President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden spent most of last week’s first Presidential debate trading insults and interrupting each other. The result was a debate with very little discussion of actual issues or policies.
In one of the evening’s few substantive exchanges, President Trump rightly criticized Vice President Biden for saying he would listen to the “scientists” in determining whether to lock down the country. President Trump also acknowledged that the lockdowns were a harmful over-reaction that needs to end.
Unfortunately, President Trump once again pledged that Covid vaccines would soon be available. This raises the specter of a repeat of the swine flu debacle where a vaccine rushed into production for political purposes caused more deaths than the swine flu itself. President Trump also raised concerns about mandatory Covid vaccinations by suggesting the military would be in charge of vaccine distribution.
Vice President Biden vehemently denied he was a socialist, while championing increased spending, taxes, regulations, expanded Obamacare, and a modified “Green New Deal.” Biden may not consider himself a socialist, but if his economic plans were implemented it would take America further down the road to socialism — and serfdom.
President Trump also denounced socialism, while bragging about his own big government policies such as tariffs, massive spending increases, and plans to maintain the “popular” provisions of Obamacare.
One topic that did not come up was gun control. This may have been because both candidates support infringements on the Second Amendment. Joe Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee when it passed gun control measures like the assault weapons ban and the “Brady Bill.” President Trump has not only banned bump stocks by executive order, which President Obama refused to do because his Attorney General correctly determined that the President lacks the authority to do so, but has enthusiastically endorsed “red flag” laws. These laws allow law enforcement to, as President Trump put it, “take the guns first worry about due process later.”
The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the federal debt will exceed the gross domestic product next year and reach 195 percent of GDP by 2050! This report was issued before this week’s revelation that the federal debt reached record levels of $27 trillion.
This is the biggest threat to our national security, but it was unmentioned during the debate. This is not surprising since few in the political or media elite understand the debt crisis well enough to give it the attention it deserves. Although if Biden wins and Democrats seize control of the Senate, Republicans will likely remember they are supposed to be against big spending and debt.
One critical area that could have led to an interesting exchange was monetary policy. Biden has called Trump’s tweets attacking the Fed as an assault on Fed’s independence, as if the Fed were ever free from political pressure. President Trump has gone from supporting a fed audit, criticizing low interest rates, and supporting the gold standard, to pushing the Fed to adopt the insane policy of zero interest rates
The debate is the latest evidence the two major parties will not on their own restore our lost liberties. Those who want to roll back the welfare-warfare state should avoid focusing on political parties or personalities. Instead we must focus on spreading the ideas of liberty among our fellow citizens and building a liberty movement that puts principles of liberty above partisanship.