Star Parker

So, at the conclusion of the first debate of Republican candidates, we know that eight of 10 would not amend the Constitution to allow a naturalized citizen to become president, but we have no idea, based on this debate, about their thoughts on health care or education.

How about entitlements? There is no greater fiscal challenge confronting this country today than the insurmountable obligations facing us through Medicare and Social Security.

An article in the current edition of the Financial Analysts Journal, co-authored by economists from the University of Pennsylvania and the Cato Institute, estimates that the unmet obligations we now have as a result of Medicare and Social Security amount to $63.7 trillion. That's almost six times the nation's GDP.

According to the authors, as a result of this cost, and because of smoke and mirrors in how we do our nation's budgeting, the federal deficit is closer to $2.4 trillion rather than $200 billion. How will we pay these bills?

Not a single presidential candidate of either party is addressing this massive problem.

Isn't the press corps responsible for pushing candidates to crawl out from under their rocks and address these tough issues? It's not happening, and we are the losers.

Regarding the Republican field, I am in agreement with Gilmore, that there's not one among the 10 who I would not rather have than Clinton. But, nevertheless, I felt that the leading candidates showed why Republican voters are having a hard time getting enthusiastic.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is vague and inarticulate. I found his non-response about Roe v. Wade totally unsatisfying. Roe can be opposed simply as a constitutional issue, yet the former New York mayor is unable to even do this.

I find former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's explanation that he suddenly turned anti-abortion two years ago as a result of the cloning issue a bit hard to swallow. Somehow, the 45 million abortions that occurred from 1973 to 2005 were insufficient to move Romney, but suddenly he woke up because of cloning?

If Matthews and his crew were doing their job, they would have probed Sen. John McCain of Arizona about his wavering on the Bush tax cuts. And they certainly would have explored his courageous vote against the budget-busting Medicare prescription bill in 2003.

Information is the oxygen of quality public discourse and a meaningful political process. The press today, unfortunately, wants to be in the entertainment business rather than the information business. We're all losers as result. The American public deserves better.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.