Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Questions For The Presidential Candidates To Answer

Conor Friedersdorf crowdsourced questions for the Presidential debates. He published 32.  The following 7 certainly need to be asked:
What lessons do you, as current (or potential) Commander in Chief, take from America's war in Iraq? If you think the war was a mistake, how will you conduct our foreign policy to avoid a repeat of that experience? If you still stand by American intervention, why was it a good idea?
In your job as POTUS, you will be responsible for managing one of the largest annual budgets in the country. I am curious how you would manage one of the smallest. Pretend for a moment that you lived in Oregon where the minimum wage is $8.80/hour. Imagine that you are working full-time for minimum wage. Your annual income, before taxes, would be $18,304. This would give you a monthly salary of $1525.33 (again though it would probably be less as no taxes have been deducted). If you were so lucky as to find an apartment for $650/month and rode the bus to and from work everyday, that would leave you with $787.83 for ALL of your expenses. How would you manage that budget? What would you do, if anything, to get assistance?
What would you consider to be the flaws of your political ideology?
President Reagan cut taxes and quadrupled the national debt. President Clinton raised taxes and began running a small surplus by the end of his administration, which could have been used to start paying down the national debt. President Bush cut taxes and doubled the national debt, again. President Obama extended those tax cuts and has proposed to keep most of them in place (except on the very rich), while the national debt doubled, AGAIN. What makes either of you think that tax cuts won't make the deficit continue to increase exponentially?
What do you find inconvenient about the confines of your own political party?
How can you justify our military spending (greater than $680 billion for 2010) and engagements (US troops in over 150 countries) given the lack of any sort of existential threat to the US? Can you justify stationing US troops in wealthy countries like Japan, Germany and South Korea? Aren't those countries rich and responsible enough to manage their own defense?
What do you believe are the long-term implications of an extended drone campaign within a country whom we have not declared war on, with regards to potential radicalization, democratic institutions and future cooperation?
I'd love to hear other suggestions.  What about questions for the Noem/Varilek debates?

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