First Presidential Debate: Ask The Questions (and Get The Answers)!

September 26, 2016

The topics chosen for tonight’s first Presidential Debate include: America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity, and Securing America. Here are some of the Questions I want to see Asked.

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America’s Direction This is one of those non-specific categories tailored for generic, boiler plate answers. I’m not crazy about the topic, but here goes…

ATQ:  In order of priority, what are the 3 biggest problems negatively impacting the direction America is currently taking and, briefly, what would you do to change direction for each?

ATQ:  If “investing in the future” is key to setting and maintaining a positive direction for America, how important is education, and what would you do to improve it?

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Achieving Prosperity
ATQ:  Historically, healthy GDP growth was at least 3%. In the last several years, it has been stalled at less than 2%, with projections for the future showing this continuing. What is the best way to increase GDP growth, and what economic data can you cite as the basis supporting your proposal?

ATQ:  Small businesses are responsible for 39% of GNP, comprise 52% of all U.S. sales, and employ 54 million, or 57% of the private workforce. Given these statistics, what is the best way to foster small business growth, and what data can you cite to back that up?

ATQ:  Do you favor the Earned Income Credit, which helps low income workers, or a Guaranteed Minimum Income that covers the unemployed as well as low income employed, and which Glen Hubbard and other Republicans support?

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Securing America
ATQ:  Given that fighting wars has proven too costly, what strategy would you employ to effectively fight terrorism that would minimize deficit increases as well as lives lost?

ATQ:  What emphasis in importance do you give each of the following categories for fighting terrorism: military buildup, partnering with allies, intelligence, foreign weapons sales and foreign military training? How, and in what areas of the world, would you allocate resources to them? (Admin note: I know this is a mouthful, but I want a full breakdown.)

ATQ to Trump:  You have proposed reinstituting water boarding to deter terrorism. Since terrorists are willing to die for their cause, and use U.S. acts against them as a recruitment tool, would water boarding deter terrorism, or actually encourage more of it?

ATQ to Trump:  Given that terrorism has become globally fragmented, with most attacks being unsponsored, homegrown ones by individuals, how effective would banning all Muslims from countries with previous links to terrorism be, as you have proposed?

ATQ to Clinton:  You are in favor of arming the Syrian rebels. How would you avoid another ‘Libya’ of unintended consequences, with chaos ensuing, in the event Syrian President al-Assad is deposed?

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What are some of your Ask The Questions?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra Winkler September 26, 2016 at 10:56 pm

I felt like I wanted the moderator, Larry, to turn off Donald Trump’s microphone when he kept talking over Hillary Rodham Clinton. And I want Trump to answer why he started and continued to push for Obama’s birth certificate and question where he was born even after the birth certificate was produced. Has any other president been asked to produce a birth certificate? And he needs to better explain why he has not shown his federal tax returns, and answer how much he paid in federal taxes.

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mimiv September 27, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Amen to that. In a recent symposium on politics & the media, I asked why a moderator shouldn’t have the ability to ‘cut the mic’ in cases like this. Of course I knew the answer–it’s a subjective opinion whether someone is answering a question or not, and there would be howls of protests over censorship. Still, I think sometimes it is clear. That’s why in my Ask The Question Rule, I specify the question should be repeated 2 or 3 times, and if still not answered, the moderator (journalist, news anchor) should verbally state that, then move on.

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