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16 Critical Economic Issues That Obama And Romney Avoided During The Debate

Did you watch the presidential debate on Wednesday night?  It is absolutely amazing how they can have an hour and a half debate about the economy and say so little.  It seemed like both candidates were falling all over each other wanting to talk about how much they value education, but will more education really solve our problems?  After all, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011.  So perhaps they should just both agree that education is a good thing and start talking about how to create more jobs for all of us.  If you want to grade the debate from a technical standpoint, clearly Romney was the winner of the debate.  Romney was full of energy and was generally sharp with his answers.  Obama looked like he had just popped a couple of antidepressants and was ready for nap time.  As a result, this might have been the worst blowout in the history of presidential debates.  A CNN/ORC International poll that was taken right after the debate found that 67 percent of all Americans that had watched the debate thought that Romney was the winner.  Never before had any presidential candidate crossed the 60 percent mark in the history of their post-debate polling.  So Romney definitely had a big night.  But the reality is that both candidates were telling the American people what they want to hear.  If either Obama or Romney told the truth about what we are facing they would lose votes, and in a race this tight both of them really want to avoid doing that.  Obama and Romney both desperately want to win this election, and the words that are coming out of their mouths have been carefully crafted to appeal to the “undecided voters” in the swing states.  If you actually believe that they can deliver on everything that they are promising, then you must not have been paying much attention to U.S. politics over the past several decades.

Perhaps the biggest failure on Wednesday night was debate moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS.  His questions were about as far from “hard hitting” as you could get.

The hour and a half debate was almost entirely about the economy, and yet almost all of the critical economic issues were ignored.

Yes, Obama and Romney have slight differences when it comes to tax rates and regulations, but those small differences are not going to do much to change the direction of this country one way or another.

Meanwhile, there were some really huge issues about the economy that were not addressed at all last night….

1 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the Federal Reserve was not mentioned a single time.

2 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, Ben Bernanke was not mentioned a single time.

3 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, quantitative easing was not mentioned a single time.

4 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the term “derivatives” was not used a single time.  Considering the fact that derivatives could bring down our financial system at any moment, this is an issue that should be talked about.

5 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of the millions of jobs that have been shipped out of the country.  Considering the fact that both Obama and Romney have played a role in this, it is probably a topic they both want to avoid.  Overall, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

6 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate mentioned that the velocity of money has plunged to a post-World War II low.

7 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the fact that the rest of the world is beginning to reject the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency was not mentioned a single time, but this has enormous implications for our economy in the years ahead.

8 – The fact that the Social Security system is headed for massive trouble was only briefly touched on during the debate.  At the moment, there are approximately 56 million Americans that are collecting Social Security benefits.  By 2035, that number is projected to grow to an astounding 91 million.  Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.  When are our politicians going to honestly address this massive problem?

9 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the nightmarish drought the country is experiencing right now was not mentioned a single time.

10 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the financial meltdown in Europe was basically totally ignored.  But considering the fact that Europe has a larger economy and a much larger banking system than we do, perhaps someone should have asked Obama and Romney what they plan to do when the financial system of Europe implodes.

11 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, the student loan debt bubble was only briefly mentioned.

12 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was not a single word about the fact that the gap between the wealthy and the poor is now larger than it has been at any point since the Great Depression.

13 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of TARP (which they both supported at the time).  Would they both bail out the big banks if another financial crisis erupted?

14 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, there was no mention of the economic stimulus packages (which they both supported at the time).  Would they both want more “economic stimulus” if we entered another recession?

15 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate talked about the fact that most of the jobs our economy is producing now are low income jobs.  In fact, since the end of the last recession, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created are low paying jobs.

16 – In an hour and a half debate about the economy, neither candidate mentioned that more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government or that more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.  I can’t blame Romney for avoiding this point though – he probably wanted to avoid the phrase “47 percent” at all costs.

Is this really the best that America can do?

Tens of millions of Americans tuned in hoping to become more informed about the candidates, and instead what they got was an hour and a half of tap dancing as Obama and Romney constantly tossed out buzzwords such as “education”, “energy independent” and “middle class”.

I honestly don’t know how you can possibly have a debate about the economy without talking about the Federal Reserve, quantitative easing, the trade deficit, Europe or the decline of the U.S. dollar.

But it just happened right in front of our eyes.

I don’t think that I can ever remember another presidential debate that lacked substance as much as this one did.

So what did you all think about the debate?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

  • Washington

    Keyes to the Republic Vol. 1 President Obama and Mitt Romney. Our Nation faces a great crisis and the integrity of our Republic is at stake. Barack Obama offers a path of socialism; but is there real hope in the alternative?

  • concerned person

    Oh come on Michael. We know the really important topic is whether the government will keep paying for Sesame Street. /sarc rolls eyes

  • Zharkov

    Obama’s vision of America looks more like Zimbabwe every day. The U.S. dollar is quickly becoming worthless, producers are leaving the country as fast as possible, and government employees are doing asset seizures of our citizen’s assets. An impotent Congress is watching from the sidelines, doing nothing but cheering the demolition job done by both political parties.

    It’s time to re-read our Declaration of Independence for further instructions.

  • Thomas Hildebrand

    “”Thus says The Lord of Hosts to all the sons and daughters of this, the last generation of men: You have all inherited the error of your fathers! You have altogether become like them! Behold, you have surpassed the sins of ancient Egypt, when I poured out My wrath upon them! Your wickedness has increased beyond every tribe, people, and nation, which has dwelled upon the earth!… THIS GENERATION IS WICKED BEYOND MEASURE!
    Thus great wrath is stirred up and My indignation has come to the full! My anger is fully aroused and shall surely be poured out!… RECOMPENSE for all nations! RECOMPENSE for all these churches of men who have spoken presumptuously in My name! RECOMPENSE for all these corrupt workers who have done falsely on My behalf!… I HAVE NOT SENT YOU!
    And you, O peoples of the earth, I have seen how you perform every form of evil at your leisure! You cease not from reveling in that which I hate! Behold, you murder the innocent day and night and plot evil against your neighbor! You stand up for the rights of those who commit abomination and clap your hands as wickedness is celebrated openly in the streets!… O MOST PERVERSE AND ABOMINABLE GENERATION, SHALL I NOT REPAY?!
    Behold, My body is persecuted in every land, and My bride is murdered at the hands of idolators! My people are bruised and beaten! My servants slandered and hated, without cause! Therefore I am come down to take vengeance, to pour out wrath upon this people for all their wickedness!… I SHALL IMPART RECOMPENSE IN FULL!””

    Hear the WORD of the LORD spoken to THIS modern generation!…

    Letters from God and His Christ, given to a modern man for modern man’s sake!…

  • Dr. Dana


  • pkeyrie

    Neither is any good ,both are bought and paid for ,But i would like to see the back end of that bigoted obnoxious arrogant full of himself Ospama

  • Erik Bergum

    Obama and Romney definitely need to look at the 16 issues. I think if Romney is elected, he should definitely take a hard look at all of these issues. That definitely would bring real change to America.

    • Lynsey

      It’s funny. I feel like simply acknowledging that all this corruption and mismanagement exists will render either opponent the undeniable winner. (Like so many self-help program say acknowledging the problem is the first step to resolving it). But, that’s assuming all voters are educated enough to attribute the appropriate level of importance to each issue at hand.

  • Kathy Lohberger

    Dear Lord Jesus please have mercy on our country and help it QUICKLY we’re in need…in Jesus name. Amen

  • http://n/a jgouig

    I didn’t bother to watch. I know what those things are like: 2 guys barking at each other. The Unreality that the American people have bought into is astounding, and this is what pushes all the problems forward. The average Man on the Street has never heard of quantitative easing or derivatives; he’s mostly concerned with what color tie the candidates are wearing. And yet these are the people who vote. Isn’t that scary?!

    I’m glad I didn’t waste my time.



  • Buzz Mann

    Has anyone seen 2016? That has not been addressed by anyone. Has anyone looked at how many executive orders Obama has made and what they are? Scary stuff. Ron Paul was our best bet, but the powers that be did not want their boat rocked so they(media) basically eliminated him. Obama, a great orator, but would love to be a dictator if he could. I hate to say this but one should vote for Romney unless they want to live in an interment camp or be the employees of the new sweat shop capitol of the world.

  • Hallen

    Those who would like a biblical perspective on voting for the lesser of the two evils.

  • Tall Tom

    I disagree with #5. Obama did mention it in reference to stopping the Tax Subsidies given to corporations that offshore their activites. I am sorry. I paid attention…

    I also paid more Conscious attention to their Body Language as that told me a lot more about the messages and who was likely to prevail than I did to their words. The words, as you know, as I knew, were not going to be anything of real substance.

    But according to Zogby International, Obama, regardless of the debates, will be victorious. The Silver Lining is really a Gold one. The price of Gold should soar, according to Zogby International when polling investors about their plans after November.

    Buy Gold.

  • linda

    Ha! The REAL discussion needs to be had over the future of what we call “work” today. And NOBODY even comes CLOSE to touching that one…
    The 5-day, 40-hour week is an anachronism. Anything that can be done via digital technology can be done in a fraction of the time it could be done 50 years ago. Obviously, if you allow corporate interests to capitalize on that by paying workers at the old pre-digital rates, yet they are getting so much more productivity…Well, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out what happens next.
    It’s happening today. More work is being done by fewer workers, yet the overall wages are in steep decline. Corporate profits at an all-time high, so much so that risks unthinkable a few decades ago are now standard operating procedure, simply because the gamblers see an unlimited source of funding, and very limited payback if something goes wrong.
    Meanwhile, the labor class has to make do with less and less. Now the powers-that-be are trying to convince people that it isn’t their GREED that caused the problem, but their neighbors NEED…all those envious lazy unwashed hordes…

  • Homer Simpson

    What debate? Dancing With The Stars was on.

  • badbrian from grass valley

    Michael, you are attracting some really intellegent people to comment on your blogs.You may be approaching ZH with quality of your writings ( in your style of course) As proof of this trend I offer that even Gary 2 comments far less than he used to. Does anybody think that this trend may be having an effect on him? If so , it shows that there is hope for just about about anyone.

    • Michael

      I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people that leave comments on these articles. I think that a terrific community has developed around this site, and I am very excited about that.


      • Dano

        I only wish people all over the US would see this blog, as they would stop believing the bullschmidt the one-party system throws our way.

  • Norma. Ippolito

    @Richard Crooks, you said. Get Up and hit the trees…!!! And Do What Out On The Streets…???

  • MaryAnn Stuart

    I have no idea what derivatives and quantitative easings are, and I suspect that I am not the only one, so why would they be mentioned in a short timeframe for the general public.
    Point #5 is not true.
    The candidates were not free to choose all their own topics, so why blame them?
    And because O. did not hear things the first time, R. had to repeat many things over and over, instead of bringing up new issues.
    R. did explain his plans. So, the author of this article could have done a much better job of writing the truth. And, if derivatives and quantitative easings are so important, whatever they are (they’re not in the Constitution), then the author could have explained them, since R. did not have time to do so, and O. probably does not know what they are, either.

    • john doe

      If you don’t know what Q.E. and Derivatives are maybe you should spend some time learning about them rather than bashing the points. Derivatives are “bets,” so gambling with your money and calling it insurance. QE is printing more paper money and flooding the market with it, with no backing, which makes the little bit you have in your pocket worth less every day, thus the increase in all costs like food, fuel, ect., all the things you need to make it day to day. If I can get a “general public” handle on them, I think you could too. And just for your info Im not a finance person, but an unemployed (layed off) telecom worker- so much for unions protecting our jobs. What a joke.

  • JT$$

    I’m with Dr. Blue

  • Knavechild

    Wanna see something that will make you want to smash your monitor? Watch this: – As President Obama and Mitt Romney prepare to square off in Denver, Colorado tonight, we look at how the Democrats and Republicans manage to shut out all third parties from the presidential debates. The Obama and Romney campaigns have secretly negotiated a detailed contract that dictates many of the terms of the 2012 presidential debates. This includes who gets to participate, as well as the topics raised during the debates. We’re joined by George Farah, founder and executive director of Open Debates, and author of the book, “No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates.”


  • Bob Marshall

    America has to have the most ignorant citizens on God’s green earth when it come to our government.

  • Rancher

    Hey… The limp wristed light in the loafers moderator did not ask about any of those topics either. Go figure?

  • Cathy M

    Part of the “47 percent” video where Romney was busted talking to supporters about 47% on the dole who probably wouldn’t vote for him also contained a segment where he is explaining what the Fed is doing and what deep trouble we are going to be in. My instict is that Romney knows exactly what is going on, but resists sounding the alarms for fear of being demonized by the lame stream media and many of the uninformed idiots wouldn’t get it anyway.

  • Washington

    1929 : The Great Crash.

    Examining the causes of the Wall Street Crash, when the US stock market lost a third of its value over six desperate days in October 1929, causing the loss of more than $25billion in individual wealth. 3,000 banks later failed and took investors’ savings with them. People who lived through that turbulent period describe the biggest financial catastrophe in history.

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