Waiting for the debate to start on C-Span and they are replaying the James O’Keefe interview from Wasington Journal earlier today. Nice material and he holds himself well against some of the call-in callers.
5:00 pm PDT – After pre-debate material, the two candidates are introduced and take a photo-op as the GOP “ticket.” Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid are on the agenda in this debate. Questions are being given background material by Congressman Steve King of Iowa.
1. The National Debt. Congressman King gives some background on how much each American owes at birth right now. He shows some graphs showing the difference between the Democrats non-budget ideas and the Paul Ryan budget. There are some comparisons between the Ryan budget and the entitlement programs.
Newt answers the actual question first and states he wants to give the American people choices. He proposes several different solutions that make sense. Cain follows up by agreeing with Newt and puts the problem in a historical context. How government projections on anything have never been accurate. Fix the problem in Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid by restructuring. “Politicians have over-promised for decades. We need to get real.”
2. Medical/Healthcare Costs. Cain wants the bureaucrats out of any medical decision. He proposes healthcare accounts. Wants Loser-Pay laws. Newt says it’s an everything problem, because everybody has contributed to the problem. He comments on how he was the only Speaker to balance the budget. Berates the Congressional Budget Office.
5:26 pm PDT – Congressman King asks a question concerning Obamacare and Cain replies that the answer to it is in the Ryan plan. Newt agrees with Cain on the Tom Price plan.
3. Defined Benefit Plan or Premium Support. Newt is against defined benefit for reasons such as the committee that had no urorlogist or oncologist making a decision about how often a man should have prostate exam. Cain follows up with changes that have been occuring to health benefits and supports the idea of a defined contribution plan.
Newt asks Cain about what his advice to other CEOs would be. “Don’t play it safe. Get involved and be part of the solution.” Cain asks Newt what are the three biggest things. Newt says it’s 1) “Find a customer, please the customer and keep the customer,” 2) Someone is always doing something that can be adopted by Government to better itself, 3) “Set very big goals with tight deadlines.”
Social Security up next.
<strong>5:43 pm PDT</strong>
Herman Cain: Optional personal retirement accounts, he mentions the Chilean version of this. He’s talked with young people and they want something like the private account and mentions the 9-9-9 plan. Part of the problem is the payroll tax. 9-9-9 is part of the solution.
Newt talks about how you could get back twice the money if it was done in a private contest and not a government context. Mentions not looking at a static economic model, such models are always wrong. Lyndon Johnson brought SS into the general budget in order to hide his budget problems. Let younger Americans choose. Get Congress out of the process.
Cain says we have to change the paradigm by informing ourselves, educating ourselves better on the subject with more than information from the mainstream media.
Newt makes a comparison between those presidents who tell the truth and are honest unlike the current president who is like Bernie Madoff.
Newt talks more about the SS trust fund and the need by Congress to balance the budget on Social Security’s back. Take out SS back out of the budget and balance the budget with the remaining money. Cain says it will take time to do so. Makes point about how previous effort to do so was defeated in Senate.
<strong>6:00 pm PDT</strong>
mceinline;”>Newt talks on the subject and is followed by Cain who wants to “revise and extend” his earlier answer on the private accounts.
Cain agrees with Block grants to start addressing the problem. Says states have gotten hooked on it like people get hooked on crack. End the dependency on Washington mandates.
Newt says the first step is to stop Obamacare. Agrees with the Block grant approach as well. Says need to rethink Medicaid the same way we need to rethink Social Security. Says there need to be consequences for abusing the system.
Cain: “Go from an entitlement society to an empowerment society.”
Om Voucher system for health. Cain says only if it doesn’t pay for everything. Newt says Washington cannot fix this. Cain says block grant the responsibility along with the money. Cut down on the bureacracy from Washington.
Newt makes an excellent point on paper vs electronic records concerning fraud in the system.
On Medicaid fraud, and voting, Cain says we should not make it easy for people to cheat. Much applause from the crowd. Newt makes similar statement.
Newt calls Obama the most effective food stamp president in history. That we’re teaching people to fail. Should not get something for nothing. Cain says the Government has been intellecually dishonest with its citizens for almost 50 years. Both candidates want changes to unemployment insurance. Cain wants diminishing benefits and Newt wants benefits tied to training for a job.
Newt asks Cain What is the biggest surprise of running for president. “The nitpickiness of the media.” That they don’t follow a journalistic standard.
Cain asks Newt If he were VP of the US, what should the President assign you to do first. “Not go hunting.” These last two were references to Cain and Newt being considered as a possible GOP ticket and Dick Cheney, who accidentally shot a person during a hunting part.
And with that, the debate ended. On the whole, both candidates carried themselves well with the questions. On the whole, I think they both kept themselves well up on the Not-Romney pole. It is no surprise that some are looking at a Cain-Newt or Newt-Cain ticket.
With this first liveblogging finished, the rest of this weekend will probably be finishing up the series of the Federalist Papers on the Power of Taxation.
6:40 pm PDT ended.
UPDATED 11/07/11 – 8:20 pm PST
Here’s the link to the debate video at C-SPAN