After the first 15 minutes, I turned the volume off and watched the body language. Obama being younger, struck the most appealing poses. Obama is much more the "polished" debater. He posed like a member of a college debate team. I can see him siting down with Putin, Pakistan, the Saudies, and the leadership of China and Iran. All words, little substance. These hard noses will make Obama feel like he succeeded as these "hard noses" chuckle at him behind closed doors.
Reminded me somewhat of Admiral James Stockdale, a local war hero from Abingdon, a tough guy who wasn't polished in debating and was more of a real person, and how badly he came across on television when he debated more polished, desk "admirals", Al Gore and Dan Qualye. As Taylor B. Stockdale, his son, wrote recently (9/30/08), in the WSJ, that "Debates Don't Always Reveal Character". Taylor writes, "as everyone could see that evening he was not a debater. He was fighter pilot ace, a Medal of Honor recipient, and a wonderful dad and human being. During his 8 years as a POW, he slit his scalp and beat his face with a stool to prevent his captors from parading him in the street for propaganda purposes".
Try to visualize Obama in the position of a POW...... The country should be tired of promises without substance and tired of having too few real people in Congress. (What a joy Palin will be) We have too many "bureaucrats" camouflaged as politicians in Washington already.
I did turn the volume on later when the debate got past the "boilerplate". If you listen carefully, Obama is all for expanding the governments role in almost all aspects of our lives including health plans offering Canada's health plan in installments.
Both candidates position on health care is pretty much summed up in "Obama and Health-Care Equity" in today's WSJ, Review and Outlook, "Obama's point seems to be that because companies wouldn't have to to pay for health care, companies could raise wages and thus thus taxes for workers....Isn't that what Obama is asking for? Higher wages?
How about higher wages, less taxes and as a extra benefit pay everybody the same so I wouldn't have to work so hard. Listen carefully, that is what Obama is saying. Regressive behaviour. And while he is at it, his health plan would eventually crowd out all the private insurance companies as the government pays all the countries health care costs.
According to the Congressional Budget, fed spending on Medicare and Medicaid already takes up 4% of the GDP and will rise to an unsustainable 9% over the next 2 decades. Obama wants to add even more costs to the taxpayers.
McCain proposals are progressive. He wants to readjust the subsidies, I hate that word, that Congress channels into health coverage for business so that lower and middle wage workers aren't shortchanged. Currently, people who get insurance through their employers pay no income or payroll taxes on the benefit. This revenue the government forgoes to encourage certain behavior. If those losses were direct spending, the tax exemption would have cost more than $246 billion in 2007
But all that money props up only employer-provide insurance. Individuals who buy policies get no tax benefits and pay with after-tax dollars. McCain is proposing to make tax benefits available to everyone, regardless of how thy buy their insurance.
McCain would offer a refundable tax credit of $5,000 for families and $2500 for individuals and the benefit isn't dependent on where people work or what they earn. Employees given options, especially the uninsured, armed with new health dollars, they would decide to buy coverage on their own. That in turn would stimulate a market for more affordable insurance.
In observation after the debate last night, I turned to MSCNBC. What a parody. Balanced coverage, I think not. The camera stayed on Obama and his family for more than 10 minutes, the camera one time showed McCain off in the distance.
My wife and I have pledged to buy nothing that the advertisers on that station advertise. Even no longer buying Crest. I'm sure we will make a big dent in profits.