Kerry would reinstate the taxes on the wealthy, shut some corporate loopholes to big oil, govern with greater fiscal discipline and work harder to create jobs and keep jobs in the U.S.
Bush ranted and kept switching the subject to talk about education. This was perhaps the funniest part of the debate. According to Bush, America’s ballooning deficit, sluggish economy, and job drain will be solved by giving children a couple tests each year! Test designers, who serenditously occupy the one sector of the U.S. economy booming since the advent of No Child Left Behind, must have been jumping in glee at the thought that the entire nation’s economy hinged on their ability to make a good multiple choice exam!
Kerry cited a donkey-cart full of statistics about the sorry state of the economy. In this, the numbers are definitely on Kerry’s side. For 99% of us, the economy of the last four years was abysmal and Bush’s give-aways to the rich and the oil companies certainly didn’t help. I don’t think Kerry presented any great strategy to turn things around but we can at least find solace in the possibility that he won’t follow the Bush strategy of constantly tossing bolts into the workings of the American economic machine.
Bush tried to say that his tax-cuts really benefited the poor and middle-class. This is bullshit. American conservatives have been deceived into feeling great sympathy for the “overtaxed” wealthy. Let’s put this in perspective. All of us who worked during the last 3 decades managed to create astronomical increases in wealth. No one disputes this. If you look at U.S. productivity and the number of widgets leaving the widget factory, everything is way up. Pretty much all of this wealth that WE created has gone to the top quintile. Actually, this top quintile didn’t produce a single widget. They sat around in the Cayman Islands and the Riviera complaining about how the numbers in their bank accounts weren’t doubling fast enough. The widget-makers themselves (the other 95% of us) didn’t get even a pat on the back for our hard work. Bush, feeling sorry for these poor buggers on the beach in the Cayman Islands gave THEM a break. Things have got worse for everyone else no matter what statistic you care to look at. Health costs are sky-rocketing, pay isn’t increasing, and hours worked have been rising. Kerry’s strong point during the evening was when he hammered home the idiocy of this tax-cut for the wealthy.