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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
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News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Comments on the third debate

Can we be as safe as we were? You mean when nuclear holocaust was threatening us? A lousy question to start the debate.

Flu shot question: Bush hits it out of the park by mentioning companies being afraid of lawsuits if they produce flu shots. Whether or not this is the primary reason American companies don't produce all of our flu shots, it is a statement that most Americans will nod their heads to. Kerry missed an opportunity to say "I understand the President has nothing to do with this problem." His comments on health insurance are way off. I have health insurance, and I've never gotten a flu shot. (It's almost certain to make me mildly sick, so I'll take my chances with the flu, given that I rarely get sick.)

Pay as you go? Ironic comment to me, an actuary, since pay as you go is the reason why Social Security is such a huge problem. I honestly don't believe there was any meaningful pay as you go program in the U.S. Congress; I bet programs continue to increase left and right.

What do you say to someone who lost his job overseas? Another Bush win, to an educated viewer like me. I recognize that we should lose simpler jobs that can be done overseas easily, and use that savings to help support more complex jobs and new industries. And education is needed for that purpose.

Homosexuality: Why did Kerry bring up Dick Cheney's daughter? Bush wins, just because I recognize that contrary to what Kerry says, states can't manage laws in the face of activist judges.

Health care costs going up: Bush wins again, again because of what I know on the subject. I support health savings accounts, restrictions on lawsuits, and bringing market forces into the field. Neither side mentioned one of the important reasons: health care costs more because it keeps getting better. As a young man, I hope health care discoveries keep coming.

Where are we going to get money for everything? I found it really interesting how Kerry said that covering people up to 300% of the poverty level would be a net gain. That sounds suspiciously like the dynamic scoring that Democrats vehemently oppose for analyzing the reduction in revenues due to tax cuts. Bush makes a good point about employers lacking the incentive to offer health care if employees can just be covered by Medicaid.

Social Security: As an actuary, I know what needs to be done to save Social Security: move it to a fully paid basis. Social Security absorbed the railroad pension plan long ago because it was pay as you go, and employment dropped considerably, so the plan failed. Good to mention Moynihan-he's always been good on the subject. But right now, we collect more in taxes that fund Social Security than we pay out, so I fail to see how it's Kerry's invitation to disaster.

Kerry has now allocated that tax increase for the top 1% to social programs AND saving Social Security. Will someone call him on that subject?

Greenspan: John Kerry has announced he disagrees with Greenspan on the subject of Bush's tax cuts. That can't bode well for him. People respect Greenspan more than either candidate!

Good to see Bush mentioning how much taxes those at the top are really paying.

Minimum wage: Bush dodges the question. Neither discusses the implications of raising the minimum wage on inflation, employment, etc. Naturally, that discussion won't fit 90 second speeches.

It is apparent that Kerry has a litmus test on judges, with regards to Roe v. Wade. Bush doesn't, but the candidates he nominates aren't likely to approve of the decision. Remember, everyone, that all Roe v. Wade does is return abortion to the decision of the states!

Affirmative action: Bush makes good points on minority homeownership and businesses. How is that possible in an environment of rampant discrimination?

I didn't much care for that final softball question on what the candidates learned from the women in their lives.

Some missed opportunities for Bush:

On the subject of strain on the national guard, when Kerry mentioned real alliances, I wish Bush would have apologized to Blair, Howard, etc. for the comment Kerry made. And in the second comment, I wish he would have commented on the "truth" of France, Germany, and Russia being in the pockets of the Iraqi government.

On the question on partisanship, he should have pointed out the judges that the Democrats refuse to allow votes on in the Senate.


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