If you haven’t had a chance to watch the debate from this week between Ted and Bernie Sanders, you should really stop right now, click HERE, and watch it.
Throughout the evening, Ted consistently promoted a vision for lower taxes and the economic benefits that naturally flow from real tax reform. Similarly, Bernie remained steadfast in his commitment to confiscatory taxes for all, and an increasing dependence on government for every American.
By the end of the evening, Ted had effectively articulated the need for bold tax reform that includes deep tax cuts.
According to Ed Rogers, writing in the Washington Post, “During the debate, Cruz did himself — and the Republican Party — a lot of good. He maintained a friendly, informative and nimble presence, effectively outlining the case that GOP tax reform is part of an overall economic plan, whereas Sanders’s call for tax increases for the rich appeared to be knee-jerk and punitive rather than part of a serious economic policy.”
The evening included several moments of unique clarity and quite a bit of laughter. For example, at one point in the evening, Ted asked Bernie if he could explain the difference between a Socialist and a Democrat when it comes to tax policy. Bernie admitted “I don’t know the answer to that,” and Ted quickly replied “I don’t either!”
When Bernie attempted to make a Robin Hood analogy to support his philosophy on taxes, Ted pointed out that Robin Hood wasn’t stealing from the working people to give to the government, but was instead stealing from the tax collectors to give people back what was rightfully theirs. He explained that the story of Robin Hood is saying “Tax collectors, stop hammering people who are struggling, who are laboring in the fields, who are working. Stop taking it to the castle to give out to your buddies.”
Even though there were rhetorical fireworks, the entire debate demonstrated that we can still have an ideological disagreement that does not devolve into a shouting match. The fact that such complete opposites are still able to engage in an extended discussion without resorting to name calling or character assassination is honestly reassuring.
It’s too bad our political discourse doesn’t include more encounters like this week’s debate. Both Senators made their case, and while there were moments of intense disagreement, the overarching tone was one of civility and mutual respect. That is an example that everyone can appreciate – no matter who they agree with when it comes to tax policy.