If I were the moderator…

I would establish some simple ground rules or facts that are indisputable so as to preclude pandering and stupidity:

  1. Medicare is going broke so neither candidate is allowed to say that leaving it just the way it is a good idea.
  2. The defense budget is so huge that even the military itself realizes that it can be cut. Both sides of the aisle agreed to cut it to solve, at least partially, our budget nightmare. Neither candidate is allowed to say that they would never reduce the military budget.
  3. The decline of the middle class has nothing to do with tax policy. Lowering their taxes further will have just as little impact on their welfare as the previous five tax cuts in the last 10 years. Neither candidate is allowed to claim that tax policy will save them. [Their taxes are already extremely low]
  4. At least 20% of the debate must be about trade. We need to hear exactly what the Romney/ Ryan plan is regarding Chinese trade, and we need to know why the current regime pays no attention to it.
  5. Neither side is allowed to simply say that the other has mis-characterized their plan, without explaining exactly what their plan is. If you refuse to deliver specifics, then you should be open to violent attack.
  6. Neither side is allowed to discuss the microscopic details of a particular voter’s situation. Unless you can show that they are absolutely typical in some regard, we don’t have time to hear about their tragic state. [Joe the Plumber]
  7. After two debates we have learned that there are no substantive differences regarding foreign policy so let’s not discuss it at all.[Cancel the third debate.]
  8. Neither side is allowed to say that they will devise a plan by working across the aisle when we know that the two parties virtually don’t speak to each other.
  9. A bloggers’ comments cannot be cited as a research study.  Mystical beliefs like ” friendliness towards business or consistent policy will, in and of themselves, create five million jobs” or “talking tough will make all our adversaries behave”. Save this nonsense for some religious pulpit.
  10. A spending cut and a tax increase have exactly the same impact on growth and the deficit. Pretending that one is better or will not be damaging (to growth) is a lie and therefore forbidden.

A 25% time penalty will be allocated to the side that breaks any rule.

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