Transcript for Fact or Fiction: The Presidential Debate
Good evening from the -- Serena at the university of Denver and Denver Colorado. I'm Jim -- the PBS Newshour and I welcome you to the first of the 2012. Presidential debates between president Barack Obama. The democratic nominee. And former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney the Republican nominee. This debate and the next three to presidential one vice presidential. Are sponsored by the commission. On presidential debates. Tonight's ninety minutes will be about domestic issues and will follow a format designed by the commission. There will be six roughly fifteen minute segments with two minute answers for the first question. An open discussion for the remainder of each segment. Thousands of people offered suggestions on segment subjects or questions. Via the Internet and other means. But I made the final selections and for the record -- -- not submitted for approval to the commission or the candidates. The segments as I announced an advance will be three on the economy. And one each on health care the role of government and governing. With an emphasis through lap. On differences. Specifics. And choices. Both candidates will also have two minute closing statements. The audience -- in the hall has promised to remained silent. Oh cheers applause -- -- just. Among other noisy distracting things so we -- all concentrate. On what the candidates have to say. There -- the noise exception right now though as we welcome President. Obama. And governor -- Okay. Donovan welcome to you vote. Let's start the economy. Segment 10 and let's began -- jobs. What are. The major differences. Between the two view. About how you would go about creating new jobs. -- have two minutes each of you have two minutes to start a coin toss is determined Mr. President you Bofors. Well thank you very much Jim for -- -- I want to thank governor Romney in the University of Denver for your hospitality. There -- a lot of points I want to make tonight but the most important one. Is that twenty years ago -- became what -- man on earth because Michelle Obama agreed to marry me. And so I just want to wish. Sweetie you happy anniversary and let you know that a year from now we will not be celebrating it in front of forty million people. Four years ago we went through. The worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of jobs were lost the auto industry was on the brink of collapse. The financial system have frozen up. And because of resilience and the determination the American people we've begun to fight our way back. Over the last thirty months we've seen five million jobs in the private sector created. The auto industry -- come roaring back. And housing. Has begun to rise. But we all know that we've still got a lot of work to do and so the question here tonight is not where we've been boat where we're going. Governor Romney has -- perspective that says if we cut taxes. Skewed towards the wealthy and roll back regulations that. Will be better off I've got a different view I think we've got to invest in education and training. I think it's important for us to develop new sources of energy here in America. -- we change our tax code to make sure that we're -- and small businesses and companies that are investing here in the United States. That. We take some of the money that we're saving as we wind down a two wars to rebuild America. And that we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allowed us to make these critical investments. Now if ultimately going to be up to the voters to you which perhaps we should take. -- -- -- double down on the top down economic policies that help to get us into this mess or do we embrace a new economic patriotism. That says America does best when the middle class does best and I'm looking forward to having that right. -- -- -- -- Baggage -- it's an honor to be here with you and I appreciate the chance to be with the president. I'm pleased to be at the University of Denver appreciate their welcome and also the presidential commission on these debates. Congratulations to you Mr. President on your anniversary I'm sure this was the -- most dramatic place you can imagine here here with me -- -- Congratulations. This obviously very tender topic. I've education over the last couple of years of meeting people across the country. I was and Dayton Ohio and a woman grabbed my arm machines -- have been out of work since may can you help me. And yesterday was rally in Denver and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms. And said and my husband -- -- for jobs in three years part time jobs he's lost his most recent job. And -- not just lost -- home can you help us and the answer is yes we can help. But it's gonna take a different path. Not the one we've been not the one the president describes the top down. Cut taxes for the rich that's what I'm gonna do. My plan has five basic parts one get us energy independent North American energy independent that creates about four million jobs. Number two open up more trade particularly in Latin America crack down on China if and when they cheat. Number three make sure people have the skills they need to succeed and the best schools in the world -- -- far away from that now. Number of four give us to a balanced budget. Number five. Champions small business. It's small business that creates the jobs in America and over the last four years small businesspeople -- decided that America may not be the place to open a new business. Because new business start -- are down to a thirty year low. I know what it takes to get small business going again to hire people. Now I'm concerned the path there -- has just been unsuccessful. The president has a view very similar of the -- he had. When he ran for years ago that a bigger government spending more taxing more regulating more. If you will trickle down government would work that's not the right answer for America are restore the vitality he -- America working again thank you. Mr. President. Please respond directly to what the governor just said about trickle down. His trickle down approach. She said years as well let me talk specifically about what I think we need to do. First we've got to improve our education system. And we've made enormous progress drawing on ideas. Both from Democrats and Republicans. That authorities are initial gains in some of the toughest to deal with schools we've got a program called race -- -- top that. Has. Prompted reforms in 46 states around the country raising standards improving how we train teachers and -- wanna hire another 100000. New math and science teachers. And create two million more slots in our Community Colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now and I wanted to make sure that we keep. Tuition well for our young people. When it comes to our tax code. Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too -- Saw a lot of -- work particularly for manufacturing -- down to one point 5% but I also want to close. Those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States. On and urging governor Romney and I we both agree that we've got to. A boost American energy production and oil and natural gas production -- higher than they've been in in years. But I also believe that we've got look at the energy -- the future like wind and solar biofuels. And make those investments so. All of this is possible now in order for us do what we do have to close our deficit and more -- things I'm sure will be discussing tonight is. How do we deal -- our tax -- And how do we make sure. That we are reducing spending and a responsible way but also -- -- we have enough revenue to make those investments and this is where there's a difference because governor Romney's. Central economic plan. Calls for a five trillion dollar tax cut. On top of the extension of the bush tax cuts that's another -- and dollars and two trillion dollars in additional military spending that. Military hasn't asked for that's a trillion dollars. How we pay for that reduce the deficit and make the investments that we need to make without. Dumping those costs on the middle class Americans I think is 1 of the central questions this campaign. -- -- -- -- Spoke spoken about a lot of different things we're gonna try to get through them. In this specific away as we possibly -- but -- governor Ronnie -- a question that you don't like to ask the president directly about something he just said. Well sure -- -- that clear the record and go through piece by piece first of all I don't have a five trillion dollar tax cut I don't have a tax cut. Upscale that you're talking about my view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class but I'm not gonna reduce the share of taxes paid by high income people. High income people are doing just fine in this economy. They'll do fine with -- -- president Ryan the people who are having a hard time right now. Our middle income Americans. Under the president's policies middle income Americans have been buried there. There's just been crushed middle income Americans have seen their income come down by 4300. Dollars. This is that this -- attacks in and -- itself -- the economy tax it's been crushing the same time gasoline prices have doubled under the president. Electric rates -- -- food prices are up. Health care costs have gone up by 2500 dollars a family. Middle income families are being crushed. And so the question is how to get him going again and I've described its energy and trade. The right kind of training programs balancing our budget and helping small business -- those -- the the cornerstones of my plan. But the president mention a couple of other ideas I'll just -- first education I agree education is key particularly the future of our economy. But our training programs right now we got 47 of them housed in the federal government. Reporting to eight different agencies. Overhead is overwhelming we gotta get those dollars back to the states. And go to the workers so they can create their own pathways to get in the training they need for jobs so we're really help them. The second area taxation we agree we -- to bring the tax rates down and I do both for corporations and for individuals. But in order -- first not to lose revenue. Have the government run out of money and also lower deductions and credits and exemptions so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth. The third area energy. Energy is critical and the president pointed out correctly that production of oil and gas in the US is up. But not due to his policies. In spite of his policies Mr. President all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land. Not on government land. And government land your administration -- cut the number of permits and licenses in half. If I'm president I'll double them. And also get that the oil from offshore and Alaskan -- a bring that pipeline in from Canada. And by the way I like coal. I don't make sure we continue to burn clean coal people in the coal industry feel like it's getting crushed by your policies. I want to get America and North America energy independent so we can create those jobs and finally with regards to that tax cut look. I'm not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce that. The of revenues going to the government. Mike Mike number one principal is they'll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. Went on -- -- that no tax cut that adds to the deficit but I do want to reduce the burden pay being paid by middle income Americans. And I -- to do that that also means I cannot reduce the burden paid by high income Americans so any any that language the contrary is simply not accurate. President -- -- let's talk about taxes because I think it's instructor. Now. Four years ago when -- -- on the stage I said that. I would cut taxes for middle class families. And that's exactly what I did we cut taxes for middle class families. By about 3600 dollars and the reason is. Because I believe that we do best when -- middle class is doing well. And. By giving them those tax cuts -- more money in the pocket. And so matter to buy a new car. -- are certainly. In a better position to weather the extraordinary recession we went through they can buy a computer for their kid who's going off to college. Which means they're spending more money businesses have more customers does make more profits and then hire more workers. Now governor Romney's proposal. That he's been promoting for eighteen months calls for. -- five trillion dollar tax cut on top of two trillion dollars of additional spending for military. And he is saying that he is going to pay for. By closing loopholes and deductions problem is that. He's been asked -- Over a hundred times how you would close those deductions and loopholes. And that he hasn't been able to identify but I'm an American important point here -- When you add up all the loopholes. And deductions that upper income individuals. And are currently taking advantage -- -- goes all the way. You don't come close to paying for five trillion dollars in tax cuts in two trillion dollars in additional military spending. And that's why independent studies looking at this said the only way to meet governor Romney's pledge of not reducing the deficit. Or -- or not. Adding to the deficit. Is by burdening middle class families the average middle class -- -- children would pay. About 2000 dollars more now that's not my analysis that your analysis of economists who have looked at this and and that kind of top -- top down economics where folks of the top are doing well also the average person making three million bucks. Is getting the 250000 dollar tax break. While middle class families -- burden further that's not what I believe as a recipe for economic growth -- What is the difference lead -- -- -- but I got a -- -- -- just didn't just contacted for comment public but whatever. -- their purchase virtually of the -- to set about my tax plan is inaccurate so so if if the tax plan he described. We're -- tax plan I was asked to support I'd say actually not. I'm looking for a five trillion dollar tax cut what I've -- -- I won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit that's part one. So there's no economist can save it -- tax plan and it's five trillion if I say I will not add that the deficit -- my tax plan. Number two. I will not reduce the share paid by high income individuals. I know that you and your running -- keep saying that I know it's a popular thing to say with a lot of people. But it's just not the case but I got five boys. I'm used to people -- something that's. Not always true but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it but that that is not the case all right I will not reduce the taxes paid. By high income Americans. And number three I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle income families. I will lower taxes of middle income families. Now you cite a study. There's six other studies that looked at the study you describe it say it's completely wrong. I saw a study that came out today that said you're gonna raise taxes by three of 4000 dollars and about middle income families at all -- studies out there. Let's get at the bottom line. That is I want to bring down rates -- bring the rates down at the same time lower deductions exemptions and credits and so forth so we keep getting the revenue we need. And -- simple -- wired or the race and the reason is because small business pays that individual rate. 54%. Of America's workers working businesses that are taxed not the corporate tax rate. But at the individual tax rate and if we lower that rate. They will be able to hire more people. For me this is about jobs. This is about getting jobs for the American people got. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Well for eighteen months -- -- been running on this tax plan and now five weeks before the election. Is saying that as big bold idea is never mind. And the fact is that if you or lowering the rates the way you described governor. Then it is not possible to come up -- enough deductions and loopholes that only affect. High income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit. Or. Burdening the middle class it's it's -- it's arithmetic. Now governor Romney and I do share a deep interest in encouraging small business -- so at the same time that. My tax plan has already lowered taxes for. 98% of families. I also lowered. Taxes for small businesses eighteen times and what I want to do is continue. The tax rates the tax cuts that we put in place for small businesses and families. But I have said that for incomes over 250000. Dollars a year. That we should go back to the rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president when we created 23 million new jobs went from deficit to surplus. And critical a lot of millionaires to boat and the reason this is important is because. By doing that we can not only reduce the deficit we could not only. Encourages job growth through small businesses were also able to make the investments that are necessary in education or in energy. And we do have a difference though when it comes to definitions of small business. There under under my plan 97%. Of small businesses would not see their income taxes go up. Governor Romney says well those top 3% -- the job creators baby bird. But under governor Romney is definition. -- -- bunch of millionaires and billionaires were small businesses Donald Trump is a small business. I -- Donald Trump doesn't like to think of himself as small anything but. But that's how you define small businesses if you're -- business income and that kind of approach. I believe will not grow our economy because the only way to pay for without. Either -- middle class war blowing up our deficit. Is to make drastic cuts in. Things like education. Making sure that. We are continuing to invest in basic science and research all the things that are helping America -- and I think that would be a mistake. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Our first fifteen minutes on -- case -- effective. No problem I'll get all don't have what you have found I don't have a -- -- -- were still on the economy. We're gonna come back to -- and move on to the deficit and so a lot of other things to OK but laureate. -- -- -- The president here -- Mr. President your answer right which is that that with regards to 97% of the businesses are not not taxed at the 35% tax rate they're taxed at a lower rate. But those businesses that are in the last 3% of businesses happened to employ. Half. Half of all the people who work in small business those of the businesses that employ one quarter of all the workers in America. And your plans to take their tax rate from 35%. To 40%. And I talked to a guy who has a very small business he's an electronics business in in Saint Louis yes for employees. He said he and his son -- -- -- how much they pay in taxes. Federal income tax federal payroll tax state income tax state sales tax state property tax gasoline tax it -- up to well over 50%. Of what they earned. And your plan is to take the tax rate I'm successful small businesses from 35%. To 40%. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has said that will cost 700000. Jobs. I don't want -- cost jobs. My priority is jobs. And so what I do -- I bring down the tax rates lower deductions and exemptions the same idea behind Bowles Simpson by the way get the rates down. Lower deductions and exemptions to create more jobs because there's nothing better. For getting -- to a balanced budget. That having more people working earning more money pay more taxes that's by far the most effective and efficient way to get this budget balanced. Jim you may want to move on another topic but I -- disservice to the American people if you believe that we can cut taxes. By five trillion dollars. And add two trillion dollars in additional spending. That the military is not asking for. Seven trillion dollars just to -- cents over ten years that's. More -- our entire defense budget. And you think that by closing loopholes and deductions for the well to do somehow you will not end up. Picking up the tab then the governor Romney's plan may work for -- but. I think -- common sense and our history. Shows us that's not a recipe for job growth look we've tried this we've tried both approaches. The approach the governor Romney's talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003. And we ended up. With the slowest job growth in fifty years. We ended up moving from surplus to deficits. And it all culminate in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Bill Clinton -- approach that I'm talking about we created 23 million new jobs we went from deficit to surplus. And businesses did very well. So in some ways we've got some data on which approach is more likely to create jobs and opportunity for Americans. And I believe that the economy works best when middle class families are getting tax breaks so that they've got some money in their pockets. And those of us who have done extraordinarily well because of this magnificent -- -- country that we live -- that we can afford -- but more to make sure we're not blown up the deficit. Jim segment the for the president began this segment so I think I get the last word so I -- -- take gonna get the per. -- well but nobody gets the first for that segment -- -- the last for that -- and I hope let me just make this happen. The First Amendment -- -- our -- let me repeat let me repeat what I said I'm not in favor of a five trillion dollar tax -- that's not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut the lead of the deficit that's point one so you may keep referring to -- the five trillion dollar tax cut but that's not my plan. Number two let's look at history. My plan is not like anything that's been tried before. My plan is to bring down rates but also bring down deductions and exemptions and credits at the same time so the revenue stays in. But that we bring down rates to get more people working my priority is putting people back to work in America they're suffering in this country. And we talked about evidence. Look at the evidence the last four years. It's apps extraordinary. We've got 23 million people out of work or stop looking for work in this country. It's just it's we got we got what the president took office 32 million people on food stamps 47 million in food stamps today. Economic growth this year slower than last year and last -- -- -- a year before. They're going forward with the status quo is not gonna cut it for the American people who are struggling today. -- talks -- -- -- on the economy this is theoretically now a second segment still on the economy. And specifically on what to do about the federal deficit and the federal debt. And questioned each had two minutes on this and governor Romney you you go first because president went for -- something that might want and the question is -- what are the differences between the two -- you. As to how you go about. Tackling the deficit problem in this country. I don't get I'm glad you raised that and it's it's -- critical issue I think it's not just an economic issue. I think it's a moral issue. I think it's frankly not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take him knowing those burdens are gonna be passed on -- the next generation. And there are going to be paying the interest and the principle although lives and the amount of debt -- adding -- trillion a year. Is simply not moral. So how we don't we'll mathematically they're there are three ways that you can cut it. But the deficit one of course is to -- raise taxes that number two is to cut spending and number three is to grow the economy. Because of more people work and a growing economy they're paying taxes and you can get the job done that way. The president's would present would prefer raising taxes I understand the problems raising taxes. Is it slows down the rate of growth and you could never quite get the job done I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time what things but I cut for spending. Well first of all I will eliminate all programs by this test if they don't pass it is the program so. Critical it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for and if not. Get rid of it Obama shares on my list I apologize Mr. President I use that term it -- all respect I like good broke OK good. So so I get rid of that. I'm sorry Jim I'm gonna stop the subsidy to PBS I'm gonna -- other things I like PBS -- -- big bird actually like YouTube. But I'm not gonna I'm not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay force that's number one. Number two I'll take programs that are currently good programs but I think -- be run more efficiently at the state level and send them the state. Number three -- make government more efficient and cut back the number of employees combined some agencies and departments -- cutbacks will be done through attrition by the way. This is the approach we have to take to get America to balanced budget. President said he cut the deficit in half. Unfortunately he doubled. Trillion dollar deficits for the last four years. The president's put it in place as much public debt almost as much debt held by the public as all prior presidents combined. President -- -- when I walked in real office I had more than a trillion dollar deficit ratings. And we -- working. Two wars that were paid for -- the -- -- to tax cuts that were not paid for. And the whole bunch of programs that were not paid for and then a massive economic crisis. And despite that what we've said is yes we have to take some initial emergency measures to make sure we can slip into a Great Depression. But what we've also said is let's make sure that we are cutting out those things that are not helping us. So -- seven government programs everything from aircrafts that the air force had -- but were working very well. Eighteen government eighteen government programs for education that were well intentioned but weren't helping kids -- We went after medical thought. In Medicare and Medicaid. Very aggressively more aggressively than ever before and that save tens of billions of dollars fifty billion dollars of -- taken out of the system. And I worked for Democrats and Republicans cut a trillion dollars out of art to discretionary domestic budget that's the largest cut. In the discretionary domestic budget since Dwight Eisenhower. Now we -- all the we've got to do more. And -- -- put forward a specific four trillion dollar deficit reduction plan. It's on -- -- you can look at all the numbers what cuts we make and what -- were we race. And the way we do it is two dollars and fifty cents for every cut. We asked for a dollar of additional revenue paid for as I indicated earlier by asking. Those of us who've done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit governor Romney earlier mentioned the Bowles Simpson commission. Well that's how. -- the commission bipartisan commission the talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it in a balanced way with some revenue. And some spending cuts and this is a major difference the governor Ronnie and I -- -- let me just finish this point because you're you're looking for -- You know -- governor Romney stood on -- stage with. Other Republican -- For the nomination and he was last. Would you take ten dollars of spending. Cuts for just one dollar. Of revenue. And he said now. Now if you take such an unbalanced approach. Then that means you're going to be cutting our investments in schools and education. It means that governor Romney -- just talked about Medicaid and how we could to send it back to the states but effectively this means a 30% cut. In the primary program we help for seniors were nursing homes for kids -- with disabilities. President and that is not a right strategy for us to -- -- Widow the two minute -- Governor what about Simpson Bowles we support -- involves. Simpson Bowles presidency to grab that. Immediate support sensible I have my own plan -- not the same -- -- symbols but in my view the president should be grabbed it. If you want to make some adjustments to take it go to congress fight for -- That's what -- don't make some adjustments to it were putting in for before congress right now four trillion dollar plan to the president of art Harris you have president four years. You said you cut the deficit in half it's now four years later we still have trillion dollar deficits the CBO says we'll have a trillion dollar deficit each of the next four years. If you're reelected we'll get to a -- -- trillion dollar debt. You have said before you cut the deficit -- And get this four I love this idea for -- to -- -- found four trillion dollars of ways to reduce -- to get closer to a balanced budget except we still show trillion dollar deficits every year. That that doesn't get the job done. A polemic and -- -- why is it that that I don't wanna raise taxes. Why don't want to raise taxes on people. And and it actually you sent it back in 2010 you said look I'm gonna extend the tax policies that we have now I'm not gonna raise taxes and anyone. Because when the economy's going slow like this when we're in recession you shouldn't raise taxes on anyone. With the economy is still going slow about a -- -- much more slowly now than when you made that statement. And so if you believe the same thing you just don't wanna raise taxes on people and the reality is if it's not just wealthy people imagined Donald Trump is not as Donald Trump -- -- It's all those businesses that employ one quarter the workers of America. These small businesses that are taxed as individuals you raise taxes and you kill jobs that's why the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Set your plan will kill 700000. Jobs I don't want to kill jobs in this environment. Make one more. Point the -- and -- and after the Texas and for a moment okay. Mr. President while we were we've had this discussion before. A -- -- about the idea that. In order to do to reduce the deficit are there have to be revenue in addition to cuts that there has to be revenue in addition to cuts -- governor Romney has ruled out -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So I look -- the revenue I get. Is by more people working getting higher pay. Paying more taxes that that's -- get growth and how we balance the budget but the idea of taxing people more putting more people -- -- work. You'll never get there you never balance the budget by raising taxes Spain Spain -- -- 42% of their total economy. And government. We're now spending 42% of our economy and government. I don't wanna -- -- the path to Spain I -- -- down -- path of growth that puts Americans to work with more money coming in because they're working. Bet that mr. Reggie Bush and ordered him to get it to -- the job done it got to -- balance. If we're serious we've got to take a balanced responsible approach and by the way this is not just -- comes to individual taxes. The -- about corporate taxes. Now. I've identified. Areas where we can. Right away. Make a change that I believe would actually help the economy the oil industry gets four billion dollars a year. And corporate welfare basically they get deductions that those small businesses that governor Romney were first -- they don't get. Now does anybody think that. ExxonMobil needs. Some extra money when -- -- money every time you go to the pump. Why would we want to eliminate that. Why when we eliminate. Tax breaks for corporate jets my attitude is if you got a corporate that -- probably afford to pay full freight. -- get a special break for. When it comes to corporate taxes governor Romney has said he wants to in revenue neutral way. Close loopholes deductions he hasn't identified which ones they are but -- thereby bring down. The corporate right well I -- -- the same thing but I've actually identified. How we can do that and part of the way to do it is to not give tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas right now. You can actually take a deduction. For moving a plant overseas. I think most Americans would say it that doesn't make sense and all that raises revenue and so if we take -- balanced approach. What that then allows us to do. Is also to help young people the way we -- have during my administration. Make sure that they can afford to go to college. It means that the teacher that I met in Las Vegas. Wonderful young -- Who describes to me she's got 42 kids per class. The first two weeks. She's got -- certain some -- sitting on the floor until finally they get reassigned they're using textbooks that are ten years old. That is not a recipe for growth that's not how America was built. And -- budgets reflect choices ultimately we're gonna have to make some decisions and if were asking for no revenue. Then that means that we've got to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff and the magnitude of the tax cuts to the you're talking about governor. Would end up resulting in severe. Hardship for people but more importantly would not help us grow as I indicated before when you talk about shifting Medicaid to states. We're talking about potentially -- thirty. A 30% cut Medicaid over time. Now in -- -- may not. Seem like a big deal when it just is -- you know numbers on a sheet of paper. But if we're talking about a family who's got an autistic kid and is depending on that. Medicaid that's a big problem and governors are -- there's no doubt about it but they're not creative enough to make up for 30%. Of revenue on something like Medicaid what ends up happening -- some people end up not. Getting help. Jim -- where we -- We've done a lot of topics there and excited to -- could take a minute to go from Medicaid. Good schools and adding oil to tax breaks to companies going overseas so let's go to the one by one. First of all of the Department of Energy has said the tax breaks for oil companies is two point eight billion dollars a year. And it's actually an accounting treatment -- you know that's been a place for a hundred years now time -- And and in one year you provided ninety billion dollars in breaks. To the green energy world. I like green energy is well. But that's about fifty years worth of what oil and gas receives and you say Exxon -- -- Actually this two point eight billion dollars goes largely to small companies to drilling operators and so forth but you know if we get that tax rate from 35% 125%. What that two point eight billion dollars is on the table courses on the table. That's probably not gonna survive to get that rate down to 25%. But but don't forget. You put ninety billion dollars. Like fifty years worth of breaks into in -- solar and wind. Did it just -- Solyndra. And -- or Tesla and -- one and F at a friendly city don't just pick the winners and losers with a losers aren't so is that this is not. This is not the kind of policy you wanna have you wanna get America energy secure the second topic which is -- you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. What I've been in business for 25 years. I have no idea what you're talking about I may -- need to get a new -- But but the the idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case. What we do have right now as the setting -- to bring money from overseas back to this country. And finally Medicaid the states -- not quite sure where that came in except this which is I would like to take the Medicaid dollars. The go to states and say -- was state you're gonna get what you got last year plus inflation inflation inflation plus 1%. And then you're gonna manage your care for your poor in the way you think best and I remembers a governor when this idea was floated by Tommy Thompson. And the governors Republican and Democrats said please let us do that. We can care for our own poor in so much better and more effective way than having the federal government tell us how to care for -- poor. So so let's statement at -- -- magnificent things about this country as a whole idea that states of the laboratories of democracy don't have the federal government tell everybody. What kind of training programs they have to have it and what kind of Medicaid they have to let states do this and by the way for states get gets in trouble we could step in -- -- -- -- a way to help them. But -- know but but the right the right approach it is one of which relies on the brilliance of our people and states not the federal government. Is it we're going on still on the economy on another and another part of all right all right this is segment three the economy entitlements. First first answer. Goes do you two minutes. Mister president did you see a major difference between interview on Social Security. No I suspect that on Social Security we've got a somewhat similar position Social Security is. Structurally sound -- gonna -- between the way it was by Ronald Reagan and speaker democratic speaker Tip O'Neill. But it is the basic structure is sound. But but I want -- talk about the values behind social security and Medicare. And then talk about Medicare because that's the big driver of our deficits right now. -- my grandmother. Some you know helped to raise a migrant parents that my grandfather died -- a while back. My grandmother died three days before it was -- -- -- and she was fiercely independent she worked her way up only had a high school education starred as a secretary. Ended up. Being the vice president the local -- And she ended up living alone by choice. And the reason she could be independent was because -- social security and Medicare. She had worked all her life put in this money and understood there was a basic guarantee a -- under which she could not go. And that's the perspective I bring. When I think about what's called entitlements. The of that the name itself implies some sense of dependency on part of these folks -- these are folks who worked hard. Like my -- and -- millions of people out there were counting on us so my approach is to say how do we strengthen the system over the long. And in Medicare. What we did was we said. We are gonna have to bring down -- cost us if we're gonna deal with our long term deficits. But to do that let's look -- -- some of the -- call 716. Billion dollars we were able to save. From the Medicare program by no longer overpaying. Insurance companies. By making sure that we weren't overpaying providers. And using that money we're actually able to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by an average of 600 dollars. And we were also able to make make a significant dent in providing them the kind of preventive care that what ultimately save money. Through this throughout the system so. That the way for us to deal with the Medicare in particular is lower health care cost but when it comes to Social Security. As I said you don't need a major structural change in order to make sure that's Oscars they're for the future. Law -- -- governor Romney -- minutes on Social Security. Problems. Well Jim our seniors depend on these programs and I -- at a time. We talk about entitlements people become concerned that something's gonna happen it's gonna change their life for the worst. And the answer is neither the president -- -- Are proposing any changes for any current retirees or near retirees. Either to Social Security or Medicare. So if you're sixty are around sixty or older you don't -- -- any further. But for younger people when you did talk about what changes are going to be occurring or just thought about one. And that is in fact that was wrong and I said the president is proposing any changes for current retirees in fact he is and Medicare and Social Security's not. But on Medicare. For current retirees. He's cutting 716. Billion dollars from the program. Now he says by not overpaying hospitals and providers actually just going to -- -- we're gonna reduce the -- to get paid across the board. Everybody's get a get a lower rate that's not just going after places where there's abuse that -- were cut in the rates. Some 15% of hospitals and nursing -- say they won't take any more Medicare patients under that scenario. We also have 50% of doctors who say they won't take more Medicare patients. This we have four million people on Medicare Advantage that will lose Medicare Advantage because of those seven -- -- sixteen billion dollars accounts. I can't understand. How you can cut Medicare 760. Million dollars for current. Recipients of Medicare now you point out or putting some backward to give a better prescription program. That's one -- that's one dollar for every fifteen you've cut. There are Smart enough to know that's not a good trade. I want to take that 716. Billion dollars -- cut and put it back into Medicare by the way we can include prescription program if we -- to improve it. But the idea of cutting seven -- -- sixteen billion dollars from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of obamacare is in my opinion in the state. With regards to young people coming -- I've got proposals to make sure Medicare and Social Security are there for them without any question. First of all. I think it's important for governor Romney to present this plan that he says. Will only affect folks in the future. And the essence of the plan. As he would turn Medicare into a voucher program. It's called premium support but. It's understood to be a voucher program. -- running -- and you don't support that I don't and then let me explain -- It again that's for future understate the right now for current retirees for this order if you figure 5455. You -- want to listen. Because this. This will -- -- The idea which was originally presented by congressman Ryan -- running mate. Is -- We would give a voucher to seniors. And they could go on the private marketplace and buy their own health insurance. The problem is that because the voucher won't necessarily keep up with -- inflation. It was estimated that this would cost the -- -- about 6000 dollars a year now in fairness. What governor Romney is now serving -- he'll maintain traditional Medicare alongside it. But there's still a problem because what happens is those insurance companies -- pretty clever at figuring out who -- the younger. And healthier seniors. They recruit them leaving the older. Sicker seniors in Medicare and every health care economist who looks -- -- over time what will happen is the traditional Medicare system will collapse. And then what you've got is folks like my grandmother at the mercy of the private insurance system. Precisely at the time when they are most in need decent health care. So I don't think vouchers are the right -- ago and this is not my -- only my opinion air repeat. Thinks that -- these savings that we obtained from Medicare. Bolster the system lengthen the Medicare trust fund by eight years benefits were not affected at all. And ironically if you repeal obamacare. And I have become fond of this term Obama here. If you repeal it. What happens is those -- right away are going to be very 600 dollars more prescription care. They're now -- became co pays for basic check -- -- can -- keep them healthier. And the primary beneficiary of that repeal our insurance companies. That. Are estimated to gain millions of dollars back. When they are -- seniors any healthier and I don't think that's the right approach when it comes to. Making sure that Medicare is stronger over the long term. We'll talk about -- specifically about his health care moment that what it do you support the voucher system governor. But I support is no change. For current retirees and near retirees to Medicare and the president supports taking 716. Billion dollars -- of that program. So that's that's number one number two is for people coming along that are young what I do to make sure that we can keep. Medicare in place for them. Is to allow them to either to choose the current Medicare program. Or -- -- their choice. They get to -- and they'll have at least two plants that will be entirely at no cost them. So that ought to pay additional money no additional 6000 dollars that's not gonna happen though that at least two plans and by the way. If the government can be as efficient as a private sector. And offer premiums that are as low as a private sector people will be happy to get traditional Medicare or -- be able to get a private plan. I don't my own view is -- that the private plan. -- just as soon not have the government telling -- what kind of health care I get I'd rather be able to have an insurance company I don't like it might get rid of them and find a different insurance company. But people make their own choice give -- -- we have to do to save Medicare. We have to have the benefits -- for those that are low income. But for higher income people we're gonna have to lower some of the benefits we have to make sure this program is there for the long term. That's the plan that I put forward by the way the idea came not even from Paul Ryan -- senator Wyden who's a co author of the bill with with Paul Ryan in the senate. But also came from they'll come since -- built Bill Clinton's chief of staff this is an idea that's been around long time which is saying hey let's if we can't get competition. Into the Medicare world so that people can get the choice a different plans at lower cost better quality I believe in competition. Jim if I if I can just respond very quick -- first of -- every study has shown that Medicare has lower administrative costs than private insurance us which is why seniors -- Generally pretty happy with -- and private insurers have to make a profit. Mother Roma got them that's what they do and so you've got a higher administrative costs. Plus profit. On top of that and if you're gonna save any money through what governor Romney's proposing. What has to happen is is that the money -- come from somewhere. And when you move to a voucher system you are putting seniors at the mercy of those insurance companies. And over time if traditional Medicare has decayed or fallen apart. Then there stock. And this is the reason why AARP. Has said that your plan would weaken. Medicare substantially. And that's why they were supportive of the approach that we took that one last what I want to make we do have. To lower the cost of health care not just in Medicare not about net net. But but but overall goal cut and so that's that's a big topic because we always get Medicare -- -- -- -- -- I Miguel I want so good but all it is little bit what does he -- landing -- time let's get back to Medicare -- -- the president said the government can provide the service at lower cost and without profit if that's the case. Then it will always be the best product that people can purchase. But my experience -- my experiences the private sector typically is able to provide a better product at lower costs. -- -- And they do you agree that the voters have a choice a clear choice absolutely view on Medicare apps are self to finish quickly. -- briefly on the economy. What is your view about the level of federal regulation of the economy right now -- are too much. And in your case Mr. President is there should there be more begin with -- -- Add this is not a new tend to minute segment to start and we'll go for a few minutes and we're gonna go to health -- -- -- The regulation. Is essential. You can't have a free market work if you don't have regulation. As a business person. I had to have regular I -- -- know the regulations I needed them there. You couldn't have people opening up banks and there. In their garage and making loans I mean you have to have regulations so that you can have an economy work every free economy as good regulation. The same time regulation could become excessive is -- successor now in in some places yes -- -- -- it can become out of date. And what's happened in with some of the legislation that's been passed. During the president's term. You've seen regulation become excessive and it's hurt the it's hurt the economy and they -- example. That that Dodd-Frank was passed and it includes within it a number provisions that I think has some unintended consequences that are harmful to the economy. One is it designates a number of banks is too big to fail. And they're effectively guaranteed by the federal government. This is the biggest kiss has been given -- to New York banks have ever seen this is an enormous boon for them. The -- 122. Community and small banks have closed to stop -- -- there's one example here's another. In Dodd-Frank frank it's like a repeal Dodd-Frank what I would repeal and replace it he would get a get rid of all regulation you have to have regulation and -- some parts -- Dodd-Frank. That the make all the sense in the world in need transparency. You need to have. -- leverage limits for. It is a very specific let's let's let's matchup between rich and the other one let's talk at the big an undertone and let's not let's let him respond. That could respond to this specific on Dodd-Frank and what the governor just ahead. While -- is a great example. The reason we have been in such a enormous economic. Crisis. It was prompted by reckless behavior across the board. It wasn't just on walls -- you head. The loan officers were there were given loans and mortgages that. Really shouldn't have been given because they're the folks didn't qualify yet people who were barring money to buy a house that they couldn't afford. You had credit agencies that were stamping visas -- one great investments when they weren't. But you also ahead banks making money hand over fist churning out products that the bankers themselves and even understand. In order to make big profits but knowing that it made the entire system vulnerable. So what -- we do we stepped and had the toughest reforms. On Wall Street since 1930s. We said you've got the banks who got a razor capital requirements you can engage in some of -- risky behavior that is putting. Main street at risk. We're gonna make sure that you've got to have a living will so so we can know how you're gonna wind things that if you make a bad -- -- we don't have. Other taxpayer bailout in the meantime by the way we also made sure that. All of -- help that we provide of those banks was paid back every single -- with interest. Governor Romney has said he wants to repeal Dodd-Frank and help I appreciate and it appears we've got some agreement that. A marketplace to work -- to have some regulation. But in the past governor -- -- he just wants to -- -- for a bullet back. And so the question is. Does anybody out there think that the big problem we head is that there was too much oversight and regulation. Of Wall Street. Because if you do. Then. Governor Romney. Is your candidate but. That's not sorry -- Only test that says that this is that the facts look we have to have regulation of Wall Street. That that's -- I'd have regulation but I wouldn't -- five banks is too big to fail and give them a blank check. That's one of the unintended consequences -- -- -- it wasn't thought through properly we need to get rid of that provision because it's killing regional and small banks they're getting hurt. I'm image and other regulation Dodd-Frank. You say we were giving mortgages to people who weren't qualified. Exactly right it's one of the reasons for the great financial calamity we had. And so Dodd-Frank correctly says we need -- -- have qualified mortgages and if you get -- -- is not qualified they're big penalties. Except that -- never going to just today -- defined what a qualified mortgage ones. It's been two years we don't know what -- qualified mortgages yet so banks are reluctant to make loans mortgages trying to get a mortgage these days. It's hurt the housing market. Because Dodd-Frank didn't. Anticipate. Putting in place the kinds of regulations you have to have it's not -- -- frank always was wrong with too much regulation sometimes they didn't come out with -- clear regulations. I don't make sure we don't hurt the functioning. Part of our marketplace and our businesses because I want to bring back housing and get good job site I think we have another clear. Difference between -- to view now let's move to health care -- I know there is a clear difference. And that has to do with the Affordable Care Act of Obama care and it's a two men who knew. Segment. And it's that -- two minutes each and you go first. Governor Romney you wanted to repeal you one of the Affordable Care Act -- plot. I sure do. Well in part it comes again from my experience. There was a New Hampshire woman came to me and she said look I can't afford insurance for myself from my side. I met a couple in Appleton Wisconsin and they said. We're thinking of dropping our insurance it can't afford it. And the number of small businesses I've gone to that are saying they're dropping insurance because they can't afford it. The cost of health care is just prohibitive. And and we got to -- with cost and unfortunately. What what when when you look at Obama care. The Congressional Budget Office has said it will cost 2500. Dollars a year more. The traditional insurance so it's adding -- costs. As a matter of fact when the president ran for office he said. That by this year he would have brought down the cost of insurance for each family by 2500 dollars a family instead it's gone up by that amount. So it's expensive. Expensive things hurt families so that's one reason don't want second reason it cut 716. Billion dollars from Medicare to pay for -- I would put that money back and Medicare -- seniors number three. It puts in place and I'm elected board that's gonna tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have. I don't like that idea. Fourth. There was a survey done of small businesses across the country said what's been the effect of Obama care and your hiring plans. And three quarters of -- said it makes us less likely to hire people. I just don't know how the president. Could come into office facing 23 million people out of work rising unemployment and economic crisis at that at the kitchen table. And spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for Obama care instead of fighting for jobs for the American people it has killed jobs. And the best course for health care is to do what we did in my state. Craft a plan at the state level that fits the needs of the state. And then let's focus and get in the cost down for people rather than raising it with the 2500. Dollar additional premium. Mr. President the argument against repeal. Well. For years -- Ago when I was running for office I was traveling around and -- -- conversations the governor Romney talks about. And it wasn't just that small businesses forcing -- skyrocket. And they couldn't get affordable coverage even if they want provided to their employees. It wasn't just that this was the biggest driver of our federal deficit or overall -- -- but. It was families. Who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick. Millions of families all across the country they had a preexisting condition. They might not be able to get coverage at all. If he did have coverage insurance companies might impose an arbitrary limit. And so -- consequence they're paying their premiums somebody gets really sick. Long behold. They don't have enough money to pay the bills because the insurance companies say that -- -- the limit. So. We did work on this alongside working on jobs because this is part of making sure that. Middle class families are secure in this country and that let me tell you exactly what Obama -- it. Number one if you've got health insurance. It doesn't. I mean a government takeover. You keep your own insurance you keep your own doctor but it does say insurance companies can't -- around. They can't impose. Arbitrary lifetime limits very. Have to let you keep your kid on their insurance your insurance plan to -- 46 years shall. And it also says that. There you're gonna have to get rebates if get. Insurance companies are spending more on top administrative costs and profits than they -- an actual care. Number true. If you don't have health insurance -- essentially setting up a group plan. That allows you to benefit from group rates that are typically 18% lower -- if you're out there trying to get insurance on the individual market. Now the last point I'd make. Before. -- -- -- -- on look at him I have five seconds Korean rookie was. Get the irony is. That we seen this model work really well. In Massachusetts. Because. Governor Romney did a good thing working wit Democrats in the state to set up. What is essentially the identical model. And as a consequence people are covered there it hasn't destroyed jobs. And as a consequence we now have a system in which we have the opportunity to start bringing down cost as -- just everybody millions of people out in the cold. Your five seconds went whale -- That I by governor governor tell. -- until the president directly. Buying you think what he -- wrong Obama well I did with my first debuted and I'll go -- -- freeway eleven trigger it. First of all. I like the way we did -- in Massachusetts. I like the fact that in my state we have Republicans -- Democrats come together and work together. What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote. As a -- fact when Massachusetts it's something quite extraordinary elected a Republican senator to stop obamacare you pushed it through anyway so entirely and a partisan basis and -- for. America together and having a discussion at this important topic you push through something that you and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid felt was the best dancer and drove it through. What we did in a legislature 87% Democrat. We were together 200 legislators in my legislature only two voted against the plan by the time we're finished. What were some differences we raise taxes you've -- him by a trillion dollars and Obama care. We cut Medicare of course we don't have Medicare but we can cut Medicare by 716. Billion dollars. We have put in place aboard the can tell people ultimately what treatments they're gonna receive. We did we didn't also what. And do something that I think. And a number of people across this country recognize which is put it put people in a position where they've been losing insurance. They had and they wanted. Right now the CBO says up to twenty million people will lose their insurance as obamacare goes into effect next year. And likewise a study by McKinsey and company of American businesses said 30% of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage. So for those reasons for the tax for Medicare for this board and for people losing their insurance. This is why the American people don't want Medicare but what I want obamacare. It's why Republicans said do not do this and the Republicans -- had a plan they put a plan out they put a plan a bipartisan plan that was swept aside. I think something this big. This important. Has begun a bipartisan basis and we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle and fashion important legislation with the input from both parties. Governor Romney's. This has become a bipartisan basis is a bipartisan idea protector of the Republican idea. The governor Romney at the beginning of this debate broke and said what we did masters could be a model for the nation. And I agree that. The democratic legislators masters is -- given some advice to Republicans in congress about how to cooperate. But the fact of the matter is we use the same advisors and they say it's the same plan. Did. What when governor Romney talks about this board for example unelected board that we've created. What this is is a group of health care experts doctors etc. To figure out how can we. Reduce the cost of care in the system overall. Because the that there are two ways of dealing with our healthcare crisis. One is to simply leave -- whole bunch of people uninsured and let them fend for themselves. To let businesses figure out. How long they can continue to pay premiums until fiery -- give up and their workers are no longer getting in short and that's been the trend line. Oral terminally we can figure out how we make the cost of care more effective and there are ways of doing it. So there at Cleveland clinic one of the best health care systems in the world actually. Provide great care cheaper than average and the reason they do -- because they do some Smart things -- They say if patients coming in let's get all the doctors -- -- -- do one test instead of having the patient brought around with ten tests. Let's make sure that we're providing preventive care -- were -- the onset of something like that diabetes let's. Let's today. Providers on the basis of performance. As opposed to on the basis of how many. Procedures they've they've engaged. Now. So what this board does explicitly identifies best practices says let's use the purchasing power -- Medicare and Medicaid to. Help to institutionalize. All of these good things that we do and the fact of the matter is that. Win Obama -- is fully implemented. We're going to be in a position. To show that cost are going down -- over the last two years health care premiums. Have gone up. It's true but they've gone -- slower than any time in the last fifty years. So were -- beginning to see progress in the meantime. Folks out there with insurance you're already getting a rebate. Let me make one last point governor Romney says. We shouldn't -- -- just -- repeal it but. But we can replace it -- something but the problem is he -- described what exactly would replace it with other than saying we're gonna leave it to the states. But the fact the matter is that. Some of the prescriptions and he's offered like letting you buy insurance across state lines there's no indication -- -- -- -- gonna help somebody's got a preexisting condition. Be able to finally buy insurance in fact is estimated that by repealing obamacare you're looking at fifty million people. Losing health insurance let at a time when it's vitally important asset to governor explain what you would do well Obama Garrett is -- repeal Alice you replace. Election actually it's it's it's a lengthy descriptive description but number one pre existing conditions are covered under my plan. Number two young people are able to stay on their family plan. And that's ardea offered in the private marketplace doesn't have the government to mandate that for that to occur but let's come back to something the president -- agree. Which is the the key. Task we have and health care. Is to get the costs down so it's more affordable for families and and that he has as a model for doing that by a board of people. At the government and unelected board appointed board. According to decide what kind of treatment you ought to have. -- in my opinion. The government is not effective. In. In bringing down the cost of almost anything. As a matter of fact free people and free enterprise is trying to find ways to do things better are able to be more effective in bringing down the cost the government will ever be. Your example of the Cleveland clinic is -- case in point. Along with several others I could describe. This is the private market. These are small these -- -- enterprises competing with each other learning how to do better -- better jobs. I used to consult to businesses -- should be to hospitals and health care providers I was astonished at the creativity and innovation that exists. In the American people. In order to bring the cost of health care down we don't need to have it and a board of fifteen people. Telling us what kinds of treatments we should have. We instead need to put. In insurance plans providers hospitals doctors. -- targets such as they have an incentive as you say performance pay for doing an excellent job for keeping costs -- and that's happening. Intermountain health care does it superbly well -- Mayo Clinic is doing it it superbly well Cleveland clinic others. But the right answer. Is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating. To the providers across America. The telling get a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they can have that's the wrong way to go the private market and individual responsibility always worked best. Let me just point out first of all this board that we're talking about -- Make decisions about what treatments are given that's. Explicitly prohibited in the -- but. Let's go back to what governor Romney indicated that under his plan. He would be able to cover people with preexisting conditions. Lol actually governor. That isn't what your plan does what your plan -- -- -- duplicate what's already the law which says. A few. -- health insurance for three months. Then you can end up. Getting continuous coverage. And insurers can't company can't deny you if you if it's been under ninety days. But that's. Article and that doesn't help the millions of people out there. And -- -- pre existing conditions there's a reason why governor Romney set up a plan that he did in Massachusetts. There wasn't a government takeover of health care was the largest expansion. Up private insurance but what it does say is that insurers you've got to take everybody. Now that also means you've got more customers. But went -- governor Romney says that he'll replace it with something. But can't detail how it will be in fact replaced and the reason he set up the system she did masters because. There isn't a better way of dealing with preexisting conditions from it just reminds me -- you know he says that he's gonna closed deductions and loopholes. For his tax plan that's how it's going to be paid for but we don't know the details. He says that he's going to. Replace Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform but we don't know exactly which ones. He won't tell us he now says he's gonna replace obamacare and -- that all the good things there that are going to be in there and you don't have to worry. And at some point I think the American people after -- themselves as the reason that governor Romney is keeping all these. Plans to replace. Secret because they're too good. Is it is because that somehow middle class families are gonna benefit too much from him. -- that that the reason is because. When we reform Wall Street. When we tackle the problem a preexisting conditions. Then. -- these are tough problems and we've got to make choices and the choices we've made have been ones that ultimately are benefiting middle class families all across the country. We're animal to open and -- eye -- -- after spotted other glitches which is -- my experience as a governor. -- is -- -- command and and laid out a piece of legislation -- say it's my way or the highway. -- a got a lot done. What I do the same way the Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan were together some years ago. When Ronald Reagan ran for office he laid out the principles that he was going to Foster. He -- he was a lower tax rates he said he was gonna broaden the base -- said the same thing you're gonna simplify the tax code broaden the base. Those are my principles I want to bring down the tax burden on middle income families. And I'm gonna work together with congress to say okay how would what are the various ways we could bring down deductions for instance one way -- would be to have a single number. The make up the numbers twice 5050000. Dollars anybody can have deductions up that amount and -- that number disappears for high income people. That's one what I want to do it one could -- Bowles Simpson as a model. And take deduction by deduction to make differences that way. There are alternatives to accomplish the objective I have. Which is to bring down rates broaden the base simplify the code and create incentives for growth and with regards to health care. You had remarkable details with regards to my preexisting condition plan. -- obviously stayed up on -- my plan in fact I do have a plan that deals with people with preexisting conditions that's part of my health care plan. And what we did -- Massachusetts is a model for the nation state by state. And I said that at that time the federal government taking over health care for the entire nation and whisking -- the tenth amendment. Which gives states the rights for these kinds of things is not the course for America to have a stronger more vibrant economy. -- is in terrific -- To our next segment and is the role of government. And and it's a role of government. And it is -- -- our first on this Mr. President the question is this do you believe. Both -- -- you had the first two minutes on this Mr. President. Do you believe there's a fundamental difference between the two abused as to how you view the mission of the federal government. -- tired definitely bigger difference just. That the first -- the federal government is to keep the American people -- that's its most basic function and as commander in chief. That is something that I have. Worked on and -- about every single day that I've been in the Oval Office. But I also believe that. Government has the capacity the federal government has the past. To help open up opportunity and create ladders of opportunity. And -- frameworks work the American people can succeed at look the genius of America -- the -- enterprises and freedom and the fact that people can go out there and start a business. Work on an idea. Make their own decisions but. As Abraham Lincoln understood. Are also some things we do better together so in the middle of the civil war Abraham Lincoln. Said let's -- to finance the trans -- room. Let's start National Academy of Sciences. Let's. Start land grant colleges because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for all Americans. Because if all Americans are -- opportunity -- all going to be better off. That doesn't restrict people's freedom that enhances. And so what I tried to do as president is to apply those same principles. The when it comes to education. Know what I've said is. We've got to reform schools that are not working we use something called race -- the top wasn't a top down approach governor what we've said is. To states won't give you more money if you initiate reforms and as a consequence you have 46 states around the country. Who have made a real difference. But what I've also said is let's hire another 100000. Math and science teachers make sure we maintain our technological lead in our people are skilled and able to succeed and hard. Pressed states right now can't all do that. -- we've seen layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers over the last. Several years and governor Romney doesn't think we need more teachers. I do because I think that that is the kind of investment where the federal government can help they can't do -- all. But it can make a difference. And as a consequence we'll have a better trained. Workforce and that won't create jobs because companies want -- locating places where we've got a skilled workforce to manage governor on the role of government here you look for the first. I look great schools Massachusetts -- schools are ranked number one of all fifty states and the key to great schools. Great teachers so I reject the idea that I don't believe in great teachers are more teachers every school district every state should make that decision on their own. The role of government. Look behind us the constitution and the declaration of independence. The role of government is to promote and protect. The principles of those documents. First life and liberty. We have -- responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of our people and that means a military second to none. I do not believe in cutting our military I believe in maintaining the strength of America's military. Second. In that line that says we are endowed by our creator with our rights. I believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country. That statement also says that we are endowed by our creator with the right to pursue happiness is -- I interpret that as one making sure that those people who are less fortunate and can't care for themselves are cared for -- by one another. We're a nation that believes that we're all children -- the same god. And we care for those that have difficulties those that are -- elderly and have problems and challenges those that are. Disabled we care for them and we we look for discovery and innovation all these things -- -- desired. Out of the American heart to provide the pursuit of happiness for our citizens but we also believe in maintaining. For individuals the right to pursue their dreams. And not to have the government substitute itself for the rights of free individuals. And what we're seeing right now is in my view a a trickle down government approach. Which has government thinking -- can do a better job -- free people pursuing their dreams and it's not working. And the proof of that is 23 million people lot of work the proof -- that -- wanted to six people in poverty. The proof of that is we've gone from thirty to -- and food stamps to 47 million and food stamps. The proof of that is that 50% of college graduates this year can't find work. We know that the pop path we're taking is not working it's time for a new path. Artist -- some specifics in terms of what -- each of you views the role of government how do you education. Does the federal government have a responsibility. To improve the quality of public education in America. Well the primary responsibility for education as it is of course at the state and local level. But the federal government also complain a very important role lot and I agree with secretary Arnie Duncan needs is some ideas he's put forward. And raced to the top not all of them but some of them might agree with that and I congratulate him for pursuing that. The federal government can get local and state schools do a better job mark my own view by the way is I've added that I happen to believe I want. The kids that are getting federal dollars from ID EA -- -- title one these are disabled kids or. Or four kids or or lower income kids rather I want them to be able to go to the school of their choice. So all federal funds instead of going to the to the state -- to the school district I'd have go if you will follow the child and let the parent and the child decide where to senders there -- student. I DC the federal government's responsibility. To you as -- to improve the quality of public education in this country. Well as I've indicated I think that that as a significant role to play. -- or race of the top program we've worked with Republican and democratic governors. To initiate major reforms and they're having an impact right now you think -- difference did -- your views and then those -- governor Romney on about education and you'll that this is where. Budgets matter because budgets reflect choices. So when governor Romney indicates that he wants to. Cut taxes. And potentially benefit folks like me and him. And to pay for were having to initiate. Significant cuts in federal support for education that makes a difference you know his his running mate congressman -- put forward a budget. That reflects many of the principles that -- Romney's talked about ad. It wasn't very detailed this seems to be a trend but but what it did. Do is to it if you extrapolated how much money. We're talking about you'd look at cutting the education budget by up to 20%. When it comes to. Community Colleges. We are saying great work done out there all over the country because. That we have -- -- to train people for jobs that exist right now one of the things I suspect governor Romney and I probably agree on his. Getting businesses to work with -- -- so that. They're setting up through training programs they have my cabinet but about just finish my point my it's about what I going back -- smaller -- my statement by the way Leah. -- where they're partnering so that they're designing. Training programs and people who -- going through him know that there's a job waiting form of the complete okay that makes a big difference but that requires. Some federal support let me use just -- one final example. When it comes to making it. College affordable whether its two year or 41. Things that I did as president was we were sending sixty billion dollars. Two banks and lenders as middleman for the student loan program even though the loans were guaranteed so there was no rest for the banks of lenders. But they were taking billions out of the system. -- -- why not cut out the middleman. And as a consequence what we've been able to do -- to provide millions more students assistance. Lower. Or -- keep a low interest rates on student loans. And this is an example of where our priorities make a difference governor Romney. I genuinely believe cares about education but when he tells a student that. You -- you should borrow money. -- from your parents to go to college. You know that indicates the degree to which. There may not be as much of the focus on the fact that folks like myself folks like Michelle kids. Probably to attend University of Denver just don't have that option and for us to be able to it. That make sure that they've got that opportunity and they can walk through that door that is vitally important not just to those kids it's how we're gonna grow this economy over the long term -- -- Were running out of time kept him threatening your -- yeah fond of that after -- -- present your title. As presently on airplane and you don't house but not your own facts are I'm not gonna cut education funding. I don't have any plan to cut education funding and and grants to go to people going to college I'm planning on continuing to grow so I'm not planning -- making changes there but you make it. Very good point. Which is that that the place you put your money just -- pretty clear indication where your hardest you put ninety billion dollars. Into the into green jobs. At and I look I'm all in favor green energy ninety billion. That would have that would have hired two million teachers. Ninety billion dollars. And and these businesses many of them -- gone out of business I think about half of them. Of the once been invested in the -- a business a number of them happen to be owned by bit by by people who are contributors to your campaigns look the right course. For for America's government we're talking about the role of government is not to become the economic player picking winners and losers telling people what kind of health. A treatment they can receive taking over the health care system that that is existed in this country for. For a long long time -- -- produce the best health records in the world the right answer for government has to say how do we make the private sector become more efficient. And more effective how do we get schools to be more competitive let's grade them I propose we -- our schools so parents know which schools are succeeding or failing. So they can take their child it was to a school that's being more successful I don't I don't want to cut our commitment to education I wanted to make it more effective and efficient. And by the way. I've had that experience I don't just talk about it. I've been there Massachusetts schools are ranked number one in the nation this is not because I didn't have commitment to education. It's I guess I care about education for all of. Our kids all right gentlemen letter we want sect look at reserved for her -- that -- -- got very you have three minutes left. And integrate. Into view and say you your answers -- -- to bomber. Arrived dead on a poor job -- well no but the fact is government did the role of government and governing. We've we've lost it up plot another word so we only have three free minutes left. In -- and debate before we go to -- closing statements. And so I want to ask. Finally here and remember we got three minutes. Total time here. And the question is this. Many of the legislating. Functions of the federal government right now -- state of paralysis. As a result partisan gridlock. If elected. And your case if reelected in your case what would you do about that governor. Jim I had the great experience did it seem like at the time of being elected in -- state. -- my legislature was 87% Democrat. And that -- I figured out from day one I had to get along and I had to work across the aisle to get anything done. We drove our schools to be number one the nation. We cut taxes nineteen times what would you do if we let as president I will sit down on day one actually today after I get elected. I'll sit down with leaders the democratic leaders as well as Republican leaders and continue as we get in my state we met every Monday for a couple hours. Talked about the issues in the challenges in the in the in our state in that case we have to work on a collaborative basis not because we're gonna compromise our principles. -- because there's common ground and the challenges America faces right now but the reason I'm in this race. Is there people there really hurting today in this country and we faced -- deficit could crush the future generations. What's happened in the Middle East. There are developments around the world that are of real concern. And -- Republicans and Democrats both love America but we need to have leadership. Leadership in Washington that we'll actually bring people together and get the job done and could not care less if if it's a Republican or a Democrat I've done it before. I'll do it again -- -- First by the governor Romney's gonna busy first maker's results have been repeal obamacare which will not be very popular among Democrats -- -- down with them. But. My philosophy has bent I will take ideas from anybody Democrat or Republican as long as they're advancing the cause. Macon middle class families stronger and giving letters -- in the middle class that's how we cut taxes for middle class families and small businesses. That's how we cut the trillion dollars in spending that wasn't advancing that calls. That's how we signed three trade bills into law there helping us to double our exports and sell more American products around the world. That's how we repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. That's how we ended the war in Iraq as I promised and that's how we're gonna wind down the war in Afghanistan and that's how we -- went after al-Qaeda and -- lot. So -- -- seen progress even under Republican. Control of the House of Representatives but. Ultimately part of being principled part of being a leader is -- being able to describe exactly what it is that you intend to do. Not just saying I'll sit down the -- -- plant number two what's important is occasionally you've got to say no. To that to folks all. Both in your own party and in the other party and don't -- have we have some fights between me and the Republicans when when they get fought back against us -- in the excesses of Wall Street. Absolutely because that was a fight that needed to be -- when when we were fighting about whether or not we're gonna make sure that Americans had more security -- their health insurance. And they said no yes that was a fight that we need to have and so part of leadership and governing is both. Saying what it is that you were four but also being willing to say noted some things I've got to tell -- governor Romney. When it comes to his own party during the course this campaign has not displayed that willingness to say no to some of the more extreme. Parts of as part. At brings us to closing statement. As a coin toss. Governor Romney won the toss and you elected to go last so you have -- closing two minutes Mr. President. Well Jim I -- thank you -- governor Romney because I think this was terrific debate never much appreciated. And I want effective -- University of Denver. You know. Four years ago we were going through a major crisis. And yet. My faith and confidence -- American. Future is on diminish. And the reason is because most people. Because the woman met North Carolina decided that 55 to go back to school because -- -- to inspire her daughter and now -- -- -- from that new training but she's gotten. Because -- company in Minnesota who was willing to give up salaries and perks -- executives to make sure that they didn't lay off workers during a recession. The auto workers -- you -- Toledo or Detroit. Take such pride in building the best cars in the world not just because a picture. But because it gives them that sense of pride that they're helping to build America. And so the question now is how we build -- -- strikes and everything that I've tried to do. And everything that I'm now proposing for the next four years in terms of improving our education system more developing. American energy or making sure that we're closing loopholes for companies -- -- jobs overseas and focusing on small business companies that are creating jobs here in the United States or or closing our deficit in -- responsible. Balanced way that allows us to invest. In our future all those things are designed to make sure that. The American people their -- Their grit their determination. Is is -- and an an and they have an opportunity to succeed and everybody's getting a fair shot -- -- get a fair share. Every is doing a fair share in Everett plant by the same rules. Four years ago I served and I'm not a perfect man and I wouldn't be a perfect president and that's probably -- -- the governor Romney things -- kept. But. I also promised that -- fight every single day. On behalf of the American people in the middle class and all those were striving to -- in the middle class I've kept that promise and if you -- forming. Then I promise I'll fight justice -- in the second term. Governor Romney your command post thank you Janet Mr. President thank you for tuning in this evening. This is a there's an important election and I'm concerned about America. I'm concerned about the direction America has been taking over the last four years. I I know this is bigger than election about. The two of us as as individuals it's bigger than our respective parties it's election about the course of America what kind of America do you wanna have for yourself. And for your children. And -- really are two very different paths that we began speaking about this evening and over the course of this month -- gonna have two more presidential debates -- -- vice presidential debate we'll talk about those two paths. But they lead in very different directions and it's not just looking to our words that you have to take -- evidence of where they go you can look at the record. No question in my mind that if the president were to be reelected he'll continue to see a middle class squeeze. Within comes going down and prices going up -- -- comes up again. You'll see chronic unemployment we've had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8%. If I'm president I will create helped create twelve million new jobs in this country with rising incomes. The president's re elected Obama -- will be fully install. In my view that's gonna mean a whole different way of life for people who patterned on the insurance plan they have in the past many will lose it. You're gonna see health premiums go up by some 2005 -- dollar per per family. If I'm elected we won't have obamacare will put in place the kind of principles that I put in place in my own state. And allow each state to craft their own programs to get people insured and will focus on getting the cost of health care down. If the president were to be reelected. You're gonna see -- 716. Billion dollar cut to Medicare. You'll have four million people who lose Medicare Advantage -- of hospitals and providers will no longer accept Medicare patients. I'll restore that 716. Billion dollars to Medicare. And finally the military. The president's re elected you'll see dramatic cuts to our military. The secretary of defense has said these would be even devastating. I will not cut our commitment to our military I will keep America strong and get America's middle class working again thank you Jim. Thank you governor thank you Mr. President. The next debate will be the vice presidential event on Thursday October 11 at Centre College in Danville Kentucky for now on the University of Denver. I'm Jim Lehrer thank you and good night.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.