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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Editor
Author:  Bob Webster
Bio: Bob Webster
Date:  October 17, 2012
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Topic category:  Elections - Politics, Polling, etc.

Presidential Debate #2: Obama Pegs the BS Meter

If this is what we get when Obama shows up awake for a debate, maybe he better take a sleeping pill before the final debate. His performance was certainly animated. But his familiarity with truth was fleeting at best as he repeatedly dealt in fantasyland with question after question. I'm sure the Left will be jumping with joy and declare Obama the "winner" for the mere fact that he was a boisterous, obnoxious proponent of The Big Lie campaign about Romney.

If lying wins points in a debate, then Obama was the clear winner of the second presidential debate, pegging the BS meter repeatedly. Such behavior will no doubt receive robust cheers from his hard core supporters, but it will not stop the steady migration of thoughtful voters to Romney from both those who were leaning to Obama and the undecided.

In this townhall format (a format that should be scrapped), Obama was clearly aided time and again by the moderator resulting in, yet again, more speaking time for the Democrat candidate. So for the second debate in a row, the Republican representative had to debate two opponents simultaneously. Even with that handicap, Romney was the clear winner on substance whereas Obama improved his performance just for staying awake.

However, when it came to speaking the truth, Obama had virtually nothing to offer.

Obama lied about:

  • His energy policy. He has done everything possible to shut down the coal industry, closing more than 100 coal-fired electric generating plants. This will skyrocket the cost of electricity, particularly across a broad swath from Ohio to the east coast and New England. He lied about his part in increasing domestic oil production. He lied about permits for drilling, claiming his administration had issued more than George Bush's. Compared with the last three Bush years, Obama's first three years slashed offshore drilling permits by two-thrids and he slashed onshore permits by one-third. Obama shut down offshore Arctic oil drilling before it could begin. If anything, Romney's figures understated the extent to which Obama suppressed domestic drilling. Romney did a good job of trying to counter Obama's persistent lying on this topic, but eventually the moderator had to cut this "did too, did not" exchange off. Obama could not respond when Romney wondered what on earth motivated Obama to prohibit the building of the Keystone pipeline, a project that would have created thousands of new jobs in many midwestern states.

  • Romney's personal taxes. Obama claimed Romney paid a lower tax rate than the average middle-class American. But Obama deliberately confused marginal[1] with net[2] tax rate. Middle-class Americans typically pay a marginal rate of 25%, but their net rate is generally below 10%, rarely climbing above 12%. Romney paid a NET tax rate of 14%. Obama deliberately deceived the audience, taking them for fools who wouldn't know the difference between a marginal and a net tax rate.

  • Romney's tax plan. Obama once again lied by repeating the absurd claim that Romney's tax reform policies would cost $7 trillion. He was taken to the woodshed by Romney in the first debate over that very same false accusation and here was Obama repeating the same lie. It seems repeatedly lying is Obama's only effective campaign strategy - that is, until people realize they've been lied to. Once people discover Obama has been lying to them because he cannot defend the past four years of malaise, Obama will lose their vote forever. But Obama continues his distorted bullying of Romney and his plan. It won't work and this simply gave Romney an opportunity to once again explain his five point plan to getting this country back on the road to a vibrant economy where future generations can expect to have a better standard of living than those who came before. Romney's plan amounts to a rejection of Obama's vision of a "new normal" where Americans pay sky-high gasoline prices, sky-high energy prices, endure obscene unemployment levels, experience obscene numbers of Americans in poverty and on food stamps and shoulder the burden of massive debt interest and future high inflation.

  • Benghazi Terror Attack. Obama boldly lied, claiming that on September 12 he was in the White House Rose Garden where he stated that no act of terrorism against the US would go unpunished. In fact, as Romney pointed out, Obama shortly after his brief appearance in the Rose Garden was en route to fundraisers in Nevada and Colorado. Romney was quick to pick up on Obama's statement, asking clarification whether Obama referred to the attack as an act of terrorism (rather than a protest over a YouTube video). The moderator inappropriately shut off discussion, implying that Obama was being accurate, when, in fact, she later admitted she was wrong. If Obama was being truthful in claiming he knew it was an act of terrorism the day after the attack, then why did he send his ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, to five different Sunday morning news programs five days after the attack to emphatically claim that the attack was a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video? And how could Obama go to the UN two weeks after the attack and infer that a YouTube video was responsible for the attack when according to testimony before a congressional committee State Department personnel were watching the attack in real time and they new it was a massive, well-coordinated terrorist attack using heavy equipment and weaponry? Oh, that's right. It's easy. All you have to do is look the American people straight in the eye and lie through your teeth.

  • Security for Foreign Services. While Obama did accept responsibility for security, he never explained why he failed to provide any security in a place like Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of 9/11/01. It is simply incredible that Obama failed to order beefed-up security for US Embassies and Consulates in highly unstable areas of North Africa and the Middle East during the period around the anniversary of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. It is of little solace to the families of those killed in the Benghazi attack to know that, after the fact, Obama ordered increased security! Why was there none on the anniversary of 9/11? Who in their right mind would agree to serve in this administration's foreign service corps for a President who is so detached from reality that he would fail to assure adequate security in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11/01?

  • Closing remarks. Does anybody in this country seriously believe any of Obama's closing remarks? His sudden appeal to American exceptionalism, free markets, and private enterprise sounded like he simply lifted a page out of a Ronald Reagan campaign speech. The notion that Obama, who was raised by Marxists, tutored by a Communist, and openly admitted he purposefully associated with the Far Left political culture during his college years, should suddenly support free-market economics is absolutely laughable given his administrations anti-business record creating a mountain of new regulations that, along with obscene spending has produced oppressive economic stagnation. Obama's malignant policies of high unemployment, vastly increased spending, lower revenues and massively increased debt create a strongly antagonistic business climate that suppresses new job opportunities.

This debate, once again, made very clear the enormous distinction between the two candidates for President. On the one hand, we have a challenger who is an accomplished, successful executive who has vast experience solving debt problems and energizing business and who has no desire to become a career politician because he considers public service an act of sacrifice and service to his country and who will put his considerable talent to work to get America back on the right track to economic strength, real private sector job growth, and free-market economics. On the other hand, we have a President who presided over four years of the worst economic malaise this country has experienced in 80 years and whose only campaign strategy he has is to lie about his opponent, repeatedly, and claim his opponent is lying when he corrects the record. Does anyone seriously want four more years of that?

In summary, every salient point truthfully made, every clear and succinct statement of where we are today and how we can recover from this economic and foreign policy malaise was made by Mitt Romney. Obama, while animated during this debate, nevertheless was crass, overbearing, and repeatedly bullied Romney by grossly misrepresenting him as some absurd caricature created by the fertile imaginations of Obama's campaign managers. But worst of all, the President lied to the American people and he did it deliberately and repeatedly. We can do much better. We must do much better.

With Romney, we have clarity, consistency, and honesty. With Obama we have more of the same double-talk, dodging, and blatant lying.

The right choice on November 6 becomes more clear each day. It is a no-brainer.

Let us come together to get our nation back on track to a bright future. Let's all do our part to assure that four months from today we're all excited about the bold start of the new Romney administration.

Bob Webster
WEBCommentary (Editor, Publisher)

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[1] Marginal tax rate: The incremental tax rate that gets progressively higher as income bracket increases and which applies only to the portion of total income that falls within a particular bracket (range of income). Most taxpayers have a marginal rate (highest bracket rate they are subjected to) of 25%. For the 2012 tax year there will be six tax brackets ranging from 10% to 35% with taxes on income after deductions calculated by summing:

  • 10% on taxable income from $0 to $8,700, plus
  • 15% on taxable income over $8,700 to $35,350, plus
  • 25% on taxable income over $35,350 to $85,650, plus
  • 28% on taxable income over $85,650 to $178,650, plus
  • 33% on taxable income over $178,650 to $388,350, plus
  • 35% on taxable income over $388,350.

Your marginal tax rate is the highest bracket rate to which your taxable income is subjected.

[2] Net tax rate: Sometimes called "total" tax rate, net rate is computed by adding taxes due within each income bracket to produce the total tax due and then dividing that figure into the total income subject to taxes (after deductions). For most taxpayers this figure ranges from 0% to 10%. Typically, very high income taxpayers (e.g., the 1%) generally pay at a higher net rate. For example, MItt Romney, at a 14% net tax rate, paid a 40% higher net rate than most people.

Biography - Bob Webster

Bob Webster, a 12th-generation descendent of both the Darte family (Connecticut, 1630s) and the Webster family (Massachusetts, 1630s) is a descendant of Daniel Webster's father, Revolutionary War patriot Ebenezer Webster, who served with General Washington. Bob has always had a strong interest in early American history, our Constitution, U.S. politics, and law. Politically he is a constitutional republican with objectivist and libertarian roots. He has faith in the ultimate triumph of truth and reason over deception and emotion. He is a strong believer in our Constitution as written and views the abandonment of constitutional restraint by the regressive Progressive movement as a great danger to our Republic. His favorite novel is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and believes it should be required reading for all high school students so they can appreciate the cost of tolerating the growth of unconstitutional crushingly powerful central government. He strongly believes, as our Constitution enshrines, that the interests of the individual should be held superior to the interests of the state.

A lifelong interest in meteorology and climatology spurred his strong interest in science. Bob earned his degree in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, graduating in 1964.

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