Obama, Romney Face Off on Taxes, Jobs and Energy

Posted October 16th, 2012 at 10:20 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has told his Republican challenger Mitt Romney that his plan to keep tax cuts for the wealthy will increase the deficit and burden Americans.

“If somebody came to you, Governor, with a plan that said, 'Here I want to spend $7 or $8 trillion, and we're going to pay for it but we're not going to tell you how until after the election,' you wouldn't have taken such a sketchy deal, and neither should you, the American people, because the math doesn't add up.”

During the second presidential debate of the campaign in a town-hall style meeting at New York's Hofstra University Tuesday, Mr. Romney accused the president of wanting to raise taxes on the wealthy, saying his own tax plan would lead to job growth and a balanced budget.

“Of course they add up. I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. I ran the state of Massachusetts as much as a governor does, and balanced the budget all four years. When we're talking about math that doesn't add up, how about $4 trillion of deficits?”

The two candidates are taking questions from uncommitted voters, those who have not yet decided who will get their vote.

The first question came from a college student who asked what the candidates would do so that he could find a job and support himself after graduation.

Mr. Romney said it is unacceptable that students leave school with debt and with fewer available jobs. He told the student he deserves an opportunity. Without providing specifics, he said he knows what it takes to get the economy growing again.

President Obama said the United States needs the best education system in the world. He said he would generate more jobs by reviving manufacturing in the United States and retraining workers for future industries, using money saved from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The two also bickered over energy.

Mr. Romney said oil and gas production on federal land is down because of fewer permits granted by the Obama administration. The president denied this and said permit holders were not taking the opportunities to drill. He accused Mr. Romney of planning to let oil companies write U.S. energy policy.

Mr. Romney said he would include renewable energy sources as part of a comprehensive energy policy.