9:04 Besides noticing that Maria Bartiromo looks a lot older and less cute than when I used to watch CNBC 15 years ago, the choice of moderators gives me hope that they will be more serious this time.
9:07 The first question is about a $15 minimum wage, and Trump says it shouldn’t be raise. Not sure if that’s the best answer. Trump sounds like less of an economic populist and more as a business-as-usual Republican.
Carson says that raising the minimum wage is bad for blacks because it prevents black teenagers from finding jobs. Carson then gives a speech about how he pulled himself up by how own bootstraps. It’s the best thing he ever said at a debate.
Rubio says that raising the minimum wage is a “disaster” because business will replace humans with machines. Then Rubio says we need more welders and less [sic] philosophers (talking about education).
Lion says they are all wrong. Raising the minimum wage will help the least capable Americans earn more money while having de minimis impact on employment (especially if we reduce immigration). Bernie Sanders is more correct on this issue than Republicans.
9:18 Cruz is talking, Bush hasn’t had a chance to say anything yet. The moderators must think that Bush is among the bottom tier of candidates, behind even John Kasich.
9:22 Carly is telling a story to make her sound more human and less like a sociopathic robot. But she does NOT answer the question about why there is more job growth under Democrats than under Republicans. And it’s such an easy question to answer too. Clinton took credit for the Reagan/Bush policies that caused the economic growth. That’s the answer if you’re a Republican.
9:26 After the first round of questioning, I must says that this is the most serious start to a Republican debate that we’ve seen. The moderators asked real policy questions and not gotcha questions.
9:30 Moderator asks Carson about recent controversy; I guess that ends the part about only asking policy questions. He answers the question quite well and attacks Hillary over Benghazi.
9:33 Trump gets an illegal immigration question, which means he gets to talk about his strongest position. Thank you Fox Business.
However, it’s really too bad that Trump doesn’t link illegal immigration to low wages. Instead, for him it’s just an issue about respecting America’s laws.
Kasich now has the floor and basically supports amnesty for illegals.
Trump comes back and says that Dwight Eisenhower deported one and a half million illegals.
9:37 Bush says it’s un-American to deport illegal immigrants. Bush says illegals should “earn legal status,” in other words amnesty.
Cruz “If Republicans join Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose.” Then he says that immigration is an economics issue. He says we would see different stories of illegal immigrants were lowering wages for news reporters.
Sorry Donald, but Cruz explained the illegal immigration issue a lot better than you.
9:45 Carly says that healthcare providers should be required to publish their prices. As much as I hate her, she said something I agree with that no one else has said.
On the other hand, she’s a moron if she thinks we can have a “three-page tax code.” Determining business income is a lot more difficult than three pages. Just the way it is. And we have to deal with sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and LLCs. You can’t have a three-page tax code.
9:53 Carson says there should be no home mortgage interest deduction and no charity deduction in his Bible-based taxation system.
The problem with tax questions is that most voters are completely clueless about what the tax code is about. It’s about determining what’s income and what’s not income, which is a lot more complicated than it sounds, especially if you want to prevent cheating. It’s impossible to simplify it the way these moron politicians are saying.
10:38 While I was eating a snack, I heard Trump say that if Assad goes, the guy who replaces him might be worse. A wise statement.
I think these debates should only be an hour. Two hours is too long.
MARIA BARTIROMO IS RICH: She’s married to a son of Saul Steinberg whose net worth was half a billion dollars.