Debate FAQs

These are NOT actual quotes...just questions I would like to hear tonight.


Q1 to Romney: You say you will repeal Obamacare. Yet most Americans like the coverage of pre-existing conditions, allowing children to age 26 to stay on parents' policy, removing annual and lifetime caps, guaranteed renewability, non-cancellability, and a few other provisions.

What I would like to hear from Romney: Those provisions are easy for insurance companies to provide except that the pre-existing condition coverage must be part of a continuous guaranteed coverage provision. Once insured, always insured--- as long as premiums are paid.

Q1 to Obama: But what is in the other 2500 pages of the bill and what is the purpose of the 150 or more new agencies and bureaucracies contained in the bill?

Q2 to Obama: Some have called the IPAB gang of 15 a "death panel". Does it not have the authority to deny certain treatments to patients over the objection of their physicians?

Q3 to Obama: You say that the $700B "transfer" from Medicare to Obamacare is just cutting payments to insurance companies and hospitals. That's a great idea, Mr. President. If we cut payments to zero, Medicare will be free. It is not right to pretend that payments can be cut without a reduction in services. Even a businessman knows that (Sarcastically).

Tax and Spending:

Q1 to Romney: The $5T question.

What I would like to hear from Romney: Many studies have been cited for the $5T figure and others say the predicted shortfall would be zero or close to it. You must understand that any study of the ten year impact of a change in tax rules depends on predictions of tax revenue under the current rules. This in turn depends primarily on the future growth of the economy, mainly GDP.  If anyone claims to "prove" the $5T lie, ask them to show you their assumptions on GDP and tax revenue growth over a decade without the 20% tax cut.

What I would like to hear for post-debate spin and analysis: In order to get a $5T shortfall in a decade, it would require 15% average compounded annual growth in tax revenues under the current system. That kind of growth would nearly wipe out the entire national debt, rendering the whole question irrelevant.

Medicare and Social Security:

Q1 to Obama: The Medicare actuaries say the current system will fail in less than ten years. You have attacked the Romney-Ryan plan as "ending Medicare as we know it". How can Medicare as we know it be preserved without draconian cuts in services or increases in patient or taxpayer contributions?

Foreign Policy:

Q1 to both: Do you support Israel taking its sovereignty over its capital Jerusalem off the negotiating table?

What I would like to hear from Romney: Yes. A united Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. I believe I am quoting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from her NY Senate race. Surely, she is not an etch-a-sketcher.

What I would like to hear from Obama: his true opinion or an attempt to duck the question

Q2 to both: Will you pledge to never publicly embarrass a close friend or ally with either words (public criticism) or actions (snubbing a friendly leader)?

What I would like to hear from Romney: Yes.

What I would like to hear from Obama: I have no idea