by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
… [I]t would have been a good thing if any of the candidates talked about our money. A strong and steady dollar — the world’s unit of account (in theory) — is pro-growth, as we saw in the ’60s, ’80s, and ’90s. A collapsing greenback smothers growth, as we saw in the 2000s.
I would have loved to have seen one or more of the candidates talk about a strong dollar, a rules-based Fed policy and international monetary coordination. Alas, it was not to be. Maybe we’ll hear about the dollar at the CNBC debate on Oct. 28. But an opportunity was missed on Sept. 16.
Interestingly, on the day of the debate, the Census Bureau revealed another round of stagnating incomes for the middle class. But the words “middle class” and “economic growth” were mentioned by the GOP debaters only four or five times, according to AEI economist Jim Pethokoukis. He laments that Republicans have been missing great opportunities to show a modern vision about growth.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, the director of Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute, lists a slew of important economic issues that weren’t addressed at the debate, including the minimum wage, regulatory policy, education and alternatives to Obamacare. There were brief mentions of tax policy, with Gov. Huckabee slipping in his fair-tax proposal and Sen. Paul touting his 14.5 percent flat tax. But there was no room for Sen. Rubio to pit his child tax credit against Jeb Bush’s 20 percent corporate tax rate. Meanwhile, Gov. Christie spent his economic time on a plea for reducing Social Security benefits. Ugh.