COMMENTARY | I haven’t watched a GOP presidential debate since the last election season, and I didn’t watch last night’s debate in Iowa. But I’m pretty sure that none of the questions that David Atkins of Digby’s Hullaballoo proposed were asked there.
Fortunately, with a bit of imagination and a good memory for outrageous quotes, we can easily come up with what some of this year’s hopefuls might have answered (hypothetically, of course) for some of these paraphrased questions. Let’s watch!
Q. As you know, the richest 1 percent of Americans is now richer than ever, but we still face record unemployment. How much more money do the rich need before they can create jobs?
Mitt Romney: Don’t look at me for an answer! I’ve got millions of dollars and I’m still unemployed.
Michele Bachmann: If the rich didn’t have to pay minimum wage, they could hire so many more people for the same price!
Ron Paul: You don’t have a right to a job, you don’t have a right to a house, and you don’t have a right to medical care. Leave those poor rich people alone and enjoy your American freedom!
Q. Would it hurt or help the economy if we returned to the Clinton-era tax rates on the rich, before the Bush tax cuts and war debt?
Romney: That’s a great idea! We could get S&P to raise our credit rating back to AAA if we raised taxes and closed loopholes; it worked for me in 2004. Just, uh, don’t tell any Republican voters I said that.
Bachmann: I find it interesting that it was back in the 1990s — I think it was the 1990s — that Mad Cow Disease broke out then under Democratic President Bill Clinton. I’m not blaming this on Clinton’s tax policies, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.
Paul: You wouldn’t steal money from rich people at gunpoint, so why would you make the government do that? The only government services that anyone should have to pay for through taxes are things like police and fire departments! That’s because rich people need those, too, not just poor people.
Q. Why are corporations making record profits as American people go jobless and hungry?
Romney: Hey now, don’t disrespect corporations! Corporations are people, too, you know.
Bachmann: Starvation is portrayed as harmful, but there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows it’s a harmful way of life.
Paul: If there were just fewer laws and regulations holding those corporations back, then they could really start helping Americans! Because that’s what they’re for, and not just, you know, making big enough piles of money to roll around in.
(At this point, the debate would have had to conclude, because Mitt Romney would have remembered he had plans to go scuba diving in his money bin.)