Who Won the Presidential Debate: The Truth is There Was No Winner

Although there was no winner in Wednesday night’s presidential debate, the Republican nominee performed exceedingly well. Mitt Romney swiftly attacked the president’s financial policies while describing his own in a stylistic way that appealed to viewers. However, the majority of his points were either lies or severely contradicted himself and his campaign.

Take, for example, the candidate's argument about Medicare. Romney claims that Obama has cut $716 billion in funding from Medicare to pay for the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as Obamacare). The candidate also vowed to put $716 billion back into Medicare, so health care wouldn’t be taken away from those who need it.

There are several problems with this major point of Romney’s campaign. First, the $716 billion is in savings over the next ten years. It’s not an immediate cut that drastically effects Medicare recipients. Actually, the only way it impacts those on Medicare is by prolonging the financial life of Medicare itself. Without the $716 billion in savings, Medicare would only last until 2016. And, in regards to affecting care, the $716 billion is taken from private insurers and hospitals who have been overpaid.

But this isn’t the major reason why Romney is in no place to attack Obama's alleged "cut" in Medicare. Paul Ryan’s budget plan in the House, which has been heavily endorsed by Romney and the Republican Party, makes the exact same savings. Medicare should be a non-issue.

Unfortunately, Romney lied about the $716 billion in savings being a cut that would destroy Medicare, contradicted himself, his party and his campaign, and vowed to continue reimbursements and overpayments which will subsequently lead to the financial death of Medicare in 2016.

For months (even years), Romney has said he wants an “across the board” 20%reduction in taxes. He said he wants, “all the rates [to] come down.” President Obama went on the offensive during the debate saying Romney’s tax plan would favor the rich and cost the country $5 trillion.

It’s fact. Romney’s tax plan would cost $5 trillion. You can’t lower taxes by that much and cut the deficit. While Romney proposed cuts to government-funded programs like PBS would balance out the revenue decrease from his extreme tax cuts, unfortunately for Romney, PBS only accounts for $444 million of the $1.1 trillion deficit. Killing Big Bird and Jim Lehrer will make no difference. 



What will make a bigger difference, but still insignificant in the grand scheme of things, is Obamacare. The president’s prized legislation will undoubtedly save our country $109 billion over the next ten years. Here’s another unfortunate sticking point for Mitt Romney: he's said time and time again that he’ll repeal Obamacare on day one. Even last night, he explicitly said,
“If I’m president, I will repeal Obamacare for a lot of reasons."

The question is, what will Obamacare be replaced with if he becomes president? After all, Romney’s health care policy in Massachusetts is almost identical to Obamacare.

Well, Romney has the answer.

“Number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan,” Romney said Wednesday. “Number two, young people can stay covered under my plan.”

Yet another unfortunate statement for the Republican nominee to make. What Romney listed as being on his plan are the key points of Obamacare, the bill he has been so thoroughly against for as long as we can remember (all the way back to when Obamacare passed in Massachusetts).

The lies and contradictions are absolutely overwhelming, but Romney delivered those lies and contradictions in the perfect way. His performance was absolutely incredible. You just can’t call him a winner. Winners don’t lie. Losers lie.

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Elliot Friar

I just really enjoy politics and pop culture. Follow me: @elliot_friar.

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