Monday, July 30, 2012

The Debate We Should Have

Columnists Tom Friedman of the New York Times and Fareed Zakaria of the Washington Post take both Presidential campaigns to task for their trivial, distortion-filled attacks on one another rather than a more substantive discussion. Friedman: Then people would see a real choice: a tough-minded-but-centrist plan with real bipartisan support versus a radical plan to gut Medicare, give more tax cuts to the already wealthy and drastically shrink discretionary spending so eventually nothing is left for education, veterans, roads, research, the F.B.I. or the poor. Zakaria: The presidential campaign has gotten so heated over the attacks and counterattacks from the Obama and Romney campaigns that it’s easy to forget that larger issues are at stake in November. That’s unfortunate because, beneath the froth, there is an important ideological debate to be had about America’s future. In other words, the great shift in the U.S. economy over the past 30 years has not been an increase in taxes and regulations (as Romney argues) but, rather, a decline in investment in human and physical capital. President Obama has real facts and a strong case — which makes it all the more depressing that his campaign has focused on half-truths and weak arguments. --Ballard Burgher

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