2nd Pres Debate, October 7, 2008, Townhall Style, Tennessee
Moderator, Tom Brokaw
With the economy on the downturn, retired and older citizens losing their income, what’s the fastest solution to bailing these people out.
Obama – worst financial crisis since G.D., people worried, final verdict of last 8 years, we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, prosperity to reign, hasn’t worked. Decisive action. One, rescue package, needs to work properly, strong oversight, cracking down on CEOs. Middle Class need rescue package, tax cuts, help for homeowners, state & local governments, infrastructure to keep people in jobs, fix health & energy that is already burden.
McCain – You go to the heart of America’s worries tonight. Angry, upset, a little fearful, our job to fix the problem. Energy independence. Gotta stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don’t like us very much. Gotta keep taxes low. Stop spending spree. $10 trillion debt, 500 of which is owed to China. Reforms, prosperity. Problem so severe, that we’re going to have do something about home values. Home values of retirees continues to decline, people … Sec of Treas, buy up bad home loans, renegotiate at new, reduced value. Is it expensive? Yes. But until we stabilize home values, we’re never going to start turning around and creating jobs. I know how to do that my friends. I know how to get America working again.
Who would you appoint to Sec of Treasury since Paulson won’t stay on?
McCain – tough question, a lot of qualified, first criteria – Americans must trust, Warren Buffet, Meg Whitman. Someone who inspires trust and confidence.
Obama – Warren would be a pretty good choice, pleased to have his support. Other folks out there. Key next Treas Sec needs to understand not enough to help those at the top, we have to help the middle class. Wages and incomes flat-lined, harder and harder to save and retire. Tax policy create tax cut for 95% of working Americans. Need to stabilize housing prices AND jobs. Next
What it is that is going to help these people out?
McCain – match to light fire, Frannie Mae and Freddie mac. With encouragement of Obama & cronies made risky loans to people who could never afford to pay back. Some of us, two years ago stood up against that. Obama 2nd highest recipient of Frannie and Freddie money. Stabilize markets, shore up institutions, not enough, so we’ll have to buy up these loans so people can
Obama – what’s in the rescue package for you? Credit markets frozen up, so some small and large businesses can’t get a loan, can’t make payroll, may have to shut doors and lay people off. 1 company and imagine 1 million. Adverse affect on everyone. Had to take action. Gotta correct a little of McCain’s history. Biggest problem was deregulation of this whole financial situation. 2 years ago said sub prime lending crisis. 1 year ago, went to wall street, go to deregulate. McCain said we should keep on deregulating because that’s how the free enterprise works. With respect to Fannie & Freddie bill, McCain jumped on a year after. Obama didn’t support. This is not the end, this is the beginning of the process. Important to work with homeowners, to ensure they will stay in their home. Rescue package has that option but it hasn’t been enacted yet. Strengthen homeowner.
American economy is going to get much worse and ought to be prepared?
Obama – no, I’m confident about American economy, but we need better leadership from Washington. Have archaic system, need to coordinate with other countries. Need to help ordinary families stay in their home, ensure pay bills, healthcare and energy.
McCain – worse before better? Depends on what we do. If we act effectively, if we stabilize housing market, new mortgage at new value of home. Get rid of Cronyism, etc. Point is, we can fix our economy. American workers…. Innocent bystanders.
How can we trust either of you with our money when both parties got us into this global economic crisis?
Obama – Well, look, I understand your frustration and cynicism, you’ve been doing your part, and Washington hasn’t. remember a little bit of history. When W came into office, we had surpluses, now we have a ½ trillion now over 10 trillion. No one is completely innocent, but over the last 8 years we have had the biggest increase in the last 8 years. Spend money on key issues – gotta reform health care, got to deal with energy, can’t keep borrowing from Chinese and sending it to Saudi Arabia, college afford-ability. Cutting more than I am spending, net spending cut. Key to have priorities that work for you.
McCain – well, Theresa, thank you, I can see why you feel that cynicism and mistrust. I have been a consistent reformer. I have advocated and taken on the special interests taking on the big money people. Clea record of bipartisanship. Obama proposing 860 billion dollars in new spending?
New economic realties that everyone understands, choices made, health energy and entitlement reform what are your priorities and what order, firs year in office?
McCain – can work on all three at once, reform entitlement programs, my friends, not be able to provide same benefits for retirees as we have today, 1983.
Obama – investment 15 billion dollars in ten years, free of dependence on energy middle east, priority #1, health care #2, broken health-care system, #3 education. Looking at our records, we do need to. Senator McCain likes to talk about earmarks, eliminate programs that don’t work, those that do work work better and cheaper. Got to look at where our tax revenues are going. $300 billion tax cut, give to big corps and oil companies, that’s money out of the system. Got to prioritize spending & tax side.
Since WWII we have never been asked to sacrifice … what sacrifices will you ask every American to make to get out of the economic mess we are in.
McCain – some programs we’ll have to eliminate, every agency of every bureaucracy, defense spending. Eliminate earmarks, some good projects will have to be eliminated. Spending freeze except for defense and veterans affairs. Some programs not grow like we’d like them to.
Obama – a lot of you remember tragedy of 9/11, all of country was ready to come together to make enormous changes to make us safer and better. One of the opportunities missed was when he said, got out and shop, not the kind of call to service the American people were looking for. I think the American people hungry for leadership. How we use energy. Increased oil production, explore new ways to get new oil. Use land or lose it. Safe ways to save nuclear energy. How can we save energy in our homes and our buildings. A fuel efficient car built here. Weatherize home, make home more fuel efficient. Young people interested in how they can serve. Creating volunteer corp involved in communities and military service.
Pres Bush said last summer Wall Street got drunk, now people think Govt got drunk and American people got drunk. How would you specifically fix that, a model?
Obama – starts with Washington, we’ve got to show that we’ve got good habits. Looking at spending and revenue side. I want to use a scalpel to make sacrifices.
McCain – nailing down Obama’s various tax ideas are like nailing Jello to the wall. I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. Then goes on to middle class..
Huge unfunded obligations for entitlement programs, eat up all revenue. Would you give congress a date certain to reform social security?
Obama – going to have to take on entitlements, going to have to do it quickly, my first term as president. We’re not going to solve soc sec and Medicare. Understand revenues coming in. I want to provide a tax cut for 95% of Americans. If you make less than 250,000 your taxes will go down. Small businesses, only a few percent of small businesses make more than 250k, so the vast majority would get the credit, so they could buy health insurance for their workers.
McCain – It’s not that hard, Tom.
I want to know that Congress moved pretty fast, environmental issues, climate change, and green jobs?
McCain – nuclear yea
Obama – one of the biggest challenges (opportunity) of our time, a new energy economy, 5 mil new jobs, engine that drives us into the future, make investments. I favor nuclear power as ONE component of our overall energy risks.
Selling health-care coverage as a marketable commodity profitable, do you believe health-care should be treated as a commodity?
Obama – frequently asked issues.
Health-care right responsibility?
McCain – responsibility?
Obama – Right
Financial stress affect our ability to act as a peace maker?
McCain – strong military, needs strong economy. Prevent bad stuff
Obama – need to change
Obama & McCain Doctrine?
Obama – genocide, ethnic cleansing, moral obligation, not going to be able to be everywhere every time.
McCain – greatest force of good, do what we can to prevent genocide, tempered with our ability to beneficially affect, need to understand limits of our abilities.
Should the U.S. respect Pakistani sovereignty or invade like in Vietnam war?
Obama – difficult situation, hadn’t finished job, got distracted, diverted resources. Kill Bin Laden crush Tali-ban.
McCain – hero T. Roosevelt.
What don’t you know and how will you learn it?
McCain – don’t know, what we all don’t know, challenges
Brokaw – that’s my script!