90 Miles From Tyranny : 6 Highlights From the Pence-Harris Debate

Thursday, October 8, 2020

6 Highlights From the Pence-Harris Debate









During the vice presidential debate Wednesday night, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Vice President Mike Pence sparred over a variety of policies, revealing significant differences on several issues.

The debate, which was moderated by USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page, featured the two contenders discussing issues ranging from climate change and COVID-19 to abortion and the Supreme Court.

Here are six highlights from the debate:

1) COVID-19

Harris aggressively attacked the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the opening question, she laid out what could be called a prosecutor’s case.

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” the California senator said. “And here are the facts: 210,000 dead people in our country in just the last several months, over 7 million people who have contracted this disease, 1 in 5 businesses closed. We are looking at frontline workers treated like sacrificial workers. We are looking at 30 million people who in the last several months had to file for unemployment.”

That was in response to a question from Page about what the Biden administration would have done differently than Trump to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Harris then went on to summarize the Biden-Harris plan.

“Our plan is about what we need to do around a national strategy, for contact tracing, for testing, for administration of a vaccine, and make sure it’s free,” Harris said.

Pence, who headed the White House coronavirus task force, defended the administration’s record.

“I want the American people to know that from the very first day, President Donald Trump has put the health of America first,” the vice president said. “Before there were more than five cases in the United States—all people who had returned from China—President Donald Trump did what no other American had ever done. That was, he suspended all travel from China, the second-largest economy in the world.”

Pence added: “Joe Biden opposed that decision.”

“He said it was xenophobic and hysterical. I can tell you, having led the White House coronavirus task force that decision alone by President Trump gave us invaluable time to set up the greatest mobilization since World War II,” Pence said. “I believe it saved hundreds of thousands of American lives.”

As for the Biden plan, Pence said, the Trump administration was already doing much of what it recommends. He also took a shot at a Biden scandal that effectively ended his 1988 presidential bid.

“The reality is, when you look at the Biden plan, it looks an awful lot like what President Trump and I and our task force have been doing every step of the way,” he said. “ … It looks a little bit like plagiarism, something Joe Biden knows a little bit about.”

In September 1987, Biden came in for withering criticism for borrowing lines from a speech by then-British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock without attribution, knocking him out of the race when it was subsequently revealed to be part of a larger pattern of borrowing lines from other politicians without credit.

Asked about the race to develop a vaccine, Harris said she wouldn’t trust a Trump-endorsed vaccine, but would take one approved by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“If the public health professionals, if Dr. Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it. Absolutely,” Harris said. “But if Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it.”

Pence fired back that the California senator was politicizing the vaccine.

“The fact that you continue to undermine public confidence in a vaccine, if a vaccine emerges during the Trump administration, I think, is unconscionable,” the vice president said. “Senator, I just ask you, stop playing politics with people’s lives. The reality is, we will have a vaccine by the end of this year, and it will continue to save countless American lives.”

2) Taxes and the Economy

Harris and Pence sparred over the tax cuts passed by Congress in 2017 and debated Biden’s tax plan.

Harris said that the Biden administration would repeal the 2017 tax cuts “on Day One,” and that they were passed to benefit the “rich.”

“Joe Biden believes you measure the health and strength of America’s economy based on the health and strength of the American worker and the American family,” Harris said. “On the other hand, you have Donald Trump, who measures the strength of the economy based on how rich people are doing.”

Pence defended the tax cuts and said: “Joe Biden said twice in the debate last week that he’s going to repeal the Trump tax cuts,” Pence said. “That was tax cuts that gave the average working family $2,000 with a tax break.”

In 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which reduced federal income taxes and made various other changes to the U.S. tax code.

Following the tax cut, the American economy experienced record low unemployment, wage growth, and an overall increase in business investment, according to Adam Michel, a specialist on tax policy and the federal budget as a policy analyst in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Harris said that Biden’s tax plan would end tax breaks for the wealthy but wouldn’t raise taxes on American making under $400,000.

“He has been very clear about that,” Harris said, adding, “Joe Biden is the one who, during the Great Recession, was responsible for the Recovery Act that brought America back, and now the Trump and Pence administration wants to take credit for Joe Biden’s success for the economy that they had at the beginning of their term.”

According to The Washington Post, “most Americans received a tax” cut in 2017, not just the rich.

Biden’s tax proposal would raise taxes about $3 trillion over the next decade, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

“… The Biden tax plan would reduce [gross domestic product] by 1.47 percent over the long term,” according to the Tax Foundation’s General Equilibrium Model. “On a conventional basis, the Biden tax plan by 2030 would lead to about 6.5 percent less after-tax income for the top 1 percent of taxpayers and about a 1.7 percent decline in after-tax income for all taxpayers on average.”

According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Biden’s proposal “would increase taxes on average on all income groups, but the highest-income households would see substantially larger increases, both in dollar amounts and as a share of their incomes.”

3) Climate Change and Fracking



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3 comments:

curious observant said...

I got as far as the first three lines. NO; here are the facts. Of the 200,000 deaths, only 9500 or so are from Covid-19 alone. The rest had other factors that made them vulnerable. One death occurred because of an auto accident but because he tested positive for Covid they listed it as a Covid death.
The economy got better because Trump got rid of job killing regulations. Remember, Obama asked how Trump was going to get a 3% growth when it was 1.5% under Obama. Well, Trump got a 5% growth. Yes, our economy was better because Trump did what he promised.

curious observant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Advo said...

I’m surprised Pence let Harris get away with claiming the Trump administration “took credit” for the Obama stimulus that Biden oversaw. That was from the beginning of the Obama administration and was admittedly mostly wasted.

I guess there’s a limit to how many Kamala lies can be corrected in just an hour or so.