Thanks to CNBC’s bias, viewers of the 3rd Republican debate were treated to an outstanding evening in debate politics. The WSJ’s William McGurn writes, “CNBC’s Waterloo had little to do with its moderators’ questions and everything to do with the snark and contempt they came drenched in.”
With the CNBC moderators consistently challenging the anti-big-government assumptions of the Republican candidates, wouldn’t it be helpful if during the next Democratic “debate” the moderators asked questions on what the fundamental role of government should be? Mr. McGurn, under no delusion that they will be asked, offers a sampler of what those questions might sound like:
- Martin O’Malley, you were mayor of a city whose recent riots have highlighted its poverty, broken public schools and lack of opportunity. Fifty years and hundreds of millions of tax dollars after LBJ launched the War on Poverty, cities such as Baltimore have almost nothing to show for it. Given this record, why should anyone think government has an answer?
- Bernie Sanders, you say our system of campaign financing is corrupt and has been co-opted by billionaires, to the point where only the well heeled and well connected can get ahead. Yet over on the GOP side, Ben Carson—a political outsider—gets his funds from mom-and-pop donations and has risen to the top of the polls, while the candidate with the big-time corporate bucks, Jeb Bush, is floundering. So how can you claim our political campaigns need more regulation?
- Mrs. Clinton, back in the 1990s your husband concluded the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed legislation repealing the Glass-Steagall restrictions on affiliations between banks and securities firms, and embraced welfare reform and cuts in capital gains taxes. In 1996, he famously declared “the era of big government is over.”Today you are running on a pro-tax, pro-regulation, pro-spending platform that is almost the opposite of your husband’s economic record. If his policies worked so well in the 1990s, why are you running against them today?
- Here’s one for all three: Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Sanders and Mr. O’Malley, all of you support an increase in the federal minimum wage. Are any of you aware that the Davis-Bacon Act—the first federal minimum-wage law—was passed in part to prevent southern black workers from taking construction jobs from unionized white workers up north?