The latest GOP presidential debate, in Florida, wasn't exactly inspirational, though it was testier than the previous debate. The seven candidates who are running lower in the polls attacked front-runner Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but for now he doesn't seem to be hurting much.
It is some consolation, of course, that even the least of the GOP hopefuls stands head and shoulders above Democrat President Barack Obama.
Consider the $447 billion stimulus plan Obama has offered in the wake of his earlier, ineffective $862 billion stimulus. Not only does the new stimulus, with much of its focus on protecting government workers, have little prospect of creating enough jobs to bring down our 9.1 percent unemployment rate, but the president wants to fund it with tax hikes.
Specifically, Obama wants to raise a chunk of the funding for the new stimulus by slashing deductions that individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples making more than $250,000 a year can take for charitable contributions.
But that will encourage people in those income brackets to give less to charity at a time when charities are already having to squeeze every dollar to help Americans in desperate circumstances. Sure, some people will keep making donations as usual, but many will seek other tax shelters, causing a drop-off in giving. Does anyone think the stimulus would do as much good for the country as our vital charities do day in and day out?
The president also wants to end some tax breaks on corporate jets. But the 2009 stimulus which he supported, and which was passed almost entirely by Democrats, reauthorized tax breaks for those jets! Were they right then but wrong now?
Hard questions - on jobs, entitlements and other matters - will be asked of the GOP candidates as the primaries draw near. But we see nothing that makes any of them as unqualified as Obama is.