Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#TXSen, #TexasDebate: Three Missed Opportunities for Cruz

"He who despises the word will be destroyed,
But he who fears the commandment will be rewarded."
Proverbs 13:13

Last night's debate was a bad sequel.   Both candidates regressed to stale talking points.  Following a solid opening act, the (likely) final debate was a depressing example of two people talking past each other.  Both get a "C."

Of course, a debate where the candidates hold serve benefits the status quo.  Obviously, Cruz is winning.  In that sense, Cruz accomplished everything he had to accomplish.

Still, Cruz missed several opportunities to turn this race into a blowout:
  • Debt -- Perhaps the funniest part of the debate was Bobby Francis pretending to care about the national debt.  Apparently, for Bobby Francis, the national debt justifies an inefficient tax code.  Bobby Francis repeatedly cited the national debt as a reason to oppose the modest tax code streamlining that Congress passed last year.

    Cruz responded by talking about the relationship between economic growth and federal revenue.  Specifically, he discussed how a more efficient tax code leads to more revenue.  He's not wrong.  But it's still a complicated argument the average voter doesn't understand.

    Imagine, instead, if Cruz said the following: "The reason we have a $21 Trillion debt is not because the American people are taxed too little.  The reason we have a $21 Trillion national debt is because the Federal Government SPENDS TOO MUCH.  As a United States Senator, NOBODY has fought to curtail federal spending harder than I have.  Unfortunately, too many of my colleagues (in both parties) see it differently.  While that is an unfortunate reality, nothing good can come from turning a United States Senate seat over to a Congressman who never met a spending bill he didn't like."

    From a policy perspective, such an answer would also account for the fact that government spending stifles economic growth.
  • Health Care -- Cruz did an acceptable job pointing out the shortcomings of Bobby Francis' positions, but he continues to underperform on this issue.

    Bobby Francis supports government run health care.  Cruz correctly discussed the cost and inevitable rationing of such folly.  Cruz even, correctly, brought up the British National Health Service.  But imagine what could have happened if Cruz had forced Bobby Francis to defend what the British NHS did to Baby Alfie.

    Finally, Cruz would have been wise to contrast the opportunities offered by free-market health care vs. Bobby Francis' socialist nightmare.
  • #MeToo -- How many times do we have to repeat it?!?  BOBBY.  FRANCIS.  O'ROURKE.  HELD.  A.  CAMPAIGN.  EVENT.  WITHBORRISMILES.

    Yes, this Borris Miles.

    Imagine if, in addition to the answer he gave, Cruz had contrasted how the Texas GOP dealt with Barton/Farenthold with how the D's (incl. Bobby Francis) dealt with Miles/Uresti.  Cruz's answer was fine, but this could have been a knockout blow.  Missed opportunity.

    The worst part is that he was asked a direct question.
Bottom Line: It was fine, but it could have been much more.

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