GOP Presidential Candidates: All Bluster, No Substance
In the hours leading up to the fifth GOP presidential debate, we all are probably feeling a bit like debate veterans at this point. We have heard these candidates rant about each other’s antics, but we have heard very little substantive discussion about important issues. Though we don’t have the ability to predict the future, here’s our prediction of seven topics we bet the GOP candidates won’t discuss:
1) Actual solutions for climate change: This week, 195 countries made a historic deal to combat climate change in Paris. GOP candidates, however, have mostly been silent after, even as their own voters are starting to come around to the idea of addressing global warming. We are betting tonight will be no different, especially since GOP presidential candidates have received over $1 million in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry.
2) The fact that the economy is improving under President Obama: While Mitt Romney promised in 2012 to bring unemployment down to 6 percent in his first term, under President Obama unemployment has dropped to 5 percent and the economy is enjoying a record 69 months of job growth. But, it’s unlikely GOP candidates will mention these facts.
3) Policies that will actually help working families and women in the work force: Although the workplace has changed a lot the last 30 years, workplace policies have not. Only 40 percent of private sector workers have paid sick leave. The United States is the only developed country without paid maternity leave. Child care fees for two children in a child care center exceed annual median rent payments in every state. Marco Rubio may discuss his paid leave plan, but will probably leave out that it will likely do little to make more employers offer paid leave. And, we doubt the other candidates on stage tonight will advocate for policies that will address these issues and help working families.
4) Solutions to blunt the influence of big money in the political system: While many of the candidates like to talk tough about there being too much money in the political process, none of them have provided any options for solutions or reforms to start solving this problem. At the same time, candidates like Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Bush will jump through hoops to give huge tax breaks to billionaire donors, like casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who donated $150 million to GOP candidates in 2012.
5) Policies that actually help the Latino community: Even though people of color are making up a larger share of the eligible voting population, GOP candidates are probably not going to talk about solutions to help communities of color. For example, 9 out of 10 GOP candidates oppose DACA and DAPA, initiatives that would help 5 million people.
6) Criminal justice solutions and Black Lives Matter: People of color are more likely to be incarcerated and on average receive longer sentences for the same crime than white offenders. And nearly half of U.S. children have a parent with a criminal record. But, we doubt GOP candidates are going to speak much about our systemic criminal justice problems or advocate on behalf of movements like Black Lives Matter.
7) Investing in education and the teaching profession: Teachers are the number one in-school factor affecting student success, and a recent report showed if all students in the US reached basic math and reading proficiency we would see the GDP increase by $27 trillion over the next decade. We doubt the GOP candidates will mention investing in teachers though, as Ted Cruz wants to abolish the Department of Education.
Though we hope the GOP candidates prove us wrong, we’re not holding our breath to hear them talk about solutions we need on issues ranging from climate to criminal justice. We need a leader who will find solutions to these important issues, but instead we’ll watch nine GOP candidates prove they can’t tackle the real issues.
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