Senatorial Debate Between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown

This is the first debate between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown. It was broadcast by WBZ-TV from Boston on September 20, 2012.

I wonder how many people know that the national organization of the Chamber of Commerce has been rabidly right wing during the Obama administration. They say things that are clearly not correct about how the economy works. Local Chamber’s of Commerce are divorcing themselves from the national organization because of what the national organization is doing.

In the current environment, taxing the wealthy is not taxing the job creators. The wealthy already have so much money they can’t even find productive things to invest in. So they squirrel away a good part of their money in tricky financial instruments to see if they can make a profit by tricking somebody else into taking a loss. If there were enough customers to demand more than the current factories could produce, then the wealthy might become job creators again. If we took away the advantages that we have enacted for creating jobs in other countries, they might even create some of those jobs in this country.

Until such time as the economy can produce enough employment to get private investors to create jobs, the only way that we can accomplish this is for the federal government to tax away some of that ill invested money and put it to more productive, job creating uses. When the private investors see these employed people spending money and creating demand for goods and services, only then will private investment start carrying the load for creating jobs.

When the private sector starts to do its job, the accepted economic theory is that the government should back away somewhat so the economy can stay balanced and not become overheated. When the government reduces its spending and the tax revenues increase, the budget will come into surplus, if the Republicans don’t insist on giving that surplus away and leaving the government in debt.

The last time we had a surplus under the Clinton administration and the beginning of the Bush administration, the Republicans were horrified that we might pay down the debt. They thought the wealthy could spend that money better than the government paying down the debt. They didn’t just make temporary adjustments that fit the situation at the time, they made the adjustments permanent so that the next downturn would be a disaster. They got their wish, and are now trying to blame it on Obama even though they won’t let him undo their original mistake.

I wish Elizabeth Warren could figure out how to fit the above explanation into a 90 second slot in a debate. It would be better than letting Scott Brown keep repeating his misunderstanding of how the economy works.

By the way, there is a perfectly logical reply to why Elizabeth Warren does not choose to pay more taxes than the law requires if she believes the wealthy should pay more in taxes. “I should pay more taxes so you Republicans can give it away to some other wealthy person? I wasn’t born yesterday. When the rules are made more fair for all, then I will be happy to pay more taxes, and see those taxes help the people who deserve it. Unlike you, I don’t think more money needs to go to people who can’t figure out what to do with all the money they have. Why aren’t they creating jobs already with all the money they have? What kind of foolish capitalistic theory would have people invest in more jobs, when there aren’t enough customers to buy what the employed are already able to produce? It’s time you stop listening to the self interested Chamber of Commerce, and start thinking for yourself.”

What makes Scott Brown think the $5 billion subsidy to the oil companies is lowering the price of gasoline at the pump? With $135 billion in profits the oil companies have plenty of room to lower the prices if they want to. Take away the $5 billion subsidy and they will only raise the prices if market forces let them do it. Otherwise that money would come out of the pockets of the management and the investors. Once again, Scott Brown shows that he knows nothing about capitalism.

If it is so important to lower the cost of gasoline at the pump, why not use the $5 billion subsidy to give vouchers to the customers to buy gas, and let the oil companies compete for the money? If they can manage to get that business, then the oil companies will come out even. If not, then the customer comes out ahead. Why do Republicans never think of those solutions unless it means more money to the big guys?

Elizabeth Warren needs to train herself to think (and to say to her opponent), let’s examine what you are saying to see if it makes any sense. If it does, then I will agree with you. If it doesn’t, then you should change your mind. (He won’t change his mind, but people in the listening audience might.) This should be her entry point to refute almost every argument that Scott Brown makes, because so few of his arguments make sense when you look at all the factors involved.

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