The Republicans are having another presidential debate Tuesday October 18 in Las Vegas, telecast at 8 p.m. eastern time on CNN. Here are some questions it would be nice to see asked, or, better yet, answered.
The first few are for Governor Romney: Your plan is to cut the capital gains tax to zero for taxpayers earning $200,000 a year or less. Why should a beach bum with $2 million in lottery winnings or an inheritance sitting in a brokerage account generating $199,000 a year in capital gains pay no federal tax on that, while someone getting up every morning and doing backbreaking hard work would get no tax cut on wages under your plan?
Governor, Newt Gingrich asked you in the last debate why you picked $200,000 as your threshold for "rich," which is lower than even Barack Obama's $250,000 threshold. Do you think anyone making more than $200,000 a year is "rich"? Why not just treat everyone the same rather than dividing people by income?
The next few are for Herman Cain: In the last debate you said Alan Greenspan was the Federal Reserve chairman you most admired in the past 40 years. What do you make of the criticism that he kept interest rates too low for too long and in so doing helped inflate both the tech stock bubble and the housing bubble?
What would the tax rates be in the "empowerment zones" you plan to establish? How would the boundaries of those zones be set? Why not treat everyone the same rather than setting up special zones with lower tax rates than everywhere else?
Your 9-9-9 plan, as I understand it, would get rid of the home mortgage interest tax deduction and also impose a 9 percent national sales tax on sales of new homes. What would that do to a real estate and construction industry in this country that is already hurting?
For Rick Santorum: Senator, in 2006 you lost your re-election bid in your home state of Pennsylvania by 18 percentage points. You have little executive experience and little private sector experience. Why do you think you lost in 2006, and if you were nominated, how would you get the Pennsylvanians who voted against you as their senator in 2006 to support you as their president in the 2012 election?
For all the candidates: Last Friday, President Obama announced he had begun sending about 100 American ground troops into Africa to go after the Lord's Resistance Army and its leader. Do you approve of that use of the American military and do you agree that President Obama had the authority under the Constitution to launch the action without getting prior approval from Congress?
After winning election partly on the basis of his opposition to the war in Iraq, President Obama has used American military power in Libya, Yemen, and now Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while also increasing troop levels in Afghanistan. Which of those military actions, if any, do you support, and why?
What is your view of both Wall Street and the Occupy Wall Street protests?
Do you think Gary Johnson, a Republican presidential candidate who served two terms as governor of New Mexico, should be included or excluded from future debates?
As president, what would be your policy on the soundness and strength of the dollar?
What are five things the federal government is now doing that you would stop if you became president?
What are your views on federal farm subsidies, including those on crops used for ethanol and other biofuels? How about your views on tariffs on imported farm products?