WASHINGTON — Whew! We can now get on with our real lives, having been given a brief hiatus from the Mogul and Eli shows. But first let’s ponder some of the weird stuff spouted by Republican presidential candidates.
This being the season of giving thanks, thankfully we have five weeks before we see Donald Trump and Ben Carson on the debate stage again. With our tax money now providing both men around-the-clock Secret Service protection (the SS code-named Trump “mogul” and gave a biblical name to the publicly uber-religious Carson), it’s time to consider all the bafflegab.
It is not possible, no matter what Trump argues, to send 11 million undocumented people back to their countries of origin. We don’t have a Gestapo to round them up. We don’t have enough airplanes. We couldn’t take care of the children left behind. Our economy would plummet. For Trump to keep insisting we have no choice is nonsense; his constant spittle on this issue is annoying.
It is not possible to get rid of the IRS and ensure fair play and compliance on taxes, no matter what Ted Cruz says. It is neither feasible nor politically possible to ensure fairness with a three-page tax code, no matter what Carly Fiorina says. She won’t even supply details.
No matter what Marco Rubio says, welders do not make more than philosophers. The median wage for philosophy teachers is $63,630; welders make a median wage of $37,420, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Carson is simply wrong to say a rise in the minimum wage always leads to a decrease in jobs. Sometimes it does, but not always, and other economic factors are often to blame. And we’re puzzled when he claims 80 percent of black teens don’t have jobs because “wages are too high.”
Trump is just alarmingly goofy when he insists that if a family of four gets a mandated salary increase to $31,000 a year minus taxes for a 40-hour work week, the United States will no longer be the world’s top economic power. More poor people will keep us on top?
When Jeb Bush, Rubio and Fiorina say more businesses are closing than are being started, they are using old data. The government’s Business Dynamics Statistics suggest that has not been true for several years. New statistics will be out next month.
On foreign policy, we have no idea what any of the Republican candidates are talking about.
Carson insisted we must destroy the “ISIS caliphate” in Iraq and take over the oil field near Anbar province because it will be “easy.” Trump says after many lives lost and $2 trillion spent in the longest war in U.S. history, we must stay away from the Middle East and let Russian President Vladimir Putin destroy ISIS in Syria. Fiorina says she knows Putin and he’s a bad guy we shouldn’t talk to but that she didn’t meet him in a Green Room (TV talk show holding room) as Trump did. But earlier she said she met Putin once in what she called a Green Room setting. Bush says we must be the military leader of the world but not its policeman.
Every Republican running for president hates regulations. Bush says he would repeal every rule Obama put in place or is working on. Presumably children under 10 could go back to head-butting the soccer ball and seat belts will not have to be installed on school buses; both federal rules were announced the day before Bush’s statement.
Every GOP candidate wants to cut taxes for the rich, arguing the rich will then create jobs. Inequality in America is increasing, but not because taxes on the rich are too high. The rich have more money than ever, and they have been hoarding their money, not creating jobs. CEOs make 300 times more than workers on average and but purposefully have decided to make current employees work harder for static salaries, not hire back workers they laid off.
Many of the commercials during Fox business channel’s debate were previews for apocalyptic movies. Let’s go see them and maybe the next GOP debates won’t seem so preposterous.
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Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Readers may send her email at [email protected]