The Campaign Spot

Questions We Wish Were Asked on the Democrats’ Economic Plans

You know, I thought Brian Williams had some good questions in the debate the other night – the simple show of hands of which candidates had guns in their homes during their lifetimes (Hillary indicated “no,” a response that must have inspired chuckles at the Secret Service), the question to Obama about his indicted donor, etc. …
But I would have paid good money to see James Pethokoukis of U.S. News and World Report grill the candidates on their economic plans. His questions:

“Senator Obama, in your book The Audacity of Hope, you write that President Reagan’s ‘central insight–that the liberal welfare state had grown complacent and overly bureaucratic with Democratic policymakers more obsessed with slicing the economic pie than with growing the pie–contained a good deal of truth.’” Yet you have yet to propose any ideas to boost economic growth, productivity, or innovation. Nothing about growing the pie. Do you have any ideas that you wish to share with us or any thoughts at all on the role of government in promoting growth?”
“Senator Clinton, you’ve called the Kyoto treaty, meant to reduce global-warming emissions, a ‘great organizing principle’ for a national economy. Two questions: First, do you believe it is the proper role of the government to “organize” the $13 trillion U.S. economy? Second, most economists would say that raising worker productivity is what raises our standard of living over time. Does that goal now come second to dealing with climate change? Must Americans now accept a stagnant standard of living because of global warming?”

Read all his questions. I can’t help but suspect that the common response would be, “Um… um… I support a strong economy, and my plans will get us there. Let me tug your heart-strings with this anecdote of an ordinary American going through a hard time, and let me blame the Bush administration for their troubles, as if there’s a big lever in the Oval Office that controls the economy. Then I will conclude by restating my goal of economic growth, and insisting that my plan is the best way to get there.”

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