How did the October 28 Republican Debate reflect on kids and working families?

Disclaimer: We take notes furiously but don’t always catch everything, and sometimes we might even unintentionally state something incorrectly. Please let us know, and we’ll print corrections. In the meantime, check out any number of sources that have the full transcript of what moderators asked and candidates said during the debate.

Candidates invited to attend the CNBC-sponsored debate were business magnate Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

First up is a specific question on college affordability directed at Governor Kasich:

“What will you do to make sure that students, their families, taxpayers, won’t feel the economic impact of this burden for generations?”

Gov. Kasich: “Well, first of all, in Ohio we’re changing the whole system. Universities will not get paid one dime unless the student graduates or completes a course.

“Secondly, you can be in high school and complete almost an entire first year before you go to college and get credit to do that. And, of course, in addition to that, we are working now to go after the cost drivers in our universities…. And, of course, we need to take advantage of on-line education to reduce these costs and begin to dis-intermediate the cost of four years.

“Now, for those who have these big high costs, I think we can seriously look at an idea of where you can do public service. I mean legitimate, public service and begin to pay off some of that debt through the public service that you do. And in the meantime, it may inspire us to care more about our country, more about ourselves.”

Gov. Bush added his comments: “We don’t need the Federal Government to be involved in this, because when they do we create a $1.2 trillion debt. In Florida, we have the lowest in-state tuition of any state, because there’s accountability, just as John said. Let the states do this. You’ll create a much better graduation rate at a lower cost, and you won’t in debt the next generation with recourse debt on their backs.”

Here are a few ideas or statements about kids and working families that came up in the broader conversations about the economy and other topics. They are in no particular order.

  • Gov. Kasich believes that many of his fellow candidates’ tax schemes place our kids in an even deeper hole.
  • Sen. Rubio noted that his is the first generation in American history to leave our children worse off than they are. He noted that his plan increases the per child tax credit, and he wondered what happened to vocational education, a way to train Americans to do “technical” jobs. This was in response to a question about granting VISAs to non-Americans to fill technical positions (merit-based VISAs
  • Ms. Fiorina said the student loan problem has been created by the government. She also wants to take the tax code from 73,000 pages down to 3 pages, saying, “Because only if it’s about three pages are you leveling the playing field between the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected who can hire the armies of lawyers and accountants and, yes, lobbyists to help them navigate their way through 73,000 pages. Three pages is about the maximum that a single business owner or a farmer or just a couple can understand without hiring somebody.”
  • Rep. Paul feels that federal policy causes income inequality.
  • Dr. Carson does not believe in government subsidies, saying “let people rise and fall based on how good they are.”
  • Gov. Huckabee says we need to take steps to reduce income inequality and that corporations need to exercise some responsibility. “When CEO income has risen 90 percent above the average worker, when the bottom 90 percent of this country’s economy has had stagnant wages for the past 40 years, somebody is taking it in the teeth.”
  • Gov. Kasich said his plan would “move the 104 programs of the federal Department of Education into four block grants, and send them back to the states, because income inequality is driven by a lack of skills when kids don’t get what they need to be able to compete and win in this country.”