The first presidential debate of this election cycle aired a couple weeks ago and people have extremely different opinions about what happened on the stage that night. Instead of getting into details about how the debate itself was run and how the candidates acted towards each other and the moderator, I would like to focus on some of the points that were made during the debate and give my two cents.
Donald Trump favors programs in which income taxes on the highest earners in society are decreased from what they are currently and government regulation and waste are reduced. Hillary Rodham-Clinton would rather raise the minimum wage and raise income taxes on the rich. This same discussion is had every election cycle. Republicans believe if taxes are reduced on the wealthy, then the money they have access to as a result will be reinvested back into their companies. They could expand and add new jobs or even raise the pay of their existing workforces. Democrats do not believe this system can work and instead would choose to get the upper class to pay their “fair share” by increasing tax rates on them while at the same time forcing the minimum wage to go up through federal and state laws.
I personally believe that the latter system is flawed because I do not believe the wealthy will expand their businesses nearly as much if they are forced to give large amounts of money to the government on a regular basis. If everyone paid the same percentage of their incomes as tax, then the rich would still be paying more. As it is, nearly 40% of the highest bracket’s taxable incomes are given to the government.
The majority of this part of the debate was filled with accusations based on the qualifications of the candidates. Trump claims that Clinton is unfit to negotiate with foreign nations due to her support of the most recent deal with Iran. He claims it guarantees Iran will become a nuclear power in the future, while Clinton claims the deal prevented that possibility completely. It has also been pointed out that large sums of Iranian money that used to be frozen in the United States was allowed to reenter the country through this deal and sanctions are weaker than they were previous to this deal. In addition, American nuclear inspectors are not allowed to set foot in Iran. Trump claims he can be a far more successful negotiator than Clinton because of his business experience, but America would have to take him at his word on that.
Hillary Rodham-Clinton claimed Donald Trump didn’t really earn the money that currently makes up his empire. She claims the facts that he was loaned money by his father and that several of his businesses failed makes him an unsuccessful businessman. I would counter by saying his wealth allowed him to take riskier business ventures. Losing some money in the process of trying to branch out did not mean nearly as much to him as it might to some other businessmen due to his wealth. If he wasn’t as successful, he would not have made some of those decisions in the first place. In addition, Forbes estimates that Trump is currently worth about $3.7 billion. That may be different from what Trump claims, but it is still quite a lot.
Hillary Email Scandal
Donald Trump brought up Clinton’s email scandal once again. The FBI has chosen not to convict Clinton of anything because they doubt she had criminal intent when she set up the server. Why that matters is beyond my knowledge, but my thought is if the FBI says she isn’t fit to continue to handle classified material, she probably shouldn’t be in a position where she can continue to do so.
Lots of insults are being thrown around from both sides of the campaign. I would suggest voters try to ignore them and focus on the issues. Look at the websites of the candidates before watching political pundits (like me in this case) criticize them. The media and candidates should not be telling you what to think. Rather than thinking about identity politics, act as though you are voting for ideas rather than people.