About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Debate Questions For The American Citizenry

In person early voting started on September 18 in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia, & Wyoming followed by in person early voting in five other states (New Jersey, Vermont, Missouri, Illinois, & Michigan) - all before the first presidential debate on Tuesday night. 

Another seventeen states have in person early voting starting before the second presidential debate (eight of these starting before the VP debate) & another fourteen states starting before the third presidential debate. 

Makes me wonder if early voters in these states have already made up their minds & don't need additional information like will their preferred candidate still be alive on November 3?

But the trend in early voting has increased as shown on the graphic below & can only be expected to increase further in 2020 due to concerns about the Wuhan coronavirus & Democrats preference for voting by mail - estimates are that over 50% of voting will be early voting including mail-ins. 

I have prepared the following list of questions that I hope will be asked during the debates.  They certainly are not meant to be trick or gotcha questions but rather questions that every voter should know the answers to themselves - if you don't know the answers make it your business to find out.  This can only make you better informed & America stronger.

Whether you are an early voter or plan to vote on November 3 you should also know how each candidate answers these questions.  We'd be in a lot better place if our elected representatives knew the answers to these questions & better yet if they knew we knew.  

As for me, I'd settle for us even knowing what to ask.

1.  What is the significance of the national debt now that the federal government owes more to the public than the economy produces in a year?

2.  Scott Hodge, President of the Tax Foundation, calculated that to bring every family in America to average would require the people in the top two quintiles to pay higher taxes than they currently do with people in the top quintile paying the vast majority of an additional $2.4 trillion per year in federal taxes or 74% of their income.  What is the maximum amount of a person's income anyone should ever have to pay to the federal government in income taxes?

3.  The Social Security Administration clearly tells people in bold print on page 2 of the document entitled "Your Social Security Statement" (available to everyone online & mailed yearly to people over 60 who do not have an online account) that "by 2035, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 79 percent of scheduled benefits."  Shouldn't we be taking steps now to head off this 21% reduction in Social Security benefits & if so what are these steps?  If not, why not?

4.  It has been shown that a premium support system, unindexed to inflation designed for people younger than 55 years old, will bend the Medicare cost curve down, softening the 12% reductions in hospital benefits projected for 2024 (two years earlier than projections done before the pandemic).  In addition the cost of Parts B & D are 81% funded by general revenue & growing too fast to be sustained.  Do you support a premium support system unindexed to inflation to replace traditional Medicare?

5.  Ken Blackwell & others have proposed a "cut, cap, & balance" plan in which federal spending would be controlled so that projected borrowing is cut in half next year (not 10 years from now), spending would be capped @ 18% of GDP (it was 21% before the pandemic), & under a balanced-budget amendment the president would be required to submit a balanced budget within the foregoing guidelines that call for super congressional majorities to raise future debt limits or tax rates.  Do you support such a plan? 

6.  Do you approve of the Federal Reserve's program of inducing 2% inflation that will reduce the purchasing power of the median-income American household by $1,370 each year?  In addition the Fed's policy of near zero interest rates coupled with 2% inflation is my definition of negative real interest rates.  How do you justify this policy to savers, especially senior citizen savers, many of whom live below the median income level, & are losing their meager purchasing power every day on their life's savings?

7.  Explain the importance of the connection between economic freedom & overall freedom.

8.  Ayn Rand wrote in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal that "A system of pure, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism has never existed anywhere."  In 1996 Professor Friedman said "America has been more than fifty percent socialist for many years & we are not getting our money's worth."  Explain the importance of capitalism to America's future.  How do you see socialism fitting in with your vision of America? 

9.   Explain the difference between extinguishing civil liberties & allowing violent protests like we have had in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Kenosha, & NYC.  Was it a hate crime for people to block the emergency entrance to a hospital so that the two police officers who were ambushed & shot in the face @ point blank range in Compton, California could not receive prompt medical attention?  The people blocking the hospital chanted "we hope they die."

10.   Do state & local stay @ home lockdown orders that have shut down or severely limited commerce & forced many businesses to close across the country violate the Constitution?

11.  What is the significance of the phrase "& subject to the jurisdiction thereof" in Section 1 of Amendment IV of the Constitution regarding so called birthright citizenship?  Didn't Ohio Senator Jacob Howard, author of the Citizenship Clause, intend the amendment to apply to freed slaves & not illegal aliens who snuck into the country to give birth thereby taking advantage of America's generosity?

12.  How important is the presidential oath that you take per Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution to you?  Please point out any responses from your opponent tonight that do not comply with the presidential oath or the Constitution.

13.  More & more the legislative & executive branches both run to the courts to provide cover for themselves by having five unelected judges provide the answer to unpopular questions.  Doesn't this just seem wrong?  What is your idea of the proper role of the courts?

 14.  What are the consequences that China should pay for manufacturing & intentionally releasing the Wuhan coronavirus to the world causing over 200,000 deaths in the U.S. so far?   

I thank everyone who sent in their own list of questions they would like to have asked during the debates.  I have posted the questions received on RTE - just click on comments @ the bottom of this post online to read them.  Please let me know if you think of any other questions & I will post them also.


  1. Part 1


    Several responded favorably in FaceBook - 1st 9



    This web site will post questions for presidential debates Monday and allow extra questions. These questions may be submitted to the 2nd debate moderators as has been the practice in the interactive debate.

    My top questions

    Debate Questions

    For Biden

    School Choice

    will you come to support school vouchers and choice for low income children? Can this policy address the disadvantages many Black children have - locked into schools that result in students way below in reading and math grade standards? Why should only the rich have right to education of their choice?

    Taxes and Economic Growth

    Please explain how the economy will respond to individual (ex: 22% to 25% for middle income) and corporate (21% to 28% ) tax increases. How many companies, especially new and small businesses will be forced to cut staff?

    Silicon Valley & Big Tech

    How will you leverage KH strong Silicon Valley (SV) ties? Will your administration not over regulate and allow SV start up innovation to prosper? What guarantees can you provide that the established SV firms will not crowd out new creative SV start-ups?

    For Trump

    National Debt

    COVID impact on the economy and stimulus spending has rapidly increased our national debt to where it is now over 100% of GDP – a level not seen since WW2. But even before COVID, debt has steadily increased over your Admin and the prior 2. Although Treasury revenues did increase 2017-19, debt increased per massive spending increases for defense and social welfare. Is it time to cut back on both of these, at least limit their growth in future budgets?

    Voting Technology

    Many Tech experts tout that BlockChain can both ensure voter accuracy and decrease costs involved with our current voting methods. BlockChain has exhibited stellar reliability in securities trading transactions. Will you embrace this technology or other such as facial recognition in 2021 to ensure legitimacy of our voting system?

    Low Income Blacks and Latinos

    Besides continuing and extending low income area enterprise zones, what new measures can we expect in your 2nd term to increase jobs and wages for low income Blacks and Latinos ?

    For Biden & Trump


    What immediate steps must the US embrace ASAP to improve our relationship with Iran? What policies and or agreements Should we pursue.


    How can we maintain a strong military and economy lead over China, while improving political and economic cooperation?

    Law and Order

    What steps will you take to restore law and order in our cities?

  2. Part 2 - New questions as of Sep-26


    Socialist Manifesto

    You signed what many refer to a 110 page Socialist manifesto with Bernie Sanders. Which parts of that manifesto will you pledge to implement in your first 100 days

    Economic Advisors

    Who In your Admin, will be key economic advisors who will guide you to implement economic policies? How many will have concrete evidence of creating new permanent jobs in their prior experiences?

    Student debt forgiveness, full health care and education benefits for illegals, and green deal:

    Have you calculated total $billions of increased taxes and/or debt expansion to finance all of these pledges? Have you projected odds of our foreign investors balking at financing the debt required for this, potentially resulting in a $ collapse.


    Energy policy

    Over the next few years what will be your commitment to guide and encourage businesses and start ups to develop alternate or green energies? Will the government provide any tax incentives for this effort?

    Big Tech oligopolies vs greater market competition

    Many argue that in the area of free speech, it is extremely difficult for new entrants to enter social media space. Is it time to break up the giant oligopolies that may be controlling competition with results of censorship? Should FaceBook and Twitter be regulated as utilities or forced to be broken up per an Anti-trust policy?

    Health Care

    Please detail with specifics your plan to reduce heath Care costs, guarantee no pre-existing conditions for insurance, and increase private health services competition across state lines

    Both Biden & Trump

    Capitalism v Socialism

    Please explain how much greater control of the Economy the Government can play in a positive way, namely increase GDP growth greater than past few years.

    Housing Policy

    Would your administration strive to pursue legislation and/or executive orders for greater Federal Government controls and mandates over low income housing? Would this include limiting single family homes in any municipalities the Fed Gov seems fit. Please provide reasons for your choice.

    Path to citizenship

    Please detail with specifics requirements of undocumented immigrants including time lines or full US citizenship? Will this include traditional requirements such as passing Fundamental civic tests? What will be the policy of those with criminal records?

  3. Dear RTE,

    I would like the presidential candidates to tell us how important it is for their Supreme Court picks, as well as any court pick, to follow the Constitution as it is written.

  4. Hey Doug, I have asked a few friends if they have a question and I am thinking also. I might like to ask Biden what his first action would be to improve the economy and then what other plans would follow?

  5. Very good questions, will sleepy Joe be able to answer before he falls asleep?

    1. Please remember that the point of the post is not whether or not Sleepy Joe, or for that matter even Trump, knows the answers to the questions but rather the American people. If they do then we have got something to turn this ship around.

  6. Hi Doug. All there. Love your deep questions. Great job. I just tweeted to Chris Wallace - ‪@FoxNewsSunday hey Chris - many relevant debate questions. Please review - https://www.returntoexcellence.net/2020/09/debate-questions-for-american-citizenry.html?m=1 ‬

  7. We think answers do not make a difference - we see a stacked deck. Bad year all around

    1. Answers by whom don't matter? Please explain.