The Fox Business Debate Should Put the Focus on Growth, Jobs and Energy Independence

By Ken Blackwell Published on November 10, 2015

It’s almost a guarantee that when the Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo moderate tonight’s GOP debate, the goofy, “gotcha” questions that were so much a part of the CNBC debate debacle will be ignored for substantive questions that could reveal much about the candidates.

It’s about time we hear from the candidates about American exceptionalism and how we intend to preserve our history as a nation of innovators and reclaim our leadership as an energy powerhouse. We want substantive answers about their plans for real job growth, addressing government’s massive spending and ever growing debt, ideas for tax reform, capital investment, healthcare, protecting social security and waging a winning fight against terrorism.

Let’s hope some of the GOP candidates who take the stage tonight will seize the opportunity and worry less about sound bites and displacing Donald Trump and offer ideas for energy and manufacturing growth.

For example, if the next President can reign in a rogue EPA and put an end to costly and needless new environmental regulations, the nation could experience manufacturing growth and job creation not seen since World War II. Our energy industry is poised to help deliver ten years of new manufacturing job growth which would add some $328 billion to the economy.

Local, state and federal government revenue increases could be more than a $1 trillion between 2015 and 2035. The vast new energy resources discovered in America over the past decade could create five million new energy jobs by 2020. From 2007 to 2012, the total U.S. private sector employment increased by only a million jobs, about one percent, while energy jobs in the oil and natural gas sector increased by 162,000 jobs, a forty percent increase. Just think what kind of energy and manufacturing growth we could see in America with a Congress and a President working together instead of a President who tells our EPA to place blocks under the wheels of our energy economy.

Government waste and needless spending is simply out of control and the latest move by this Congress to allow for a virtually unlimited debt ceiling is nothing short of a prelude to economic ruin. Democrat candidates are all too happy to pile on more to an existing $18 trillion debt. The GOP candidates who take the stage tonight need to lay out their plans to get government spending under control and let a free market create jobs again.

Republicans need to present a vision of how they will reform our tax code with a fairer simpler form of taxation. Both individuals and corporations are now taxed to the breaking point with no end in sight. Our tax code is full of special interest loopholes that benefit only those who have the millions needed to lobby Congress.

A key to the idea of American exceptionalism is innovation and tonight we need to hear more about plans to ensure the United States lead the world in innovation and capital investment.

Since our founding, America has encouraged invention and risk taking.  This largely stems from the fact that our founders wrote patent rights into our Constitution and extended the idea of property rights to ideas and not just physical property. The knowledge that you can own the right to your invention for a time gives entrepreneurs the incentive to take risks and provides assurances for those willing to invest in those ideas.  It is one of the concepts that separate us from China and India.

Moving forward, the candidates need to lay out their vision of how we continue to be a nation of investors and risk takers.  Republicans need to present a vision of how they will fight higher taxes, regulatory overreach, overzealous proposals to roll back patent rights and how they will stand up for American companies whose Intellectual Property (IP) is under attack in foreign countries.

To date, the media and the pundits have been focusing more on the popularity of the GOP candidates and spending countless broadcast hours discussing the overall “winner” after each performance.

Tonight, Fox Business will likely bypass the trash talk and the superficial spin and hopefully offer time for the candidates to reveal their plans for a nation now reeling after nearly eight years of White House failures.

This will be the fourth time the GOP presidential hopefuls will take the stage and let’s hope this debate provides viewers with serious insights into the each candidate’s ideas for preserving American exceptionalism, leading our nation forward and improving our quality of life.


Ken Blackwell is a former Ohio Treasurer. He serves on the Boards of the National Taxpayers Union and Club for Growth, and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council were he writes on economic matters.


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