Big week for the GOP presidential candidates. Today they meet with South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint at the Palmetto Freedom Forum. The first GOP presidential debate to feature Rick Perry is on Wednesday. There are several questions I’d like all of the candidates to answer. Such as:
1.) Everyone on this stage has given lip service to tax reform and doing away with “loopholes.” In order to simplify the tax brackets, would you be willing to do away with the mortgage interest rate deduction? The child tax credit? The deduction for employer provided health insurance?
2.) Again, everyone has said they would reform entitlements. Would you raise the age limit on Social Security? Means test Medicare? Be specific, how would your reform these programs?
But here are the questions I would ask each candidate individually. Some of these questions have already been asked. But I’m asking again until I think they’ve answered directly. (Plus I’ve included a quiz question. Because I want to see how well rounded they are. And I want to see them struggle without pre-prepared answers.)
Michelle Bachmann – Exactly how will you deliver on your promise of $2 gas? I mean without…you know…socialist principles such as price controls and subsidies?
Quiz Question - What is the capital of Ukraine?
Jon Huntsman – You’ve admitted that your cap-and-trade proposal as governor of Utah was a mistake…please tell us why it was a mistake?
Quiz Question - Who won the 2011 NBA Championship?
Rick Perry – Charges of cronyism and political patronage hover over your career. The Wall Street Journal has reported that millions of dollars from the Texas Enterprise Fund have gone to people close to your campaign. In 2007 you attempted to implement a bill that required all sixth-grade girls in the state of Texas to get vaccinated for HPV. At the time, your former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck, the maker of Gardasil, the only vaccine on the market. Please explain these charges.
Quiz Question - What movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2011?
Ron Paul – Two months ago you said that the debt ceiling shouldn’t have been raised at all, which would have forced an almost 40% reduction in government spending overnight. Everyone on this stage wants to cut government spending. But what would have happened to the economy if you made that big of spending cuts over that short of time period? Depression?
Quiz Question - What is the capital of Nevada?
Herman Cain – You supported the attempt to stop a mosque being built in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. How do you square that with the US Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion?
Quiz Question - Who is the Prime Minister of Canada?
Rick Santorum – Is it possible to rebuild Afghanistan and turn it into a secure country that does not breed terrorists? Would you gamble 50 years and thousands of Americans lives on that belief?
Quiz Question - Outside of the federal government, who is the largest American employer?
Mitt Romney – You’ve invoked the concept of federalism to defend the health care mandate you implemented as Governor of Massachusetts. But do you think, philosophically, that government at any level should be telling it’s citizens that it must buy a certain product?
Quiz Question - Who is the best selling musical artist of the 2000s?
Newt Gingrich – Paul Ryan put out a plan to reform Medicare that moved it from a defined benefit program to a defined contribution program. You called this proposal radical right-wing social engineering. Why?
Quiz Question - Which country has the larger GDP – Mexico or Saudi Arabia?