Las Vegas Sun

March 29, 2015

Currently: 63° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Sun Editorial:

Forget the facts?

If we can’t get those straight, let’s look at the issues in the campaign

Another view?

View more of the Las Vegas Sun's opinion section:

Editorials - the Sun's viewpoint.

Columnists - local and syndicated writers.

Letters to the editor - readers' views.

Have your own opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

In the wake of the presidential debate last week and the various attack ads that dominate the airwaves in Nevada, let’s take a second to talk about issues. You know, the things that will matter when the successful candidates take office.

Where they stand on the issues is important because it will determine what they will try to do in office.

However, the issues, like the facts, have been brushed aside by too many candidates and their campaigns. Consider Neil Newhouse, Mitt Romney’s pollster, who last month dismissed the independent groups examining the veracity of the campaigns by saying, “We’re not going let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

Right. Why let the facts mess up a strong ad or a tough line of attack?

Factual accuracy came up during the debate. Romney had the gumption to chide President Barack Obama, challenging the truth of some of his statements, saying, “Mr. President, you’re entitled, as the president, to your own airplane and to your own house, but not to your own facts, all right?”

Great line — it got a laugh — but Romney should look in the mirror. Some of the evening’s biggest truth benders came from him, such as the reprise of the well-debunked claim that under Obamacare, bureaucrats would make health care decisions instead of doctors. At least he didn’t use the phrase “death panels,” but he didn’t have to — people knew what he meant.

Since the facts have become flexible and have obfuscated the debate, let’s get down to the core issues and discuss the candidates’ philosophies. Here are some issues we’d like to see get a real discussion and some questions we’d like to see answered:

Health care: During the debate, Romney said he would repeal the president’s health care law, the same one that was modeled after his health care law in Massachusetts. Never mind the contradiction; do people have a right to health care — not just emergency care but basic health care? Since access to health care really depends on insurance, should insurance be portable and less reliant on employers? For that matter, do they think the government should do anything to make insurance more affordable?

Medicare and Social Security: These two “entitlements” have been in focus thanks, in no small part, to Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would upend the programs. So, let’s ask a foundational question: Should Americans even have basic safety nets of Medicare and Social Security? If so, should seniors be guaranteed health insurance? Should the Social Security Trust Fund be off limits to Congress? What about raising the age for Social Security, as Romney proposes, meaning a construction worker would be on the job well into his 60s?

The economy: It’s easy to talk about creating more jobs, but how? Once again, we’ll ignore Romney’s contradictions — he said he wouldn’t cut taxes on the wealthy, but his proposals seem to indicate otherwise — and we’ll just ask about government’s role. Should the nation cut taxes to stimulate the economy? If so, who gets the cuts, and given that trickle-down economics hasn’t worked, how will it this time? If regulation is the issue, what specifically would be cut and what kind of impact would that have? For example, how would repealing Wall Street reforms, as Romney has proposed, help the average Americans who was burned by the financial market’s excesses?

The debt: The nation didn’t get into this mess overnight, nor will it get out of it immediately, so how does the nation address it? Budget cuts or tax increases? Or both? Should the nation slash food stamps and anti-poverty programs, as the Ryan budget does? Should Congress repeal the Bush tax cuts for the rich or close tax loopholes for the “job creators,” who haven’t been creating many jobs?

We have more questions, and there are other issues to talk about, such as housing and education, but this is a start; we’d welcome the discussion.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 8 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. How about discussng the feasibility of a global economy? We hold a half century of experience at unsuccessfully attempting to compensate for lack of forced reiprocation in our economy and have created environment of excessive risk, large debt and disruption to many millions of families. In recognition of this along with the history of nations of the world how might one muster belief in achieving reciprocaton necessary to sustain a global economy? Or doesn't one need faith, just large media ownership and recognized opportunity?

  2. Throughout this presidential campaign the extreme right of the Republican Party, with extreme talk radio, cable news, opinion news, and the talking heads have continually distorted the truth, the facts, as any reasonable person would understand or perceive to be the truth, based on actions, history, and words.

    Take the poll numbers for example. All year long the Republican party and Fox News have accepted the polls, even their own polls. However, now that the polls are showing President Obama distancing himself from Mitt Romney in the swing States, the polls are no longer acceptable. Even their own! Or, the jobs numbers released by the Bureau Of Labor(BLS)on Friday 10/05/12 showing the unemployment down from 8.1% to 7.8% are being challenged by Welch and the extreme Allen West and others from the fringe Republican party.

    The only facts you can rely on is information we as individuals believe in based on our values of what we perceived to be reasonable and fair. We must do our homework and evaluate information coming from places generally considered reliable and consistence, in a track record in practice of high standards.

    What we are seeing outright coming from Mitt Romney, the Republican Party, and from Fox News, is a campaign of Lies, Distortions, and Misleading Statements all designed to confuse and misleading the voters who are undecided or easily lead, or just plain misinformed on the issues this country is facing.

    The Chairman of the Republican Party hires a firm to do voter registration for the Republican Party. Hire one firm to do voter registration throughout the USA, and this firm is involved in illegal activity, violating voter registration laws in several States. The only firm, hired by the Republican Party...the only firm to do voter registration for the Republican Party. This firm is now under investigation for voter fraud.

    This President campaign lead by Mitt Romney is a fraud against the American People. Reasonable people are coming out against it. Reasonable people are being informed on the facts. Reasonable people are speaking out by moving polls numbers and businesses are hiring which has lowered the unemployment rate.

    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  3. For a brief summary of where the candidates stand on key issues:

  4. Can the Obama supporters agree that Obama does not want to end the Bush tax cuts, just the parts he does not like? In other words Bush helped many middle class people in his term. with tax cuts.
    Can we also agree if he had all 12 years of those cuts now, from everyone, it would barely pay 1 year of his deficit. So if he just goes after parts of it that means the income is not going to be that big. That is is plan?

  5. Petef: Obama DOES want to end the Bush tax cuts. He wanted only one more year and then we will all be "ECONOMIC PATRIOTS" so he can send more money to the third world--income redistribution per treaties they are working on now.

  6. "The Chairman of the Republican Party hires a firm to do voter registration for the Republican Party. Hire one firm to do voter registration throughout the USA, and this firm is involved in illegal activity, violating voter registration laws in several States. The only firm, hired by the Republican Party...the only firm to do voter registration for the Republican Party. This firm is now under investigation for voter fraud."

    A person more paranoid than me would say they couldn't find any voter fraud, so they had to hire someone to commit it, thereby justifying their legislation to restrict voting.


    No one has closed the loopholes or raised the taxes on the wealthy YET.

    Mitt says by keeping THOSE taxes low, it produce jobs.


  8. If 12 years is your timetable, then 2000, tech bubble burst and 2006, housing market bubble burst. Back to back financial calamities on a huge scale. With corresponding free falls in markets around the world topped off with government insolvencies among the European Union, a trading partner that consumes 20 percent of USA exports on a yearly basis.