Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Doctor’s Take on First Presidential Debate:  Trickle-Down Economics Versus Trickle-Down Government
Profound thought arise only in debate.
Andre Sakharov (1921-1989), Progress, Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom
Despite the conceits of New York and Washington, almost nothing starts there. In the course of my work, I have been overwhelmingly impressed with the extent to which America is a bottom-up society. Trends are bottom-up, fads top-down.

John Naisbitt, Megatrends, 1982
October 4, 2012 -  The  first Romney-Obama debate came down to this exchange.
Governor Romney: “What we’re seeing right now is, in my view, a trickle-down government approach, which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams — and it’s not working,”
“The proof of that is 23 million people out of work,” he said. “The proof of that is 1 out of 6 people in poverty. The proof of that is we’ve gone from 32 million on food stamps to 47 million on food stamps. The proof of that is that 50 percent of college graduates this year can’t find work.”
“We know that the path we are taking is not working. It is time for a new path.
President Obama:“ Look, the genius of America is the free enterprise system and freedom, and the fact that people can go out there and start a business, work on an idea, make their own decisions.”

"But as Abraham Lincoln understood, there are also some things we do better together.”
“So in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said, ‘Let’s help to finance the Transcontinental Railroad, let’s start the National Academy of Sciences, let’s start land grant colleges, because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for all Americans, because if all Americans are getting opportunity, we’re all going to be better off.’ "
“That doesn’t restrict people’s freedom. That enhances it. And so what I’ve tried to do as president is to apply those same principles, adding that education spending and high-quality teachers are critical.”

There is something to be said for  each point of view.  A delicate balance exists between top-down control and bottom-up enterprise. 
·         The Obama view is that “trickle-down economics” is anathema. Economic goods do not naturally flow down from the  wealthy and powerful to the middle class and the poor. Therefore, government must intercede to set things right to make sure everyone gets their "fair share". Trickle-down economics is what led to the Great Recession of 2008 and must not be allowed to resurface and prevail.

·         The Romney position is that “trickle- down government “  has been destructive by imposing its mandates and its power.  Over-regulating and over-taxing the “wealthy” stifles freedom and job creation. Indeed, trickle-down government has perpetuated and prolonged the Recession. American entrepreneurs in particular , and American business persons in general, must be freeded up to pursue their dreams of success and wealth.  President Obama, Romney argues,  has upset the balance of power by growing government spending to 25% of GDP, the highest level since World War II and by increasing the national debt to over $16 trillion,  greater than all previous presidents combined.  In the case of health care,  spending has grown to 18% of the federal budget, another record.
On health care, Governor Romney came bearing this information:  
1)      Family spending on health premiums had increased by $2500 over the last four years.

2)      That the health law has taken $716 billion from Medicare to finance Obamacare.

3)      That the health law contained a proposal that an unelected Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) be established to dictate what Medicare would pay for and would set doctor and hospital fees.

4)      That in a survey,  three-fourths of American businesses said they were less likely to hire because of Obamacare.
Initial polls by CBS and CNN indicate that two-thirds to three-fourths of debate viewers thought Governor Romney won the debate.
Tweet:  The essence of the first Presidential debate centered on the faults and virtues of  Trickle-Down Economics versus Trickle-Down Government.




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