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-- the rates the way you described governor.
Then it is not possible to come up -- enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit.
Burdening the middle class it's it's -- it's arithmetic.
Get the rates down -- -- deductions and exemptions to create more jobs because there's nothing better.
For getting -- to a balanced budget that having more people working earning more money paying more taxes.
That's by far the most effective and efficient way to get this budget balanced.
Welcome to The Journal Editorial Report on -- -- a big night in Denver on Wednesday as president Barack Obama.
And governor Mitt Romney met for their first presidential debate the candidates barred.
As you just heard over taxes and the deficit as well as health care Wall Street reform and the role of government.
With Mitt Romney taking some sharp shots at the president's record these past four years.
We're seeing right now is in my view a a trickle down government approach.
Which has government thinking -- can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams and it's not working.
And the proof of that is 23 million people -- -- work.
The proof of that is one of the six people in poverty the proof of that is we've gone from thirty to Maine and food stamps to 47 million on food stamps.
The proof of that is that 50% of college graduates this year can't find work.
There's little doubt Romney's commanding performance helped the GOP ticket the question is how much let's -- Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor Dan -- here.
Editorial board member Mary Anastasia O'Grady and political diary editor Jason Riley.
And -- Washington columnist Kim distrustful so -- How important was this debate for Mitt Romney's campus.
It was not only very important for Mitt Romney's candidacy.
Paul it was very important for us I think you both rescued his candidacy he rescued the election.
And quite honestly the election to this point was kinda boring.
It was boring because both candidates in different ways we're making it for the president and -- reports of the success.
It was kind of co hosting through thinking he had no real competition from Mitt Romney.
And Romney was out there basically expressing conservative platitudes without elaborating on them.
We get to the debate and what Mitt Romney does is answer the two things I think most voters were looking for.
Why do you think Barack Obama's.
Presidency has failed in what ways has he failed this secondly how would -- what alternatives would you propose and how would they be better.
Then what Barack Obama's done he did both those things he went right at the Obama record which is something the president has declined to talk about himself.
And he went deep on his tax policy and -- health policy so he put an entirely new baseline for the election.
I -- -- there are a lot of Republicans were willing to start writing off.
Mitt Romney if if he didn't do well I mean there really were you were they were worried that this fund raising might -- -- and that -- be a big problem.
So the is their new momentum new optimism on the Republican side.
Heck no no worries about the fundraising dropping off now I hear that -- that you have not seen this much enthusiasm.
For Mitt Romney.
Since he's ever run going back -- 2008.
And I think because he went out there and talked about ideas this is what the Republicans have been arguing he needed to do all along.
Because you can't just say it's a choice you got to prove it's a choice and that's what he did in Denver as he.
The most important thing he did was he explained.
The -- is very clearly he talked about things like growth vs tax -- about.
Free market health care vs Obama care.
That was the way you need to explain this -- -- elect.
Yet Jason there was a very substantive debate he did he did lay out some ideas and some plans.
And and that's a good thing but I I think these debates also bought more than substance -- about demeanor presentation.
And what he managed to do is go up there on the stage.
Stand next the president and look more presidential.
Then the man himself he did that for ninety minutes and that made -- Looked him right in the -- was respectful.
-- but he was better on Obama's anniversary.
I don't I don't I.
What about this idea you hear from the left a lot which now which is -- well the secret to Romney's success in the debate was that.
This was the moderate around -- That he -- basically repudiated all of his campaign positions this is of course what the Obama campaign is saying is that true.
Well I think there -- -- -- at the fact that he was able to challenge the president on things the president has claimed he's been saying you know the Democrat's famously say that Republicans want.
Polluted water and you know slave work.
Sweatshops and all kinds of low wages for you know.
Working people and he was able to challenge those things directly to the president and he never you know it's not nice to use the word wire.
For your opponent in politics but he was able to basically lay out where what the president has been saying about him is not true.
Let's show a clip of the president's frustration with some of Mitt Romney's answers.
He says that he's gonna close deductions and loopholes.
For his tax plan that's how it's going to be paid for what we don't know the details.
He says that he's going to.
Replace Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform but we don't know exactly which ones you.
He won't tell us he now says he's gonna replace obamacare and assure that all the good things there that are going to be -- there and you don't have to worry.
And at some point I think the American people after -- themselves as is the reason that governor Romney is keeping all these.
Plans to replace.
Because they're too good.
Is it is because that somehow middle class families are gonna benefit too much from home.
The president have a point.
While Romney has not been as specific as some of us have been urging him to be typically on on the tax issue but he was very specific I thought on the tax issue he was -- -- -- think in in refuting Obama's characterization.
At this tax but I thought he did an excellent.
Traveled that the president has been relying on a report that has been debunked left and right by people about how Romney wants to raise taxes -- I did about half dollars and ordered pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.
He read he rebutted that very effectively -- -- but I I would like also to see more details -- -- gave a couple of details in regard to for example here's how you could reduce deductions and exemptions for county could have a 25000 or 50000 dollar limit that any one individual could use that's a very specific example -- -- been offered by people like Marty Feldstein of Harvard.
As a way to to make tax reform work.
And the group both of them embrace somehow which was the Simpson Bowles commission.
And the Simpson Bowles commission has you know put out three different tax rates and -- each rate you'll have to do something.
With deductions and exemptions -- eliminate all of them or retain them.
Romney said I'm going to drop rates and put all those deductions and exemptions on the table for negotiation.
Any serious person in politics knows that is the starting point for reworking the tax code you don't have to get into the fine detail at this point.
Jim what are they have to do to maintain momentum the Romney campaign coming out of this.
What you see them doing it they they have now flooding the zone with a whole bunch of new ads that are going after the president.
Both on -- on things like the deficit but also talking more about.
Mitt Romney's own plans for reform and so they are trying to -- to bulk up their presence out there in the swing states -- really grab this moment -- And then they've also of course have got to have a good at rest of the remaining debates no one should forget.
John Kerry had a good opening debate in 2004 he still went on to -- the election they're aware of that and so they've got to go out there and he's got it.
He's gonna keep this image rolling with the --
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