October 17, 2012
Heritage Foundation experts live-blogged their analyses of last night’s presidential candidates’ debate from Hofstra University.
Emily Goff on Taxes and Spending
President Obama’s approach to spending and debt is hardly balanced.
President Obama’s recycled “balanced approach” mantra surfaced for the umpteenth time this evening—even though Americans know it is far from balanced, never mind mathematically impossible. Raising taxes on wealthier Americans who, in President Obama’s own words, “can afford to pay a little bit more,” would be a direct hit to the very businesses and investors we need to be encouraged, not discouraged from creating jobs. Failing to addressTaxmageddon and inject certainty into the economy is an abysmal failure of Congress and President Obama. It’s already threatening the economy, and causing economic stagnation.
Walter Lohman on China
“Getting tough on China,” something both candidates claimed to aspire to, is good—as long as what is meant by that is ensuring China abides by its international trade commitments. But this is not enough—it is not a trade policy. The U.S. needs to create opportunity with trade, not just manage bad behavior… President Obama said during the debate that he signed three trade deals. Not true…What Obama did was to delay passage of agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama that were already completed. He did so to appease labor unions and others in his political base. During the three years of waiting for the President to submit the U.S.-Korea FTA, the U.S. lost $30 billion in exports.
James Carafano on Libya
What did the Obama administration do about security before the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and how did it respond afterward?
It was the question that the President never clearly and explicitly responded to. When it comes to how the White House responded to the attack, the Administration has a lot of explaining to do. Its series of explanations was muddled and misleading.
When it comes to responding to the attack, Americans of course expect that our government will go after the perpetrators. The questions of how our government responded to the terrorist threat in Libya, however, still has to be answered.
Nicolas Loris on Domestic Energy Production
Are oil companies really not drilling because they’re sitting on their leases?
Are oil companies sitting on leases? The short answer is no… Just because oil companies aren’t drilling, this does not mean that no activity is occurring on that land. Environmental review, permitting, seismic research, and exploration may be occurring. But even that fails to address the real problem: The environmental review and leasing process takes entirely too long.
Rather than implementing an efficient leasing process, the Department of the Interior added three unnecessary and duplicative administrative regulations to the leasing process in 2010. Oil companies are not sitting on leases; they are simply not being issued by the DOI, or the DOI is making it more difficult to actually obtain the leases…
While President Obama made the familiar statement that oil and gas production is the highest it has been in eight years, Governor Romney was right to point out that this was driven by production on private and state lands. Oil and gas production on federal lands is, in fact, down.
James Carafano on Immigration
Our country’s flawed immigration system was finally addressed by both sides.
They offered two very different approaches and a distinct choice. One approach is to change the laws to accommodate the unlawful population that is already here—an approach that will not only not fix the problem, it will just make America a magnet for more problems. The other approach is to make the laws work and create a legal system that gets employers the employees they need when they need them to grow the economy and create more jobs.
There are good answers to address these tough problems. What we need in Washington is leadership that is willing to do the job.
James Gattuso on the Auto Bailout and Bankruptancy
President Obama blamed Romney for saying GM should go bankrupt — even though the company actually did go bankrupt during his presidency.
President Obama once more criticized Governor Romney for saying GM should go bankrupt. But Romney tonight finally cleared the record, pointing out that that is exactly what happened –GM and Chrysler DID go bankrupt. But, as Obama confirmed, the administration didn’t stop there – it nationalized the firms. Taxpayers are still some $25 billion in the hole and still own a quarter of the shares of GM. Bankruptcy was the right solution; a bailout was not.
Be sure to read all the analyses on the Foundry, on everything from taxes to education to the stimulus.
Watch next week’s third and final debate on the Foundry and get analysis from Heritage experts in real time.
Did you watch the debate? What did you think?