published Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Biden carries debate

Conventional wisdom on vice presidential debates is that they rarely move the needle in presidential elections. Vice President Joe Biden's performance Thursday may be the exception to that rule. He pointedly shifted the campaign focus back to core points: the giveaways in the Romney tax plan to the privileged rich while adding taxes on America's vast middle class and simultaneously stripping them of fair health care, guaranteed Medicare and Social Security, and women's rights to reproductive choice and fair treatment. Biden did so, as well, with the conviction that Democrats and swing voters had expected last week of President Obama.

Congressman Paul Ryan was stuck with defending those flawed plans. He couldn't do it, because the facts of Romney's tax plans, safety net rollbacks and disdain for women's rights and the plight of students work against the common interest of American families. Their pay and opportunities have stagnated while big corporations and the rich elite have hogged the gains of workers' increasing productivity.

Ryan at loss for facts

Ryan made a decent impression in his first major debate, and decidedly partisan Republicans surely found what they wanted to hear in his misleading talking points. Problem is, he admittedly could not cite the details of Romney's budget plan -- because Romney won't reveal them -- to justify Romney's claim that cutting taxes by 20 percent on the already heavily favored top 1 percent, and on big corporations, would not cost $5 trillion in new national debt over the next decade.

Leaving in place the high end Bush dividend, capital gains and "carried interest" tax cuts that chiefly benefit the ultra rich would cost nearly $1 trillion over the next decade, and Romney's plan would increase that by a new 20 percent more.

Neither could Ryan credibly say Romney would not add another $2 trillion in new debt by singling out the Pentagon, alone, for more money if Congress hits the mandated cuts in January, which will occur if Republicans continue to resist a balanced deficit reduction plan.

Ryan did regurgitate Romney's documentably false claim that Obama would cut $716 billion from projected Medicare spending to fund Obamacare. But he couldn't refute Biden's fact-check: Obama would claw back the gratuitous subsidies Republicans shoveled to for-profit insurers and pharmaceutical industries in their so-called Medicare Modernization Act in 2003. But he would shift that money to strengthening benefits and to extend the Medicare trust fund eight years beyond the Romney-Ryan plan..

Ryan's attempts to sell the idea that Obama's foreign policies are "unraveling" were similarly untenable. Though Romney has recklessly indulged in saber-rattling and hinted at the prospect of war -- in Iran and Syria -- to make himself look tough, Ryan essentially admitted that Obama's disciplined policies have unified European support for the toughest sanctions ever against Iran, crippling its economy.

He also was forced to agree that Obama's policies have squeezed Syria as far as possible without putting American boots on the ground, which no one wants.

Defending the 47 percent

While Congressman Ryan promoted an agenda skewed to benefit the most privileged among us, Biden spoke on behalf of ordinary Americans. He notably defended the 47 percent of Americans who Romney, in taped remarks to rich Florida campaign donors, grossly disparaged as greedy, lazy, irresponsible moochers who don't pay income taxes but expect government to give them everything.

Biden cited neighbors, friends and even his own parents as people who worked hard at lower-paying jobs, raised good families and paid a lot in payroll and local taxes, if not federal income taxes.

That left Ryan fatuously backtracking on Romney's own lengthy summary of his disdain for working Americans whose jobs do not pay so well.

Biden also discredited the claim of religious infringement fueled by conservative Catholic bishops (Biden and Ryan are both practicing Catholics) over contraception under Obamacare. Contrary to Ryan's claims, churches are not required to do anything under Obamacare to help employees of any faith who work in their affiliated public hospitals and universities to access or pay for contraception.

Same old, same old

Ryan sought often, of course, to portray the Obama administration as having failed to make progress toward jobs and an improved economy the past four years. Any American who watched the Great Recession unfold, however, could easily recall, as Biden did, that Obama walked into the worst recession in more than 80 years; it wrecked banks and businesses and destroyed nearly 9 million jobs from 2007 to 2009.

He reminded Ryan that after quelling the national panic of 2008 and stabilizing the wrecked economy, the banking system and state governments (Tennessee, for example, got $5 billion in stimulus funds over three years to shore up state services and jobs), Obama's administration -- without any support from Republicans on job bills -- has delivered 32 straight months of job growth and more than 5 million new private sector jobs.

Joe Biden dominated the debate on every important question asked by moderator Martha Raddatz. As for the unasked question -- which man would be most qualified to become president if need be -- he won hands down.

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AndrewLohr said...

Conservative talking point: cutting tax rates for the rich in the A.D. 1920s, and '60s, and '80s resulted in the rich paying both more money, and a higher percentage of taxes. So if you want the rich to pay more and to pay a higher share, cut their rates.

October 13, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.
jesse said...

Whomever penned this reminds me of the kid in a barn stall up to his armpits in horse manure and shoveling like crazy and when asked why he's doing it replies"with this much horse pooh in here there's GOTTA be a pony in here someplace!"

October 13, 2012 at 8:03 a.m.
joneses said...

Biden is a fool and those of you who do not hold him accountable for his foolishness are just as foolish as Biden.

October 13, 2012 at 9:29 a.m.
conservative said...

Biden the moral moron :

Biden began by acknowledging that he agrees with the Catholic Church's teaching that life begins at conception, but he clarified that he believes that only "personally." Amazingly, on live national television, the vice president then went on to state that though he thinks infants in the womb are living human beings, he does not believe in using the force of law to protect them. Notice that Biden is not saying the unborn are not human, and therefore it is okay to destroy them. He is implicitly acknowledging his belief that those children are in fact human beings, and then giving tacit approval for them to be legally dismembered. The vice president of the United States just made a moral case for murder. Shocking.

Read more:

October 13, 2012 at 10:05 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Jesse, your comment is as much crap as whatever crap you accuse others of. You like to claim that you are "independent" or whatever and above the crapola, that both liberals and conservatives are spewing lies and only you have the wisdom and insight to see the "truth." Sometimes truth is actually spoken from the liberal side but you are so resistant to the label of liberal that you refuse to see it. Sometimes truth is spoken from the conservative side, too, but there are so few moderate Republicans today that truth is seldom heard from their camp. Everything they don't agree with is "socialism" or "Marxism" or "class warfare" against the rich.

Biden actually made a lot of sense about women's rights and he spoke clearly and truthfully about the Democrats' stance. No matter what Ryan said in the debate, concerning abortion and women's reproductive rights, both he and Romney have made it perfectly clear that they want to restrict a woman's right to choose, even to the point of overturning Roe v. Wade. What is it about Biden's stance and his comments that were total crap? He spoke with complete sense and clarity on the matter.

As for Ryan's so-called budget plan, his math does not add up, and that is obvious to anyone who can do even simple arithmetic. Biden called him out on it and his remarks were correct. Where is the "crap" there?

You can arrogantly think yourself to be above the madness and that you are the only one who is "right," but you are as frequent a poster here as anyone and your comments, like everyone else's, are just opinions - no more, no less. If you are taking the time to post your comments here, you are not above the insanity, you are IN it. Your attitude of superiority and smug indifference wears a little thin. If this editor and every liberal or conservative on here are just shoveling poop, well, welcome to the poop pile, pal. You can shovel it as good as anybody.

October 13, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.
timbo said...

I seriously think that the editorial writer and Joe Biden are on serious drugs. First, Biden was unstable, disrespectful, and basically a boob. The fact that Democrats think that he won the debate, demonstrates why they are they are so dangerous and unfit for Office.

It is scary to think that Barack Obama might win a second term. I didn't think anything could be worse. Biden would be worse. I didn't think I could have any less respect for Biden and Obama but after that idiotic performance it could not be lower.

Democrats must be under some mass delusion to think a career politician like Biden's Childish antics Will appeal to undecided voters. I have never seen anything in politics at this level that was this bad. It is not surprising that people like Rickaroo and Harry Austin think it was just great. What a ringing endorsement.

October 13, 2012 at 6:22 p.m.
conservative said...

Biden the moral moron, part 2 :

But while that was the most astounding part of Biden's answer, it wasn't the only thing worth noting. Right before he expounded on his belief in legalized homicide because he "just refuse[s] to impose [his personal views] on others," Biden had announced, "My religion defines who I am, and I've been a practicing Catholic my whole life. It has particularly informed my social doctrine."

Uh...wait a second. Biden is proudly touting the fact that the aggressive government redistribution schemes he favors are motivated by his church's teachings on caring for the needy. In other words, he has no problem "imposing his personal views on others" when it comes to the welfare state.

It's an interesting worldview, isn't it? Government-sponsored theft is legitimate on moral grounds, but government protection of innocent, defenseless life is unreasonable. That's the modern Democrat Party.

Read more:

October 13, 2012 at 6:39 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

"Uh...wait a second. Biden is proudly touting the fact that the aggressive government redistribution schemes he favors are motivated by his church's teachings on caring for the needy. In other words, he has no problem "imposing his personal views on others" when it comes to the welfare state."

Uh, seems like Biden is talking about the teachings of Christ. You know, those that instruct his followers to care for the needy and the unfortunate. From your posts I have to wonder if you object to the teachings of Christ regarding these points. Feel free to use quotes from Christ if you wish.

I have always found it amusing that the most vociferous objections to charity for the weak, needy, or unfortunate seem to come from chest thumping "Christians".

October 13, 2012 at 9:58 p.m.
timbo said...

hotdiggity...."Biden is talking about the teachings of Christ?" So Christ was a socialist who wanted to spend other people's money. Was he advocating more taxes being paid to the Romans? Yea, just let the Romans have all your money. As you recall, being a tax collector was about the lowest job in Christs world.

Maybe Biden's and Harry's mental problems are an epidemic.

October 14, 2012 at 9:49 a.m.
tipper said...

Such enlightened eloquence from the "conservatives" on this comment site. I can see why this is a red state on a steady diet of red meat.

October 14, 2012 at 12:50 p.m.
conservative said...

Well hotdiggity, Biden was not talking about the teachings of Christ, he never used the word. Furthermore, Christ never advocated an impersonal third party such as Godless government to provide for you. What you Liberals want is a replacement God, that is, government.

To quote you, "Feel free to use quotes from Christ if you wish."

October 14, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
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