Every hardworking American in the country lost the debate Wednesday night. I thought I was watching "The Twilight Zone." I thought Bob Schieffer was going to morph into Rod Serling.
On a day when the Dow went down almost 800 points, neither candidate even mentioned it. Senators McCain and Obama did not speak at all about the greatest fraud ever seen in the United States. They did not address the collapse of the financial system, the betrayal of hardworking Americans. Not a word.
Is that unbelievable or is it me? Instead, we got more political rhetoric and the other guy is a pinhead.
Now, I know and you know that Americans are suffering greatly because greedy Wall Street people were allowed to sell bad loans and the feds didn't stop it and didn't alert investors to the danger. What Obama and McCain should have said to all of us is that they will launch intense investigations and hold the guilty parties responsible, both on the Street and in Congress. But again, we got nothing from the guys. I shouldn't say that. What we got was Barack Obama saying this:
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BARACK OBAMA: When President Bush came into office, we had a budget surplus and the national debt was a little over $5 trillion. It has doubled over the last eight years.
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And then Obama proceeds to tell us that he'll institute government-sponsored health care. That's more than a trillion dollars over 10 years. $150 billion for alternative energy development, tax rebates for the 32 percent of Americans who don't even pay federal income tax. That's $70 billion a year. And an additional $18 billion added to the record $68 billion for education.
Now if I were John McCain, I would have bolted out of my chair, scaring Bob Schieffer, and said, are you kidding me? Who's going to pay for all of that?
Senator Obama says he'll raise the capital gains tax. Bulletin, there are no capital gains. They've been wiped out for years to come.
He says he'll raise taxes on rich guys like me. Bulletin, there are far fewer rich people in America than there were a month ago, senator.
He'll raise the corporate tax, already the second highest in the world behind Japan. Bulletin, companies will pass that expense on to the consumer, or move to Bermuda, or fire workers. Corporations aren't going to sit there and fork over profits to the government without action.
I mean, this is insane.
Senator Obama wants to raise taxes on ExxonMobil? Sure, to make up the loss, the oil companies simply raises prices and the folks suffer again.
If John McCain were even half as angry as I am right now, he'd be president. But the senator tried to hammer Obama with Joe the plumber, and it was all over.
"Talking Points" will say it again. Barack Obama is a brilliant politician, and his campaign has made very few mistakes. The race is not over, but I can hear the fat lady warming up.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Our pal, political cartoonist Michael Ramirez, has a new book out called "Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion," a compilation of his best work.
Ramirez, a traditional guy, is heavily outnumbered by left-wing cartoonists, but he does some very funny stuff. And since we need all the laughs we can get, Michael Ramirez is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, 19-year-old Hayden Panettiere, one of the stars of the TV show "Heroes," has become a political scientist.
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HAYDEN PANETTIERE, ACTRESS: There are three things I think all citizens should do: smoke cigarettes, vote for John McCain and don't wear a seatbelt. A vote for McCain is a vote against change. He'll keep tax breaks for the rich, start another war, and we'll all probably die. He's just like George Bush, except older and with a worse temper. Let's vote for McCain and stay the course. Don't switch horses midstream. Get an older horse who would take 12 years to cross that stream, because he's old.
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Whatever. It is quite possible that Hayden has crossed the line into pinheadville.