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Monday, September 26, 2016

Thoughts about the first Presidential Debate

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

Note: this is not a transcript, it is a quick paraphrase as the event progressed.  I added in bullet points, which are  my own insertions and commentary.

Question #1 - Job Creation

Hillary Clinton: Raise national minimum wage, equal pay for equal work for women, profit sharing with employees, paid family leave, raise corporate taxes.

Donald Trump: Jobs fleeing country because of our policies.  We have to stop it.  Mentioned Carrier Air Conditioning going to Mexico.  Reducing taxes from 35% to 15% for companies.

Hillary Clinton: Trade is important.  We need smart and fair trade deals.  Tax system need to reward work.  Trump's is trickle-down economics.  That is not how to grow economy.  Then attacks him for his "fortunate" upbringing.  "Thinks if you help wealthy people it helps the economy.  I don't agree with that."

Donald Trump: Renegotiate trade deals.  Secretary Clinton have not been making good deals for years.  What's happened to our jobs and economy is theirs.  Jobs leaving in bigger numbers than ever.  Stop them from leaving by taxing overseas products coming into the country.

Clinton:  Worse collapse because of Bush tax policies.  Donald rooted for the housing collapse.  We have come back from that abyss.  We can not go back to policies that caused it in the first place.  His tax plan would blow up the debt, and disadvantage middle class families.  My plan creates 10 million more jobs because we will be making investments in things like clean energy.  Create more solar panels, creating more jobs.

Trump: I believe in all forms of energy, but we are losing in energy.  You can't do what Clinton wants to do in $20 trillion in debt.  Give companies incentives to stay here and expand.  You've been at this for 30 years, and you are just now coming up with solutions?

  • Hillary Clinton says she supports the Middle Class.  Raising national minimum wage, likely to $15 per hour, increases in the end cost of living.  Eventually, lower wage earners will be no better than they were before as cost of living increases, but Middle Class who got no raise will have to deal with higher cost of living.  She said Equal Pay for Equal Work for Women, but contradicts herself later in an attack on Trump saying that Trump was sexist for saying, "women don't deserve equal pay unless the do as good a job as a man."  Isn't that "equal pay for equal work"?  Which is it, Hillary?
  • Raising corporate taxes as Hillary suggests has historically hurt job growth and economic growth. Taxes, like wages, are a cost of doing business, and if the cost goes up, it is passed on to the consumer, or the business will depart from the hostile location. . . likely out of the country.
  • Clinton attacked the concept she calls "trickle down economics."  Poor people don't make jobs, the wealthy do.  Without creating an environment for business creation and growth, but instead creating obstacles that hinder creation or expansion (such as regulations and higher taxes), the economy cannot grow.
  • While Trump talks about renegotiating trade deals, and I agree to a point, the true way to bring companies back to the United States is to create a less hostile environment against doing business.
  • Clinton blamed collapse on Bush tax policies, when in reality it was a housing bubble created by leftist policies (Community Reinvestment Act) that legally forced lenders to pursue high risk lending.  In 2003 a Republican Congressional hearing warned the bubble was going to burst, and that Fannie and Freddie needed to be reeled in, but Democrats accused the Republicans of being racist and fear-mongers.  Then, when it collapsed, blamed it on Republicans when it had been policies in place by Carter and Clinton that created the bubble in the first place.
  • Clinton vowed to chase green energy, which is what Obama chased and it caused major economic failure.
  • Trump zeroed in on the debt, which is a large part of the problem.

Clinton: I have been thinking about this.

Trump: Yeah, for 30 years.

Clinton then touted her husband's economic record.

Clinton: Trade is not the only factor.  I know how to really work to get new jobs.

  • As a businessman Trump has more experience creating jobs than Clinton does as a bureacrat.  That said, the best government policy for creating jobs is to get out of the way and let the Free Market create jobs.  Clinton's job creation arguments seemed to surround government jobs, and fantasy jobs in the green energy industry we have already seen to be a huge failure.

Trump: You haven't done it in 30 years.  Your husband signed NAFTA, which is one of the worst things.  Manufacturing down 30, 40, sometimes 50 percent.  Now, you support Trans-Pacific Partnership, changed when you heard what I said about it.

Clinton: I was against TPP after it was negotiated.

Trump:  You said it was the gold standard.

Clinton:  Not true.

  • Hillary Clinton was one of the politicians involved in writing the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Trump:  Is it President Obama's fault?  Because he's pushing it.

Clinton: We need strong growth, fair growth.

Trump:  You have no plan.  You are going to approve one of the biggest tax increases in history, driving businesses out.  My tax cuts biggest since Ronald Reagan.  You are going to regulate these businesses out of existence.  I am cutting regulation.  New companies cannot form, and going out of business, and you want more regulations.


  • Correct Constitutional Answer: Jobs are created when government gets out of the way.  Federal government has no authority to interfere with the free market.  Reduce/Remove federal regulations, reduce/remove corporate taxation, return reins to the States.  History has shown, despite Hillary's claim, that tax cuts actually increase revenue, because business growths, wages increase, and profits rise.

Question #2: Tax raise and cuts on wealthy

Trump:  I am calling for major jobs, because the wealthy create jobs.  Great thing for middle class when companies expand.  Money will come back from overseas.  Clinton won't allow that because the taxes are so high.  They are leaving to get their money, because they can't bring it here because of bureaucratic red tape.

Clinton:  By the end he's going to blame me for everything.  Trump saying crazy things.  I support bringing money back from overseas.  You have the Trump loophole.  It would make an advantage for your family, your business.  Trumped up trickle down.  Trickle down did not work.  It got us into the mess we got into in 2009.  Smart people know that.  I don't think top down works in America.  Make college debt free.  Broad-base inclusive growth.  Not more advantages for people at the very top.

  • When you hear Hillary Clinton begin to call Trump crazy, or attack him personally, it's because he is beating her in the arena of ideas.
  • College debt free?  First, how do you pay for it.  Also, college also fits the supply and demand model.  Because Democrats have been subsidizing education, and making sure everyone gets a bachelor's degree, it is now nearly worthless because there are so many of them.  The number of bachelor's degrees exceed the number of jobs available for them.  While I appreciate education, government interference with education, and making college so easily accessible is devaluing the worth of education. . . just as the Democrats are doing to the dollar.

Trump: Typical politician.  People like Hillary have made bad decisions.  We are in a big fat ugly bubble, and we have a fed doing political things by keeping the interest rates low.  When Obama leaves to play golf permanently, we are in trouble.

Question added: Tax Returns

Trump: No problem.  I have provided a 104 page report.  I have $694 million.  That's the kind of thinking this country needs.  Who's negotiating these trade deals.  Bureaucratic hacks.  I will release them as soon as the audit is done.  I get audited almost every year.  I will release mine when she releases her emails that have been deleted.  Why did she delete 33,000 emails?

Clinton: You just saw an example of bait and switch.  Everyone has released their tax returns.  Why won't he release while under audit?  Maybe he's not worth as much as he says he is.  Maybe he's not as charitable as he says he is.  Maybe he doesn't want the people to know he hasn't been paying taxes to the federal government.  There might be something terrible he is trying to hide.  American people deserve to see, and I don't think he ever will because there is something he's hiding.  Who does he owe money to?

  • Accusations without evidence.  That is what the Democrats do.  Remember the left's battle cry: "The nature of the evidence is irrelevant; it's the seriousness of the charge that matters." You simply need to make a harsh, totally unfounded charge, and that's good enough against Republicans

Question: Emails

Clinton: It was a mistake.

Trump: More than a mistake.  It was done purposely.  When you have your staff taking the 5th so that not prosecuted, the man who set up the server taking the 5th.  Check out my financial disclosure, says more than tax returns.  It's about time this country had someone running it that has some idea about money.  All this debt, but infrastructure like a third world country.  $20 trillion in debt and we're a mess.  $6 trillion in Middle East.  Politicians like Secretary Clinton that caused this problem.  We don't have the money because we have squandered the money.

  • As a military veteran, if in my job I had done a fraction of what Hillary did regarding emails, I'd still be in Leavenworth, if not executed for treason.

Clinton: And because you are not paying taxes.  Campaign manager said you've built businesses on the back of little guys.  You've stiffed people.

  • Remember, Democrats are more worried about getting more tax money out of people, than they are about controlling unconstitutional spending.

Trump:  Maybe they didn't do a good job.

  • Would you pay someone if they did a crappy job?  Clinton is suggesting that doing enough to get a participation trophy is enough to get paid.  Life requires quality, as well.

Clinton: Don't they deserve some kind of apology?  Worked for you, and you refused to pay them.  You've taken business bankruptcy six times.  Sometimes what is good for business is very bad for government.

Trump:  I built and unbelievable company.  But, on occasion, we used certain laws that are there.  We were within the laws of the nation, and my obligation is to do well for my companies and employees.  What about tens of thousands who love me?  In Washington DC, we are opening old post office under budget and ahead of schedule.  That's what the government should be doing.  The government has no idea on what to do, and how to buy.

  • A question I'd like to ask any Democrat: "What have you produced in the private sector?"  And, that does not include government jobs, which produce very little, if anything.

Question: America's Direction - Race Relations

Clinton: Race still an issue.  Affects education, and how people are treated in the criminal justice system.  We need to restore trust between communities and the police, make sure police using best training, techniques, well prepared, use force only when necessary.  Everyone should be respected by the law, and respect the law.  I am calling for criminal justice reform.  Good police want reform.  We need to work towards that, and get guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.  We have to tackle the plague of gun violence.

  • Hegelian Dialectic.  Step One, Create a Problem (Racism); Step Two, Create Opposition (Black Lives Matter); Step Three, Create Solution (More Big Government).  Racial problems going on right now is a creation of the Democrat Party, and liberal left policies. . . by design.  Dependence upon government is another version of slavery.
  • We have a culture problem created by democrats.  Notice, problems are in cities where democrats are in charge.  Black community, I have a question.  After 50 years of voting Democrat, what have they done for you?
  • Reform of the criminal justice system by Clinton means a federalization of the police, which is unconstitutional, dangerous, and a very authoritarian idea that places liberty at an extreme risk.

Trump:  She doesn't want to say "law and order."  If we don't have it, we don't have a country.  I have the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police, and a large percentage of police groups.  Inner-cities, African Americans and Hispanics living in hell in our cities, thousands of shootings this year, like a war-torn country.  We have to stop the violence.  In Chicago, thousands of people have been killed, almost four thousand since Barack Obama has been in office.  Perhaps stop and frisk like Guiliani did.  Many cases the gangs with guns are illegal immigrants.  Our police are often afraid to do something. African American communities are filled with crime.

Host argued about stop and frisk.  Said it was unconstitutional.  Trump said no, it was not continued by new mayor after leftist judge ruled.

  • Stop and Frisk is not unconstitutional, and the federal courts have no legal jurisdiction to rule on it.  There is no authority granted in the Constitution allowing federal government any say over internal police matters or procedures, therefore, federal courts have no authority to take the cases.

Trump:  We need law and order, and we need law and order in the inner-cities.

Clinton: I heard Donald say this at his rallies.  He paints such a dire and negative picture of black communities.  We should be supporting and lifting up.  Right ways, and ways that are ineffective.  Stop and frisk unconstitutional, and ineffective.  Crime is down, we don't want to see it creep back up.  Too many young black American and Hispanics in jail for non-violent offenses, of which a white would not have.  Common sense gun safety measures needed, keep military style guns off the streets, pass prohibition anyone on terrorist watch list from buying guns.

  • Clinton accuses Trump of painting a dire and negative picture of black communities.  So, to coddle sensitivities we must lie?  The reality is what reality is.  The problem is being caused by liberal left policies.  And, as Ben Watson of the New Orleans Saints said, the problem is not a skin problem, it's a sin problem.
  • Terrorists will still get guns, whether they can get them legally, or not.  Notice the shootings in Australia and Europe.
  • Military style guns?  If citizens weren't allowed to have "military style guns" during the American Revolution, we would have lost.  If citizens were allowed to have "military style guns" in Germany, the Nazis would never have gotten as far as they did.

Host: Are police implicitly biased racially?

Clinton: We all are.  We need to ask hard questions about why we are feeling that way.  We will put money in budget to deal with implicit bias.  Police chiefs admit it is an issue.  They need assistance, federal government can provide that assistance.

  • Clinton just called everyone racist.  However, it is Democrat Party opinion that only whites can be racist, therefore, in her statement, the "we" is "all white people."  Quite a broad brush, but I suppose when you are a member of the political party of racism, slavery, and the KKK, it comes natural.
  • Are there some members of the police force who are biased?  I suppose.  But, it is not rampant.  Besides, look at the facts.  In Charlotte it was a gun-wielding suspect with a long list of priors shot by a black cop with a black police chief.  The rioters, it turns out, were mostly from out of the area.  70% arrested had out of State IDs.  Charlotte was nothing about racial injustice, and everything about a culture that has been severely damaged by liberal left policies.
  • Again, Hillary is suggesting we have a federalization of the police forces around the country.

Trump:  Agree.  Watch list?  Shouldn't be able to buy a gun.  You were the one that brought up super-predator about young black youth.  It was a terrible thing to say.  Stop and frisk takes guns away from gangs that use them.  New York City stop and frisk brought down number of murders.  Stop and frisk had a big impact on crime in New York City.  African American community let down by politicians.  Abused and used in order to get votes by Democrats.

Question: Natural Born Citizen

Trump:  I got him to present birth certificate.  I want to get on to the important things.

Host: Continues on with birther question.

Trump:  Nobody has been caring about it, I was the one to get him to produce a birth certificate.  Hillary Clinton fought it too.  Just like she can't bring back jobs, she can't produce.

Clinton: Just listen to what you heard.  He tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed, but it can't be dismissed that easily.  He has been behind this no evidence lie that our first black president was not eligible.  He did it to bring people into his fold.  Donald started his career in 1973 being sued for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments to blacks.  He was sued twice.  He has a long record of engaging in racist behavior, and the birther lie was a hurtful one.  As Michelle Obama said, "When they go low, we go high," and Obama went high.

Trump:  In your debates with Obama you treated him with great disrespect.  You were after him.  Your campaign sent out pictures of him in certain garb.  You try to act holier than though, but it doesn't work.  As for the lawsuit, when I was young, we were sued.  We settled the suit with no admission of guilt.  They sued many people.  Like your nasty commercials.  I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt.  In Palm Beach, Florida, I opened a club and really got great credit for it, with no discrimination.  It's a tremendously successful club.  I've been given great credit for what I did.

  • Hillary called it a "racist birther" position.  Nothing racist about it.  It was just a matter of eligibility.  As for Donald Trump and the revealed Obama birth certificate, the truth is, Obama is still ineligible.  It's not as much about where he was born, but whether or not both parents were citizens at the time of his birth, and by Obama's own admission, his father was not a citizen at the time of his birth.

Question: Securing America - Cyber attacks

Clinton:  Cyber warfare among biggest challenges facing next president.  Done mostly for commercial reasons, but increasingly we are seeing cyber attacks from states, like Russia.  Russia has used cyber attacks against all kinds of organizations in the U.S.  Trump praises Putin, but Putin is behind hackings.  This is one of their preferred methods to wreak havoc and collect information. We are not going to sit idly by when actors go after our information.  We will defend the citizens of this country, and Russia needs to understand this.  That's why I was shocked when Trump invited Putin to hack into American systems.

Trump:  I was endorsed by over two hundred admirals and generals to lead this country.  I was endorsed by ICE, first time ever.  By border patrol agents.  I'll take the generals and admirals over the political hacks any day.  Look at the mess we are in.  We are in a bigger mess than we should be.  Maybe it was Russia, maybe China, maybe someone sitting on their bed and weighs 400 pounds.  Sanders was taken advantage of.  Under President Obama we've lost control over things we had control over.  ISIS beating us at our own game.  We need to be tough on cyber warfare.  Security aspect is tough, and maybe it's hardly doable, but we are not doing the job we should be doing.

Clinton:  I have a plan to go after ISIS online.  We are making progress, our military is assisting in Iraq, soon we'll be able to push ISIS out of Iraq.  I will do everything I can to take out ISIS leadership.  We've got to defeat ISIS.

Host: Over there.  What about American citizens conducting attacks on American soil.  How do you prevent homegrown attacks?

Trump:  We will take out ISIS.  Obama and Clinton created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq.  She's been trying to take them out, but they wouldn't have even been formed if they'd left some troops in Iraq.  We should have taken the oil, because then ISIS wouldn't have formed.  Oil is their primary source of income.

Clinton:  I hope fact checkers turning up volume.  Donald supported invasion of Iraq.  He supported attack in Libya.  Larger point, George Bush made agreement about when troops left Iraq.  Iraqi government would not give agreement to leave troops in Iraq.  How about preventing attacks in the United States?  We need an intelligence surge, looking for every scrap of information.  From Europe.  From the Middle East.  Donald is dismissive of that.  We are working with our friends in the Middle East, Muslim majorities, while Trump is insulting Muslims.  Alienated and pushing away.

Trump:  If we've been working with them so many years. . . we have a mess.  Iran deal, country ready to fall under sanctions, and now a major power with Iran deal.  NATO.  28 countries aren't paying their fair share.  They should be paying us by treaty, and contract.  NATO could be obsolete because they do not focus on terror.  Now they are opening a major terror division, and I think that's great.  I am all for NATO, but they have to focus on terror also.  We have to get NATO to go into the Middle East with us, and knock the hell out of ISIS - when they formed from the vacuum created by Obama and Clinton, and you named the date, that's incredible - you were there when they were an infant, and you are going to stop them?  I did not support the war in Iraq.  Hannity remembers I was totally against the war before it started.  He used to have fights with me.  We should have never been there.  It destabilized the Middle East.  I have better judgement than Hillary, and a better temperament.  Behind a blue screen Clinton was out of control.  Has a temperament out of control.

Clinton:  NATO, as a military alliance, an attack on one is an attack on all.  They went to Afghanistan with us.  With respect to Iran, Iran was weeks away from a nuclear bomb because of Bush administration.  I voted for every sanction as a Senator against them.  Tough sanctions drove them to the negotiations table, and the deal stopped their bomb building.  Trump would taunt Iran, blast their boats out of the water.  We must do everything we can to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and Trump's cavalier attitude would let them.  He should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes.

Trump:  Nuclear weapons greatest problem, not global warming.  We defend Japan, Germany etc, they don't pay us.  We provide a service, and we lose a fortune.  All I said is that it is possible that if they don't pay their fair share we can't defend them.  They may have to defend themselves, or help us out.  As far as nuclear, it is the single greatest threat this country has.

Question: Obama proposed changing policy of first use.

Trump:  Russia has been expanding, they have newer systems, we are not keeping up with other countries.  I would not certainly do first strike.  If it happens, we have to be prepared.  China is powerful, can go into North Korea.  Iran is one of their biggest trading partners.  Horrible deal with Iran should have included they do something in respect to North Korea and Yemen.  One of the great giveaways of all time.  Cash for hostages, or at least it looks that way.  One of the worst deals made by any country in history.  Will lead to nuclear problems.  Netanyahu is not a happy camper.

Clinton: Words matter, and they matter when you are president.  I want to reassure our allies that we have mutual defense treaties, and we will honor them.  This campaign has caused worries among leaders around the globe, but I want to assure them that our word is good.  We should look at the entire global situation.  I would rather deal with putting a lid on their program.  What would Trump have done?  The deal has been successful, giving us access to facilities in Iran we never had before.

Trump:  Hillary will tell you to go to her website about how to defeat ISIS, when we should have stopped them in the first place.  I want to help our allies, but we are losing billions and billions of dollars.  We cannot be the policemen of the world without them paying for our services.  All of the things she's been talking about could have been taken care of, and hasn't, and won't.

Question: Trump said Hillary doesn't have the look, is first woman to get nomination.

Trump: She doesn't have the stamina.

Clinton: As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates deals or spends 11 hours testifying in front of congress, he can talk to me about stamina.

Trump:  She has experience, but bad experience.  Iran Deal giving Iran 150 billion back.

Clinton: He tried to switch from looks to stamina.  He has called women pigs. . .etc, women don't deserve equal pay unless the do as good a job as a man.  Then went into rumor accusations. . .

Trump:  Where did you find this?  She's hitting me with tremendous commercials.  I've said tough things about Rosanne O'Donnell.  Spending millions on ads against me that are not nice, and not true.

Final Question:  Accept outcome of election?

Clinton: I support our democracy.  I will respect the outcome of this election.  It's up to you, not up to us.  Get out to vote as if your future depends upon it.

Trump:  I want to make America Great Again.  We are troubled.  800 that were supposed to be deported became citizens by mistake.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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