Editor’s Note: Keep in mind your favorite personality for President, if conservative, if constitutionally sound, will likely never make it through the RNC Convention. In 2012 Rule 16 was pushed through using extremely unethical means. If Rule 16 had been in force at the time Ronald Reagan would have never been President. [Video Link]
Last night’s GOP debate was moderated by the professionals at FoxBusiness and The Wall Street Journal, which meant that it was more substantive, and less cringeworthy/entertaining, than last month’s CNBC train wreck. While Republicans gained some traction from media-bashing last time, they actually benefit more from a serious debate like this one, since it highlights the strength of their bench.
With a few exceptions, the candidates communicated effectively, and came across as serious potential national leaders. The Republicans articulated a starkly different philosophy of government from the Democrats, and mostly avoided cheap talking points and easy evasions of issues. The GOP as a whole should be delighted that there are so many candidates and so many debates, if only because these exchanges serve as economic and civics primers for voters. Here were a few of the key topics raised, what candidates said about them, and my take on who was most cogent.
Kudos to Ted Cruz for bringing this up, recounting how the Fed has hijacked and politicized control of the money supply, becoming a pump to inflate economic bubbles that fail and stick the taxpayer, and hurt our long-term growth. Sound money used to be a mainstream conservative issue, and it should be again. Cruz even mentioned the gold standard, and recounted how America grew more steadily and strongly before Nixon junked it — in a crassly political move that still distorts our economy. Rand Paul also spoke to this issue, but more wonkishly and less effectively. Jeb Bush, in his tentative way, made the valid point that fed-fueled inflation hurts the poor more than anyone.
Carly Fiorina was clearest and most cogent on this topic, which she admirably raises whenever she can. In her measured, authoritative style, she explained the mortgage crisis and its roots in “compassionate” federal policies to promote home ownership among people who really ought to be renters — i.e., those with terrible credit ratings and no savings.
She showed “how socialism grows,” by the government creating a crisis through one intervention, then feeling compelled to intervene again to clean up its own mess, with big business colluding with regulators to concentrate economic power. That suits the interests of socialists, since it’s easier to control a few big companies than thousands of small ones. That is how we got the collapse of community banking, and the de facto legal status of some huge banks as “too big to fail,” a point that Marco Rubio took on effectively, noting that it’s a scandal for the government to give some business such a blank-check guarantee, which they “brag about” and use to further squeeze out smaller, non-guaranteed competitors. Cruz took a bold stand against bank bailouts, which Kasich tried and failed to turn to demagogic effect by pretending that depositors (rather than investors) would suffer from letting big banks fail.
Several of the candidates (Cruz, Carson and Paul) are backing a flat, no-deduction income tax — which is impressive, considering how…