Ever wonder why a guy like Joe the plumber is more articulate on the issues than John McCain, a man who has been a United States senator for 22 years and who won his party’s nomination for president of the United States?
It was maddening to watch McCain in his last debate with Barack Obama. McCain was right on the issues but he couldn’t articulate them, at least not very well.
One was left with the impression that Obama is going to give 95 percent of us a tax break, while McCain wants to give tax breaks to corporations.
Why couldn’t McCain just tell us that corporations don’t pay taxes, they are passed along to us in the form of higher prices?
Why couldn’t McCain just tell us that, according to the Tax Foundation, the corporate income tax is the most harmful tax for economic growth. For the last 17 years, the other industrialized countries have been cutting their corporate rate while ours has remained the same. It is now 50 percent higher, on average, than other nations.
Bottom line for voters: Yes, Obama is going to be sending checks to one-third of American workers who pay no tax, but would you rather have a job or a welfare check?
One was left with the impression that McCain wants to take away your company-paid health insurance.
Why couldn’t McCain just tell us he wants to take the tax break from the company and give it to the individual so you will no longer be tied to a dead-end job but will be free to go where you want and make the best deals you can?
Why couldn’t McCain just tell us that Obama will put us on a path to socialized medicine where health care will be rationed as it is in all other countries that have “universal,” i.e. government-run health care?
McCain couldn’t do it because he never really learned the art of debate. If he did, it was so long ago, he has forgotten it. This is what happened to George H.W. Bush when he debated Bill Clinton in 1991. It is what happened to former Representative and HUD Secretary Jack Kemp in his debate with Al Gore in 1995. These three men simply trusted their years of experience. They trusted their instincts. That’s all well and good but debates are an art form and that art must be practiced. A concert pianist who had a ten-year layoff wouldn’t attempt to play Carnegie Hall again without a few weeks of practice. These men simply wouldn’t put in the time necessary to polish their debate skills.
The truth is Congress, and especially the Senate, is highly overrated. It is presented as the world’s greatest deliberative body. Nothing could be further from the truth. Senators don’t debate, they pontificate, often to an empty chamber. Most show up just in time for a vote.
What passes as debate in the Senate is a series of boring speeches written by staffers. Few senators have or want any input. Often, they have little or no understanding of some of the causes they champion or the stands they take. Their position on most issues is decided by their chiefs of staff. In most cases, the longer senators stay on the job, the less input they give.
Senators have more important matters to attend. They meet with influential or well-heeled constituents. They are wined and dinned by the powerful and famous. If they remain long enough, and most do, they have committees to chair. They attend fund raisers to insure their reelections. It’s a predictable cycle.
Thankfully, there are some dedicated senators who go to Washington for all the right reasons and remain true to their principles but they are few.
Obama is so new at this job that he is still in campaign mode. In fact, he has been debating unpopular issues for most of his adult life. When you are way to the left of Main Street, you have to carefully craft each statement to make it sound reasonable to the masses. Obama is a master at this.
McCain’s policies, for the most part, are the right policies but he needs an interpreter, in this case, Joe the plumber. Too bad Joe came along so late!