As the Vice Presidential debate approaches, I am left wondering who will win the debate; Vice President Joe Biden or Congressman Paul Ryan?
On which criteria will America judge each candidate’s performance?
Will substance prevail over a candidate’s ability to convincingly deliver untruths?
If the feedback from the recent Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney is an example; we may need to proactively provide fact-based information just in case.
We’ll begin by providing facts about each candidate’s record on some key issues and compare their positions to today’s topics that are most important to Americans. This way we can all enjoy Thursday’s debate however cast our vote based on facts and not political punditry.
Vice President Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden, at age 29 became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate, where he served for 36 years before becoming the 47th Vice President of the United States of America. While in the Senate, Biden served as Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years. As a Senator, he worked on key legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. Beginning in 1997, Vice President Biden also served as Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where he played an important role in shaping U.S. foreign policy on issues and legislation such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, post-Cold War Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.
Vice President Biden developed the policy parameters of the president’s jobs and infrastructure bill, which will be the key weapon that Obama uses against the Romney-Ryan team.
While serving as Vice President in the Obama Administration, Biden advocated for domestic policies designed to keep Americans in their homes and working and focused on smart investments in nationally vital infrastructure projects that would deliver positive returns for generations.
Those job-generating, infrastructure-investment proposals would also incrementally shift the economy away from the financial sector and toward a more balanced system which placed a premium on science and technology, inbound investment, and high-wage infrastructure platforms that the private sector alone could not produce.
There have been a number of challenges — the war in Afghanistan, nuclear materials management and WMD proliferation, stabilizing Iraq’s political climate, START ratification, even gay marriage — where Biden and his team quietly defined the position Obama either adopted or evolved toward.
Congressman Paul Ryan
Congressman Paul Ryan first became interested in government after reading several novels by Ayn Rand and at age 28 began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999. Ryan began his political career working as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Bob Kasten and later for Senator Sam Brownback and New York Republican Representative Jack Kemp. He is considered the fiscally conservative voice of the Republican Party, Chairman of the House Budget Committee and is a Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The Washington Post‘s Brad Plumer wrote an article which shows what the consequences of the Ryan budget would be: raising $2.2 trillion less in taxes, and spending $5.3 trillion less, over 10 years than the Obama budget. Federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid would be slashed — Ryan would cut income-security programs for the poor by 16 percent, transportation expenses and investment by 25 percent, spending on science and technology by 6 percent and investment in education, training, and other social services by 33 percent.
At the same time, Ryan would like to reduce the Obama Administration’s cuts to defense spending growth and wants to increase defense spending. GOP Presidential nominee, Romney has suggested a peg of 4 percent of GDP, which would boost defense spending above current levels by another $100 billion, according to Time‘s Mark Thompson . This would mean pegging defense spending to a specific percentage of GDP regardless of rising or falling threats.
The Choice Between Two Different Americas
The contrast between the Democrat and the Republican ticket couldn’t be more clear- the Obama-Biden vision for America calls for smart investments in technology, science, and infrastructure, Romney and Ryan’s solution is to cut spending.
Whereas Obama and Biden believe that the future of the country can be improved with significant investments in education and educational reform, Romney and Ryan favor massive slashes to education budgets.
America has budget challenges that need to be addressed, but to not invest in the future of our country creates a dim outlook for the prosperity of the nation.
In November, we have a huge decision to make and Thursday’s debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan is the vital exchange of policies and ideology that America needs to consider when determining which course builds on America’s innovation and strengths or weakens the competitiveness of the country and delivers a much lower quality of life and hope for advancement for American citizens.