It was a historic debate. With their potential bosses both in their 70s, either of the candidates on stage Wednesday evening in Salt Lake City could be called upon to serve as President of the United States. With that in mind, the “B” team…took on a whole new significance as Americans contemplated not just the possibility of a Vice President Pence but, a President Pence… and, not just a Vice President Harris…but, a President Harris.
Both candidates stepped up to the plate, performed well, and, in some ways seemed a little more out of “central casting” than their bosses. And, while both stressed their plans to see a prosperous America …only one candidate offered us a plan to get us there.
Senator Harris pushed for higher taxes designed to soak the rich and corporate America, while Vice President Pence called for a continuation of the supply-side, free-market approach that empowers businesses and individuals to have a greater role in wealth creation.
You know which side I’m on.
So, it should be no surprise to you that I view Mike Pence, as a result of his sound policy ideas on the economy, as the victor. Kamala Harris did a fine job. She is a highly competent and skilled debater (though, if I were her debate coach, I’d encourage her to hold back on the facial expressions.) Nonetheless, her ideas themselves are inherently flawed and would take the American economy in a challenging direction, launching us on a precarious path.
America is still a capitalist nation that celebrates freedom — and, I hope, will remain a free and prosperous nation.
Election Stakes High: American Economy in Focus
As the two candidates sat behind plexi-glas, it’s important to note how surreal this moment in time really is; the President is in the White House recovering from a Covid-19 infection. Members of his staff have been infected, and this has become one of the most dramatic elections in history.
The stakes could not be higher.
Our economy is in a fragile state. Though 7.9% unemployment is impressive (under the circumstances) it is clear that America needs to go back to work. After all, we need a strong economy to fight this thing!
It’s Not Rocket Science
As for taxes? Harris backs a plan to hike the corporate tax rate up to 28% from the current 21%.
Here’s the problem: How did the Trump administration generate so much growth between 2016 and 2019? It’s not rocket science. It’s lower taxes. For both individuals AND for businesses.
Small businesses and consumers — they are the engines of our great economy. And, Pre-Covid, the federal government saw record tax receipts! In other words, we cut taxes and receipts went up!
Clearly, there’s something to the whole Laffer curve that my friend, the legendary economist Art Laffer, is so well known for. When you empower people to earn, they’ll earn!
A Measured Moderator
On a personal note, as someone who has moderated two Republican Presidential debates myself, I am well aware of the difficulty of keeping the candidates on topic and on time. Susan Page of USA Today did an outstanding job. She executed the event smoothly and without obvious, disdainful bias. It was a refreshing example of what can be done on a debate stage.
That said, I am growing rather tired of the hop, skip, and a jump to the next topic. Just when things start getting good (I personally thought it was outstanding of Pence to push her on the packing of the courts, an issue both she and Biden refuse to go on record about) and, the debate commission needs to allow these events more time to breathe.
The Need for A Fresh, Modern Debate Format
By that, I mean, give each topic more time. Allow for some back and forth. Instead of 6 topics, choose 3. Or, better yet? One hour per topic. Americans are hungry for information and answers. The days of the 2 minutes soundbite are long gone. People are used to consuming more information online and they’re hungry for it.
It’s time the debate commission to join us in 2020 instead of trying to run a 1970s style antiquated event.