I was watching the Republican debates yesterday and was amazed that … we’ll that I liked that debate better than most I’ve watched. I didn’t agree with almost anyone, but I liked Chris Wallace and his harder hitting questions, and the way he’d follow up for a “real” answer. There was a moment when he shot back at Romney and Romney seemed angry when he responded, “Are YOU familiar with the Massachusetts Constitution?” Priceless. That was in response to the repeated question of whether government can compel someone to purchase a good or service.
This brought up something interesting, because they all talked about the Affordable Care Act, but Wallace was essentially asking, can ANY government require you to buy something. States, including Texas, require you to buy car insurance to get a drivers license or operate a vehicle. That’s the state compelling me to purchase private insurance. I don’t have a choice. Well, I could choose not to drive, but Texas is huge and public transportation sucks. I guess I could choose to move to a state with better public transportation, like New York, but I kinda like Austin. Anyway, they all answered no. Even Romney. He tried to make the case that it was necessary for the state to compel purchasing insurance so as not to keep losing money, but that’s the exact reason we made it part of the Affordable Care Act.
Ron Paul was once again the most honest of all the politicians. His debate with Rick Santorum was fun to watch. Ron Paul always seems like he’s thought about what he’s going to say, that he’s thought about it for a long time, and this is the conclusion that he’s reached. Santorum looked like he wanted to score macho points. Especially since he kept whining about not getting enough TV time (man I wish SNL was on, I’d love to see the parody of this debate).
The other thing I thought while watching the debate was, “they sure do seem to want to spend a lot of money.” (With the exception of Ron Paul who was consistent on smaller government) They almost universally talked about cutting government spending, while at the same time proposing things that would increase spending. For instance a couple of the candidates talked about military actions, where did they think the money for those was coming from. Any time you send troops anywhere, it costs money. Transport, gas, man hours, etc. It’s not cheap to launch even a small offensive/defensive operation. Take Santorum vs. Paul on Iran. Ron Paul’s ideas would decrease spending, Santorum’s would increase it.
In fact, anytime a candidate of any party says, we need to do X, it’s going to cost money (stronger borders = more money, more people to police borders = more money). We need an office to make sure X doesn’t happen! Where does the money come from? Is this office staffed by volunteers in a donated building?
Look forward to watching many more of these, especially when Perry enters the race.