The first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney will be held on October 3rd in Denver, Colorado. Citizens everywhere are looking forward to this debate because much is at stake in the outcome of this election.
A number of very important questions have been discussed in the public domain. The more prominent ones will be addressed here.
The first thing on the minds of voters concerns the direction which America and the world are headed. A related question is America’s role in the world and the limits of Manifest Destiny. Do we carry a big stick or are we part of a coalition of countries with common goals and ways of implementing them? This related question is important because it gets to the heart of financial and military commitments which will be required over time. Our role in nation building is another key question to debate.
The next area is balancing the federal budget consistent with incremental growth in the GDP, as well as a more robust tax revenue base achieved from a thriving economy at some point. The debate needs to focus on how and when the federal budget will achieve balance, as well as strategies to stay that way. There are models for budget balancing in the years 1973 and again in 2000.
Health care delivery systems are another issue. The Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act is scheduled for full implementation by 2014. Voters need to know how the current Social Security System will be impacted by the act or the Ryan/Wyden plan. In addition, the candidates should opine on whether or not the overall goals of the public health care systems should promote disease management or health and wellness.
The debate should also focus on taxing junk food, soda, beer, cigarettes and potentially marijuana in order to obtain the revenues needed to preserve the existing public health systems and programs. A related question is reforming the tax code to raise additional revenues through a flat tax, applying consumption taxes to the underground economy or excess consumption taxes on non-nutritive foodstuffs.
Creating enough energy to support American industry, consumers and possibly energy exports is another important issue. Growth in solar energy, wind, geothermal, nuclear fusion, coal gasification, natural gas, ocean wave and related modalities needs to be discussed, as do safety issues in all of the energy modalities. Nuclear power plant safety is a continuing concern in light of random earthquakes and other contingencies.
The government’s role in safety regulation should focus on the approach each
candidate will take for energy production and the necessary regulation to protect the public and the environment from avoidable harm, as well as acts of God.
America’s population has grown at a robust rate of nearly a million people a year since 2000. Candidates should address this population growth and its impact on reducing the unemployment rate, increasing tax revenues, maintaining the current infrastructure, preserving the social safety net and managing domestic tranquility now and in the future.
Although the Vix Index has stabilized since 2008, the debates need to focus on
how investors will be protected from intermarket gyrations in the riskier derivative financial products. Will counterparties assume the risks of loss or will margin requirements be put into place to reduce exposure to investors and the stock market itself ?
The October 3rd debate will give Americans a glimpse of the candidates speaking extemporaneously, as well as the benefits and limitations of the various approaches offered. Voters should tune in and listen attentively.