Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun Friday Facts #46: So, the First Presidential Debate

As you may have noticed, there has been a Presidential debate.

I actually didn’t watch the whole thing, as I haven’t watched a debate since the 2000 elections, and we all know how well those turned out. I’ve never really troubled myself about not watching a debate before, probably because I’ve managed to be out of the country during both of the last two election seasons – a pattern I plan to repeat in the future, because F*CK THIS NOISE.

But this time, probably because I’m actually here for some reason, I felt obliged to watch these debates, like it was my civic duty. Now, you might not think I’m one for civic duty, but I totally am. I vote, I don’t litter and if I had a dog, I swear I’d never train it to poop in the neighbor’s yard, even though that’s how I was taught to housebreak dogs growing up.

We didn't get invited to many cookouts.

I spent most of the afternoon discussing it with my friend (via text message; I don’t like to talk to people in person) and ultimately decided, at about 8:00 pm, that I was under no obligation to watch the debates if I didn’t want to, and that it doesn’t matter anyway since I know who I’m going to vote for.


So, three glasses of wine later, I turned on the debates. They were about 20 minutes gone but hey, get three glasses of wine in me and I go, “Oooh, presidential debates, sounds like a good idea.

It was not a good idea.

Booze makes me do terrible things. ~ Andre Karwath

I got some good tweeting out of it, even though some of those tweets make no sense in retrospect. What also makes no sense is that Mitt Romney has been declared the winner of the debate. Lying shamelessly and flip-flopping like a day at the beach don’t matter, because he gave a better performance.

I could slap all 300 million of you.

If there was anything worse than this debate, it was signing onto Facebook the morning after the debate, and, frankly, every morning since then and most of the mornings leading up to then. Clearly, I need to restrict my Facebooking to about 9 o’clock at night so I can respectably be drunk. Then, of course, you’d all be in for it.

This kitten doesn't drink either. That can't be a coincidence.

Everyone was all over my feed posting Big Bird memes and fact-checker links, and some other people were all up in the comments going “Obama lied too” because apparently we’re five years old and that’s a solid counterargument. I had to slog through more than the usual crowd of smug douchebags explaining how they don’t support either candidate and they’re not participating in this election because all politicians are liars anyway, which sounds a lot like the reason some people give for not dating anymore, except I have a feeling they’re just saying it because they want to look like they’re smarter than the rest of us. Then, there was the massive gaggle of disillusioned middle class folks who are pissed off that Obama didn’t do enough, as if radically reforming the national health care system while preventing a global depression, attempting to stop climate change, and chasing terrorists were easy, or as if another candidate wouldn’t face the same challenges RE: Congress being a bunch of sh*ts. I even got into an argument with Uncle Creepy on Facebook, and I’m not even friends with him. He blocked me, though, so it’s alright.

But, I digress. This is supposed to be a Fun Friday Facts and here I am rambling on about how much I hate election season and, by extension, you. I didn’t want to write this post, by a fan asked politely. And now I suppose I’ll have to watch all the stupid debates and write posts on them, too. Sh*t.

The things I do for you people.

1) Economists have pointed out that the 12 million jobs Mitt Romney promises to create in his first term as President are jobs that are already forecast to appear, as normal job growth is expected to add 11.8 million positions between 2012 and 2016. These jobs will presumably appear no matter who wins the election. So Romney actually expects to give us 200,000 new jobs. Perhaps that’s how many positions he expects to open up after the post-election emigrations and suicides are complete.

2) Since Obama’s stimulus package took full effect in 2010, the economy has seen 2.8 million new jobs. While that might not seem like very many, it does mean that he took an average monthly loss of 417,000 jobs and turned it into an average monthly gain of 155,000 jobs.

3) Mittens kept insisting he’d be great for education and squeaked repeatedly about how Massachusetts schools are the best in the country, so I got the impression that was kind of the ace up his sleeve. He still seems to be planning to cut Pell Grant funding and bring private lenders back into the student loan business (love those interest rates!). He also seems to think that the reason tuition is so high is because there’s just too much financial aid available to kids today. He wasn’t too specific about his plan to improve access to higher education, but I guess it involves giving lots of money to every student’s parents, so that they can then borrow it.

4) Also, some people legitimately feel that Maryland, not Massachusetts, has the best public schools in the country. So, there’s that. Nor should we forget that time when he told his donors he plans to drastically downsize the Department of Ed. 

5) Under the Affordable Care Act, the Medicare Cost Control Board would not be allowed to
“tell people, ultimately, what kind of treatments they can have.” Nor would it be permitted to raise deductibles, premiums or co-payments for Medicare recipients. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would add $109 billion dollars to the federal deficit over the next 10 years. It would also take coverage away from 30 million people.
Still not as tragic as a dancing horse trapped in an elevator shaft.

6) The $716 billion “Medicare cut” to finance Obamacare actually came from the reimbursements to insurance companies, drug companies and doctors, not from benefits to recipients. Also, that’s the same $716 billion that Paul Ryan claims as his annual savings in his budget plan, even though, you know, it's not his, or anything.

The $716 billion in cuts has extended the lifespan of the Medicare trust fund to 2024 without increasing costs to beneficiaries. Romney’s plan to restore the $716 billion would increase out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries by $577 a year by 2022, except that, without the $716 billion in cuts, the Medicare fund will run out of money by 2016, so I guess that’s a non-issue.

Yeah, dude, that's how I feel too.