Wouldn't it be nice?

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You know what would be nice for future presidential debates? Not necessarily fun, but nice?

If they devoted an entire debate to America's dissolving manufacturing base.

Or how we're being played for suckers on trade.

Or how we're going to pay for baby boomers' retirement -- and the $80 trillion we owe them. And where the federal government's accumulated operating debt of $9 trillion is going to go.

It wouldn't necessarily be great for ratings, but such a debate might focus the country on these critical issues like never before.

And on the Democratic side, it would be interesting to hear a 90-minute discussion by the candidates on illegal immigration and amnesty. It's truly amazing that illegal immigration, one of the top issues on the minds of voters, has been almost completely absent from Democratic debates. Why are moderators giving Democrats a pass on this issue?

But for all the candidates on both sides, it would be nice to focus on one major issue for an entire debate. Allowing candidates to jump around from topic to topic the way they do lets them issue superficial and often meaningless sound bites and campaign slogans, and to escape accountability for what they would actually do as president.

As a result, that helps obscure newsworthy developments in some of these major issues.

Here, for instance, are a few interesting little tidbits about the health of the country that you might have missed while listening to some of the jabber that passes for great thoughts at most presidential debates:

- The U.S. trade deficit continues sucking dollars out of the economy and into our trading partners' economies, particularly China's: The trade deficit was $63 billion in November alone; last year, the trade deficit with China alone was $240 billion.

Is that sustainable? If not, what should be done about it? And is the communist government in China playing fair, or are its currency manipulation and subsidies of state-owned businesses cheating America?

- Speaking of being played for suckers by our trading partners, some 150 countries today levy value-added taxes, or VATs, on goods. But get this: They rebate the taxes on goods their companies ship here, and levy it on our goods going over there. The result is a double whammy on American manufacturers.

- Speaking of manufacturing, Americans -- the hardest-working, most productive workers on Earth -- are getting their clock cleaned by unfair foreign competition (see American trade policies). The result: Our manufacturing base is shrinking like a cheap pair of jeans. This country lost 31,000 manufacturing jobs in December alone -- and a total of 212,000 in 2007.

And consider this little gem: America has now dipped below 14 million manufacturing jobs for the first time since 1950.

When are we going to talk about that in any meaningful and sustained way? Republican candidates briefly talked jobs in Michigan, but have yet to explain what their vision is for how we're going to replace all those good-paying positions. Retraining? Retraining to do what -- to press each other's pants that are made overseas?

You know, it would be nice if the presidential candidates and those who are in a privileged position to ask them questions would start focusing intently on these issues.

Please, spare us the chronic updates on Heath Ledger and Britney Spears, and tell us how we're going to get this country back on track.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/27/08 - 04:02 am
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Not being a fan of the MSM,

Not being a fan of the MSM, I've heard these subjects discussed on an almost daily basis.(different ones on different days) Politicians that keep to PBS and the networks get softball questions about their feelings, but politicians that visit the FOX or CNN editorial shows get asked the hard questions and get follow up questions that puts them in a position to answer or obviously run away. (Hint: Clinton is never on one of these shows) Romney and Huckabee address these issues every time they speak, except during the silly debates. They speak of curtailing government spending and reducing taxes. They speak of closing the border with Mexico so they can start dealing with the illegals. Obama and Clinton speak of the same subjects and their plan to handle them is to raise taxes and increase government subsidy programs. These subjects aren't good enough for the MSM or the debates, but they're being covered.

dani
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dani 01/27/08 - 09:36 am
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THe mSm won't be able to make

THe mSm won't be able to make this distinction after the nominees are appointed and the candidates go one-on-one. That hopefully will level the field to some extent.

afadel
547
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afadel 01/27/08 - 10:36 am
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The Augusta Chronicle's

The Augusta Chronicle's editorial is correct that substantive issues are missing from the primaries.

Here's an article talking about our disappearing manufacturing base:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/174884/chalmers_johnson_how_to_sink_america

mastersmoney
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mastersmoney 01/27/08 - 03:40 pm
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There are no qualified

There are no qualified applicants running for office. Where are the good folks. Im sure that if George Washington was alive right now, he'd be wishing he wasnt if he knew that we were even considering a President of the United States whose name is Barack Obama! Seriously.

jack
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jack 01/27/08 - 03:58 pm
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Mastermoney, the best, most

Mastermoney, the best, most conservative candidate drooped out (Fre Thompson) as he just wasn't getting his message across even though he constantly spoke on these issues but the MSM paid him very little attention. You would think these days that only Hitlery and Obama were the only ones running for all the coverage they get on their childish spats vice arguing the real issues. I won't be voting for anyone but will vote against any DIMocRAT, especially Hitlery.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 01/27/08 - 05:47 pm
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fadel here is a good

fadel here is a good report on how we are also losing the financial base: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/018926.html
and within this report is this: http://www.321gold.com/editorials/schiff/schiff012508.html

afadel
547
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afadel 01/29/08 - 07:11 am
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LaTwon, thank you for sharing

LaTwon, thank you for sharing the links. Hopefully, print, broadcast and electronic media will promote discussion of the issues raised in these articles.

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