Thursday, August 06, 2015

Questions You Probably Won't Hear in the GOP "Debate"

Tonight is the first of the "debates" among the GOP presidential candidates. I put the word "debates" in quotes because this will not, of course, be a debate at all ... it will simply be a group of professional politicians ignoring the moderator's questions in favor of sending their personal messages and casting cheap shots at their opponents. Facts will be few, far between, and - if cited at all - will probably be presented grossly out of context. In any case, since the "debate" is among hardcore conservative candidates and is being sponsored by Faux News, the chances of the participants being asked any serious questions or pressed for real answers and supporting evidence is vanishingly small.

From the If I Were King* Department, here are the questions I would ask if I were moderating this "debate":

1. I know you despise Obamacare and want to repeal it immediately, but what is your specific plan to provide affordable health care in its place?

2. Do you believe the current tax code is fair to all Americans? Would you consider changes to the tax code which close loopholes or raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy in order to even out the average tax burden? If so, give some concrete examples of loopholes you would close or taxes you would raise.

3. How will you fight violent extremism while staying true to core American beliefs and freedoms?

4. A follow-up question: how do you propose to fight violent activity on the part of American political and religious extremists here at home?

5. Gun violence is a serious problem in the United States. What specific measures do you propose to reduce gun violence without infringing on rights guaranteed by the Constitution?

6. What are your specific ideas for making American education affordable and reducing levels of student debt?

7. Many Americans believe that there is too much influence in our political system of huge money donations from corporations and the wealthy. Do you think "big money" has too much influence in our politics? If not, why? If so, what will you propose to do to limit its influence? Would you support requiring that all donations for any organization active in the political campaign season be released to the public? Would you agree to call on your super PACs and associated 501(c)(4)s to release their lists of donors and the size of their donations?

8. There has been a lot of angry, arguably irresponsible rhetoric from the right, blaming the government as a whole (or individual appointees) for everything that's perceived to be wrong in the country. Polling data shows that Congress has approval ratings in the single to low-double digits, and mistrust of public figures is high, stoked by the angry language of talk radio. What, specifically, will you do to restore faith in our elected government?

9. The national minimum wage today is $7.25/hour, which is well below the poverty line for a full-time worker with a family of four. Do you support an increase in the minimum wage? Why or why not?

10. America's infrastructure - highways, bridges, power grid, water supply, etc - is aging and increasingly in disrepair. Would you support major programs to rebuild our critical infrastructure? If so, how do you propose to fund it?

Okay, Dear Readers, those are my ten questions. What are yours? Of course, I don't expect to get any answers ... and I certainly don't plan on watching tonight's clown show. I'd rather watch something more useful and educational on television ... like Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* And you should be glad I'm not.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Oh, you dreamer you!
Those are great but won't be addressed.
This group loves to hate on our president but has no real plans except to oppose his and ignoring what the American people really want and care about.
Makes me very very sad and worried for the direction of our country.

John Hill said...

Ten good questions for ten politicians of any party will require far more time than allotted. Choose two questions for all of the candidates or choose two to ask to each candidate and most of us will tune out in about two minutes!

Mike said...

11. How many wars do you plan to start?

allenwoodhaven said...

Excellent questions. And, Bilbo, I think you'd be a good King.
I have my own If I Were King Department...

Linda Kay said...

I'll be listening for these questions to come up.