AFTER THE DEBATE – Palin’s tax formula comment makes point
The vice presidential candidates held their only debate Thursday night at Washington University in St. Louis. The focus was on the newcomer, Gov. Sarah Palin, to see how she would handle the ‘big stage.’ I think Palin proved she belongs and eased the minds of Republicans who may have been nervous about Palin’s ability to strongly debate national issues.
As for Sen. Joe Biden, he didn’t have much pressure on him other than trying not to get overly angry with Palin. He definitely showed his experience, looking calm and comfortable for the 90-minute debate. Most national polls have the Obama/Biden ticket holding a slight edge, and Biden did nothing to deter their momentum.
I thought Palin missed a couple of early opportunities to address Biden’s comments. Palin let Biden rail on and on about deregulation by the Republicans and supported by Sen. John McCain as the cause of the current economic crisis, when plenty of blame can be attributed to both parties, especially the liberal policies encouraging lenders to give questionable loans. Lack of regulation was not the problem; not enforcing regulations and failing to heed the warning bells by representatives of both parties was the problem. Biden even called Palin out for not defending McCain on the regulation issue, and she still avoided the question, going back to taxes, which was another issue Palin could have done better against Biden. Biden said Obama’s policy, which would end the tax cuts for the top 1 percent, is simply fairness. The top 1 percent in the country currently pay 50 percent of the nation’s taxes. The Obama/Biden ticket wants them to pay what, 60, 70 or 80 percent? I understand the argument that they should pay more because they make more, but Palin could have informed Biden that Corporate America is America. Corporate America can’t succeed without middle class workers and middle class consumers pumping money into the system. She could have said tax hikes to the wealthy will affect the middle class in a negative way, and if you don’t believe that, then you haven’t been paying attention to the financial markets lately.
Palin did, however, make a great point when she said, ‘An increased tax formula that Barack Obama is proposing in addition to nearly a trillion dollars in new spending that he’s proposing is the backwards way of trying to grow our economy.’
As the debate moved on to foreign policy, supposedly Biden’s strong point, I think both showed knowledge of the subject and they sparred over similar issues from the first presidential debate.
As the debate came to a close, Palin was obviously more comfortable than she was at the start, and the candidates shared a couple of laughs and were very cordial with one another, more so than Obama and McCain were in the presidential debate.
The moderator, Gwen Ifill, did a terrific job keeping the debate interesting and on point.