Re "What Obama failed to say in debate," Column, Oct. 6
Michael Hiltzik fails to recognize that both parties want healthcare reform, financial regulation and economic stimulus. They disagree on the best way to provide them. Mitt Romney points out the inadequacies of the current approaches as indicative of the Obama administration's shortcomings.
Hiltzik's complaints about Romney's view of reality make little sense. For example, in any insurance-based healthcare system, someone must decide which cases to cover. Romney's state-by-state tailoring could provide relief to someone whose case doesn't pass through the Affordable Care Act's national filter. Romney's approach also better uses competition to control costs.
Both sides agree that financial regulation needs to be improved, not repealed; how to do it is the issue. Finally, direct subsidies and loan guarantees to energy companies are by definition risky. The Romney approach would create a better climate for private investment to flourish.
While Hiltzik makes a number of good observations concerning President Obama's miscues in his debate with Romney, he omits a very striking one.
Romney boasted of his ability to work with Democrats in passing his healthcare bill in Massachusetts. Obama should have retorted: "I wonder how well you would have done if the Democrats had made it their priority to sabotage you. That's the situation I faced in Congress, and it highlights the difference between Democrats and Republicans."
Such a statement would not only have discomfited Romney, it would have helped Obama's fellow Democrats. The president let a golden opportunity slip by.
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