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Presidential Issues: Entitlements & Welfare

Entitlements & Welfare

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Some Dumb Questions and Some Smart Answers

October 29, 2015

By Meghan McArdle

Toward the end of last night's presidential debate, one of the moderators asked Jeb Bush a question about fantasy sports betting: Is this gambling, and should it be allowed? This was, as Chris Christie pointed out, a fairly stupid question. On a comprehensive list of important questions that our next president will need to deal with, the regulation of fantasy leagues ranks somewhere between the emerald ash borer and the design of the next set of White House china.

In fairness, the Republican candidates had spent so much time in fantasyland earlier in the debate that the moderator may have thought this was on point. This was supposed to be the economics debate, although the moderators seemed to quickly get bored with all that finance and economics stuff, switching to poorly researched gotcha questions on topics of limited economic significance, like Marco Rubio’s personal finances and Ben Carson’s views on gay marriage. Nonetheless, aside from the oppo research dumps, we did get discussion of two topics that matter to the economy quite a lot: taxes and entitlements.

On entitlements the Republicans conducted a serious debate, with [Mike] Huckabee arguing that we’ve made promises we have to keep, and other candidates explaining, surprisingly deftly, why we need to reform the programs for future generations in order to keep our promises within our pocketbook. On taxes, however, they stopped debating each other and started debating reality.

Read the full article at Bloomberg View: Some Dumb Questions and Some Smart Answers