Last night, Heritage Foundation experts live-blogged their analysis of the issues raised as President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney debated. Heritage’s Amy Payne rounds up our what our experts were saying.

Tax expert Curtis Dubay on the need for tax reform:

Obama repeated the falsehood that Romney’s plan would raise taxes on the middle class. This incorrect assertion was spread by a biased report from the Tax Policy Center. Romney’s plan can make pro-growth changes to the tax code and doesn’t have to raise taxes on the middle class.

Read our experts’ takedown of the Tax Policy Center’s flawed report.

Education expert Lindsay Burke on education reform:

Further increasing federal education spending will fail to improve academic outcomes. Policymakers need to trim federal spending—not increase it—and empower state education leaders with control over their share of education funding… A better prescription for improving educational outcomes is empowering states with control of education dollars and decision-making, giving them the ability to craft policies that allow parents to direct their children’s education. Here’s Heritage’s plan for how to do just that.

Economists J.D. Foster and Alyene Senger on Medicare:

Similar to the Heritage plan, Romney’s plan restructures the Medicare program for future generations. His proposal, called premium support, would provide a government contribution toward the cost of a private plan or traditional Medicare… Premium support is not a “voucher” any more than is current law. It just says government will pick up a big part of the tab for your health insurance, and if you want to spend more, then you pay the difference. There’s nothing exceptional about this. It is exactly what happens today under Medicare Advantage.

Romina Boccia on how Obamacare will raise taxes on everyone:

Obama proclaimed that he reduced taxes for the middle class. What he failed to mention is that he also increased taxes on the middle class. Let’s not forget that the President’s health care law will raise taxes on the middle class and the poor in four years as reported by the Congressional Budget Office. For instance, a family of four making about $24,600 per year, the projected federal poverty level in 2016, could be subject to Obamacare’s controversial individual mandate tax. This is only one of the 18 taxes and penalties imposed by Obamacare, some of which will hit Americans as early as January 2013.

For more information about the $494 billion in tax hikes scheduled to hit in January 2013, visit our Taxmageddon page.

David Azerad on the candidates’ ideas about the role of government:

When asked about the role of the government, Obama brought up his favorite metaphor, “the ladder of opportunity.” And as usual, he incorrectly suggested that it’s government spending that creates these ladders of opportunity… Given the President’s statist and egalitarian impulses, perhaps the “escalator of results” might be a more fitting analogy next time: Everybody just hops on and we all get to the same place with little effort on our behalf.

This was the first of the three scheduled debates for the presidential candidates. The next two will cover foreign policy and more domestic policy.

Did the debate answer your questions about the candidates’ policy ideas? Tell us in the comments.

Comments (29)

John Eason - October 4, 2012

I believe Obama’s true colors came out with his statements about health insurers and student loan companies, “The government doesn’t have to make a profit so we can do it for less”. Based on this socialist premise, Walmart and Costco better watch out because government might decide to “eliminate the middleman” and get into their business.

James Kress - October 4, 2012

Romney prattles endlessly about how he’s going to create new jobs. How is he going to do that when he continues obama’s class warfare rhetoric and puts forward INSANITY like this:

Bill Allen - October 4, 2012

Last night’s debate was a gorgeous display of fact vs. fancy. Obama was clearly crushed and it showed in his demeanor. Romney did a splendid job. I have not been a big Romney fan, but last night sold me that he will make a fine president. But, watch now for the huge increase in nastiness, mud-slinging, and major character assassination. Obama revealed himself as the modern version of “the emperor had no clothes.” He is and always has been an empty suit. Let’s hope someone thinks again about supporting him.

Murry Moore - October 4, 2012

I think Romney may have convinced people that he presidential. A chance to speak with out the media filtering it and I liked it. Next big step get our people out to vote.

Larry L. Darby - October 4, 2012

When the President meation about out soursing overseas I wish Mitt would have meation about the millions of $$$ that the President gave to Soros to drill for oil I believe in Brasil

Gerald L. Meligan - October 4, 2012

Yes I was able to follow Mitt’s dialogue. He needs to keep his message simple so people can “get it.”
I am for “less government and more individual responsibility and with Gods help a better world”.

Ellen - October 4, 2012

As Obama likes to say “the choices couldn’t be starker.” Last night Romney hit it out of the ballpark. His policy ideas were concrete, clear and will move our nation in the right direction. On the other hand Obama’s policy ideas were ineffective, muddled and will put our nation in a further downward spiral.

H. Terry Buchanan - October 4, 2012


It’s well and good to hear CNN’s poll that 67% of the viewers gave the debate edge to Romney. What is Heritage doing to win the opinions of voters in the Battleground States, especially Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, etc.? Only 32 days to win those voters.

H. Terry Buchanan
Glendale, CA

David Stearns - October 4, 2012

I watched the debate over lunch today. I had recorded it so I would have the option to fast forward, at my convenience. It feels less like “house arrest” when you have a remote in your hand.

My reaction, simply stated, “Obama was not ready for prime time and can’t be. He hasn’t the experiences, the credentials, the emotional content, the moral compass, the proper upbringing to be in this position. I do think BHO would do well hustling donations for a community center in most any major American city; or be an assistant professor of minority studies at a medium sized college.”

Kenneth Bittle - October 4, 2012

Our NEW president MITT ROMNEY as of 10/3/12 has taken control of what the AMERICAN people want. And that is FREEDOM, LIBERTY, And for Less government. Our new PRESIDEND that we finely have will bring that back.. This so called puppet communist of a dog as a liberal president needs to be put in prision along with the rest of his administration, or the death penatly for all the CRIMES they have commented to the AMERICAN PEOPLE. If this pig is relected their will be a revolution. As far as any of our constitutional rights, NO musilum law will ever take that away, I will fight too the DEATH.

franklin houser - October 4, 2012

how about listing all of the planned tax hikes known about in obama care. then go down 5 leves of income showing the effect on each level. i have never seen this done and do not know the full effect of our future disaster. thank you franklin houser. 251 bluebonnett blvd san antonio tx 78209

Mary Jane Conway - October 4, 2012

The most important thing that happened last night was that finally we saw Romney’s GOODNESS. We finally realized that Romney knows right from wrong. Human nature knows goodness. Why was Ronald Reagan so highly respected? He knew right from wrong and he was brave enough to instruct us on this VALUE.

Oscar Brown - October 4, 2012

The president proved he’s a statist. Gov. Romney should have quieted any fears about his conservative credentials. The president stammered like Porky Pig because he has no foundation he can show to the public; Gov. Romney spoke with quiet authority because he spoke from the heart.

FELI REYES - October 4, 2012

Obama proved himself to be ignorant on economic policies; he must had missed economics 101 at Columbia U? He spells out his hidden agenda to take over the states’ responsibilities e.g., education, health care, care of the poor, etc. For a president of the most powerful nation in the world to undress himself in public (debate) as ignorant and dumb is embarrassing. Kudos to Mr. Romney; he is articulate and intelligent, let alone epitomizes a truly patriotic citizen. He will be the next president of this United States!!!

Wayne, La - October 4, 2012

One of the major problems with job creation in this country is the price to market dilemma. The biggest question that a President needs to answer is how can the citizens of a country create products that are affordable for others to buy. Union demands for higher salaries and benefits limit the bottom line on products and put them out of reach for many citizens. This has happened to our health care system. Doctors and nurses demanded greater salaries and have run up the costs to where the average person cannot afford health care. Doctors and nurses deserve reasonable salaries but there are limits or restrictions that society should impose on extravagant wages. The President will have a tough job in balancing all the elements in this economic maze.

Rochelle - October 5, 2012

An across the board tax reduction would help everyone. We might have to trade tax deductions for it. It would be great to have a clear and simplified tax. That and all laws has to come from the Congress. So what Romney promotes as his agenda will have to meet the congress to be made into law.

It was good to hear the significant differences in the philosophies of the President and Mitt Romney. I am in favor of freedom, of free market solutions. I really liked what Romney said on the role of government. President Obama finally stated what he has been enacting. The differences are stark. The effects are vast.

James, don’t repeat what the News organizations are saying. Think for yourself! You know that the bulk of media sources are left leaning. They are supporting the President’s agenda without criticism.That is dangerous!

A G McDee - October 5, 2012

I believe that Romney hit it out of the park! It surprised me regarding the approach he took in the debate. He was aggressive yet respectful of the office of the president. He did a marvelous job of presenting the conservative principles of smaller government and having the government live within its means and having the government get out of the way for small business. He showed the world just who he is and he politely, but forcefully, corrected the many highly erroneous messages being presented about him in the Obama campaign ads. Now what I want to see is him be elected and to carry out these themes.

Frank Adcock - October 5, 2012

Obama is not in lock step with the historical way of life that made America great….never was….never will be. Should be considered one of the most dangerously influential people on planet Earth because of his views. As America goes, so goes the world. This has been the case for 70 years at the close of WWII.

George Marks - October 5, 2012

When Obama talks about how 50 bil dollars saved GM, Romney should state the fact that GM built 11 factories in China providing jobs in China and not USA.
Further when Obama talks about the deficit he inherited, Romney should explain that both houses in 2007-08 were controlled by democrats and they created the deficit. Bush asked congress 17 times to stop spending money and was ignored.

Alan Nelsen - October 5, 2012

During the debate, Obama said he reduced taxes on middle class and small businesses over 18 times. Does this pass the fact check?

John Joseph - October 5, 2012

Sure did! Obama is on track to accomplish exactly what George Soros wants him to—destroy our Republic. He continues to spew lies and baseless “facts: to fool the sheeple. I hope there more of us than him in the long run. God Bless America!

Bob Robeson - October 5, 2012

Just heard Chester of Irvine CA on Rush provide the best line of the month “Romney could be CEO of any international, national or local company but Obama could only work in their mailroom”. How true!!!

Lynn Wehmeyer - October 5, 2012

I wanted to see if Romney was able to stand up to Obama, call him on his lies, and not be cowed by any questions. In that, I was very happy about the debate. Now if Romney can translate that to his campaign and get the word out, we have a chance.

Ken Dobbs - October 5, 2012

I would hope more attention would be given to the idea that the President’s is part of his ideology of socialism and big government. He wants every one to be dependent on the government as noted in the Movie 2016. His socialist ideas are being ignored by the media (to be expected) but also by Conservative writers I have followed. What about his desire to bring America down. On track massive debt and weaken our military will result in America being weak and at the mercy of China and Russia.

James Sandner - October 6, 2012

Much has been made of the President failing to mention the 47% comment by Governor Romney. However, Governor Romney should be made aware of Obama’s comment to Republicans shortly after he won election in 2008. I cannot quote Obama’s comment word for word but when Republican legislators wanted to have input on developing legislation or policy, Obama replied that “We won.” My understanding of that comment was that he was going to do what he wanted with no input or influence from those people that did not vote for him. So for Obama to claim that he has supported 100% of Americans is disingenuous. In fact, he has vilified anyone who is successful and accused them of failing to pay their “fair share”.

During the debate I told my wife that the administration would report that the unemployment rate had fallen below 8% prior to election day. Like magic, two days later the employment rate is 7.8%.

Mark - October 6, 2012

Go Romney go!! Romney as a religious person needs to point out government is not God and should not keep trying to take over the roll of the family. Our country gives us the freedom to work hard and succeed or be a lazy and fail. Ultimately if we allow the government to provide for most our needs we will ultimately become a slave to it. May our one True God help us rescue us and continue to bless America!

Roger Conklin - October 7, 2012

If you want to capture the China market for vehicles, which is the #1 auto market in the world, you make them in China. China is the #1 Mercedez Benz market because they make them there for that market.

The big difference is that Germany exports 7.9 times more per-capita to China as the US and has a China trade surplus rather than a $300 billion trade deficit. Germany has the lowest unemployment in 20 years and a world trade surplus of $230 billion vs. the US with a $750 billion world trade deficit. Germans know you have to go there and sell to win markets whereas our govenment brands our citizens who go abroad as tax evading traitors, so they stay home rather than face double taxation by the IRS. Germans abroad are taxed only by the government of their host countries.

Don’t blame that on China but on Capitol Hill and the Administration.

Robert Southwick - October 8, 2012

I am particularly disturbed about what is not said in the media and in the debates. Of particular note in Obamacare is the fact that there are a wealth of changes that will radically change governments scope. Another overlooked aspect of Obama’s administration is the latest round of executive orders that will make the government a totalitarian regime. The ‘all encompassing’ volume of laws that control us is staggering. When will we wake up and take control of our lives?

Elvira King - October 9, 2012

It is almost impossible to understand how the people could continue to support Obama, he is not familiar how our economy works, as Romney pointed out, with his continued speech about “government & unions needing to do much more! Without the ” liberal media & t.v. protecting him, he is a lost sheep among them the lost & confusing scenerio of liberals/socialist ideas that have never worked before or now! God Help Us to open their eyes & ears!!!

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