. Most small business owners are putting that profit back into their company.

Poor argument. If he hired someone new or put money back into the business, then it would be a legitimate business expense that would lower his taxable income in the first place. Taxes are paid on net income, that is, after expenses. If business is so good that he has half a million in net taxable income and he didn't need another employee to get that half a million of net taxable income in the first place, then suck it up over another percentage point or two to help out the entire country and not just yourself.

ETA: most small business that I've worked with or for over the years have always looked at their profit statements in the last month or two of the year and specifically plan some expenses if it looks like they will have "too much" profit. Stock up on supplies, make a charitable contribution, pay down student loans, maybe even hire a contractor to finish something that you don't have the manpower to finish before year's end. One firm bought a bunch of new office furniture they were going to get next year anyway, put it on a credit card, it was $15,000 in expense in December which reduced the owner's taxable income and he didn't have to pay for it until the bill came in January. People do it all the time, especially if they'd had a particularly good end of the year and haven't paid in enough in estimated taxes.

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I need to do a little more research, because how you are explaining it was not how it was originally explained to me.

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Maybe your friend doesn't understand his own taxes. Sadly a lot of people don't. Which is why tax accountants make a lot of money. I hated doing taxes which is why I don't do them anymore, but I *do* understand them very well.

Now if your friend's business is set up as a corporation, which legally is no longer a "small business," then the company's tax rate is currently a flat 35% no matter what the income level. Obama proposes to reduce that to 28% for most corporations, 25% for manfacturing, and Romney is proposing to reduce it to 25% for all corporations. Some large corporations have multiple tax loopholes that allow them to pay far less than 35%. Obama proposes to close some of those; Romney does not. I suppose if your friend's corporation qualifies for a tax loophole that Obama would close, they might not like it, but that's a far cry from claiming to be a small business being squeezed to death by taxes.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Poor argument. If he hired someone new or put money back into the business, then it would be a legitimate business expense that would lower his taxable income in the first place. Taxes are paid on net income, that is, after expenses. If business is so good that he has half a million in net taxable income and he didn't need another employee to get that half a million of net taxable income in the first place, then suck it up over another percentage point or two to help out the entire country and not just yourself.

I disagree, that is how business expands... by taking the profits and rolling it back into the business. I'd much rather that money go back into the company to pay another salary than for the government to take it and waste it. Of that $23,000 probably $1,000 will probably be used on anything meaningful, the other $22,000 will go to government overhead and waste. I'd rather that salary go to a private employee than a government employee.

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I guess I don't really understand how Romney "won." Don't get me wrong, I don't think Obama "won" either; it's more that I think that there are very rarely clear cut winners in debates (except for me, of course, I win all the time...:lol:) I think they both said their peice, and it's up to the public which message they liked better, soooo....not really sure what would make one a winner over the other....

I was reading some fact check stuff yesterday, and honestly it made me a little mad at both of them because after having read it I feel like they were both intentionally misleading about the other guy's position which is just irritating....like, win on the strength of your own position, not by trying to mislead everybody about the other guy. So I wasn't a fan of that, and they both did it multiple times. :rolleyes:

In the end, no, it didn't make me change my mind about anything. I agree with Kim that if the debate was the only thing I knew about Romney, I wouldn't be as opposed to him as I am. He seemed reasonable and passionate, although I still wouldn't vote for him because I still disagree with his approach. I thought he handled himself well and came off as articulate and fairly knowledgeable, although again, no real specifics and I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the way he steadfastly refused to admit to the Medicare voucher thing by just keep repeating the part about how it won't effect any current retirees. Like stop dodging outright questions by answering a different question!!!! But that goes back to my whole annoyance over the candidates refusing to just play it straight, and Obama did it on a few things too. Politics as usual, I suppose.

I didn't think that Obama came off as "exhausted" or unprepared. We watched the whole thing from start to finish after T went to bed, and I thought he came off well too. I'm not sure what I missed, but I know a lot of people on both sides had that impression. :shrug: In all, I thought they both handled themselves well, honestly.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I guess I don't really understand how Romney "won." Don't get me wrong, I don't think Obama "won" either; it's more that I think that there are very rarely clear cut winners in debates (except for me, of course, I win all the time...:lol:) I think they both said their peice, and it's up to the public which message they liked better, soooo....not really sure what would make one a winner over the other....

I was reading some fact check stuff yesterday, and honestly it made me a little mad at both of them because after having read it I feel like they were both intentionally misleading about the other guy's position which is just irritating....like, win on the strength of your own position, not by trying to mislead everybody about the other guy. So I wasn't a fan of that, and they both did it multiple times. :rolleyes:

In the end, no, it didn't make me change my mind about anything. I agree with Kim that if the debate was the only thing I knew about Romney, I wouldn't be as opposed to him as I am. He seemed reasonable and passionate, although I still wouldn't vote for him because I still disagree with his approach. I thought he handled himself well and came off as articulate and fairly knowledgeable, although again, no real specifics and I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the way he steadfastly refused to admit to the Medicare voucher thing by just keep repeating the part about how it won't effect any current retirees. Like stop dodging outright questions by answering a different question!!!! But that goes back to my whole annoyance over the candidates refusing to just play it straight, and Obama did it on a few things too. Politics as usual, I suppose.

I didn't think that Obama came off as "exhausted" or unprepared. We watched the whole thing from start to finish after T went to bed, and I thought he came off well too. I'm not sure what I missed, but I know a lot of people on both sides had that impression. :shrug: In all, I thought they both handled themselves well, honestly.

Oh I know! I can't imagine how much ignorance effected the outcomes of elections in the past.

We have a prop on our ballot for November that will raise sales tax 1/4%. That's 25 cents on $100. The commercial I heard on the radio yesterday was a couple lamenting how bad things are being out of work and the state wants to raise sales tax to the "highest in the nation." No mention that it would raise it 25 cents on $100. Just that you should vote no because our sales tax will go up. There are other things in the prop that they made no mention of. It's very misleading.

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

LOL and Obama wasn't?

Why is that funny? Obama interrupted Leher and made a few jokes, but Romney came across as downright rude. I don't know, maybe it was the tone.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Why is that funny? Obama interrupted Leher and made a few jokes, but Romney came across as downright rude. I don't know, maybe it was the tone.

The pompous tone.

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I think the debates are really just about being on television. You can't cover your true concrete plans when you've been allotted two minutes. To me, they both just tried to look smarter and better than the other and look good on tv, and that's what it was about. Honestly I felt like they agreed more than they disagreed, and neither really offered up any concrete, useful information.

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"Spacers" wrote:

Poor argument. If he hired someone new or put money back into the business, then it would be a legitimate business expense that would lower his taxable income in the first place. Taxes are paid on net income, that is, after expenses. If business is so good that he has half a million in net taxable income and he didn't need another employee to get that half a million of net taxable income in the first place, then suck it up over another percentage point or two to help out the entire country and not just yourself.

ETA: most small business that I've worked with or for over the years have always looked at their profit statements in the last month or two of the year and specifically plan some expenses if it looks like they will have "too much" profit. Stock up on supplies, make a charitable contribution, pay down student loans, maybe even hire a contractor to finish something that you don't have the manpower to finish before year's end. One firm bought a bunch of new office furniture they were going to get next year anyway, put it on a credit card, it was $15,000 in expense in December which reduced the owner's taxable income and he didn't have to pay for it until the bill came in January. People do it all the time, especially if they'd had a particularly good end of the year and haven't paid in enough in estimated taxes.

Don't ALL those purchases/ expenses boost the economy?

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

Don't ALL those purchases/ expenses boost the economy?

Of course they do. What's your point? My point was that they also lower the business owner's taxable income, which in turn lowers his tax burden. The original statement by Bonita was that her friend, the truck driver, is going to practically be forced out of business from this very slight tax increase. And I showed that he's wrong.