October 26, 2014 05:05 UTC

Audio / Economics Report

First Presidential Debate Centers on Economic Concerns

Read, listen and learn English with this story. Double-click on any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, in Colorado, Oct. 3, 2012.pRepublican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, in Colorado, Oct. 3, 2012.p
x
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, in Colorado, Oct. 3, 2012.p
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, in Colorado, Oct. 3, 2012.p

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
  • First Presidential Debate Centers on Economic Concerns

This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.
 
President Obama and Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney debated each other for the first time Wednesday night. The debate was held at the University of Denver in Colorado.
 
Experts say the American economy is the top issue of the election campaign. And the debate centered on economic concerns.
 
Mr. Obama started by noting that, when he took office, the United States was having its most severe economic crisis since the nineteen thirties. He said that, in the past thirty months, five million jobs had been created in private industry. But he admitted a lot remains to be done.
 
One of the big questions of the campaign is how best to reduce the federal budget deficit. Mr. Romney has proposed lowering taxes as a way to lift economic growth. But the former Massachusetts governor sharply disagreed with Mr. Obama’s descriptions of his tax cut plan.
 
"I'm not looking for a five-trillion-dollar tax cut. What I have said is I won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. That's part one. So there's no economist can say Mitt Romney's tax plan adds five trillion dollars if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan."
 
Mr. Romney also said he would not reduce the share of taxes paid by high income individuals. Mr. Obama, however, said his opponent’s plan for changing the tax system would not work.

"The fact is, if you are lowering the rates the way you described, Governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high-income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class."
 
The candidates also debated the president's health care program, which some Americans call "Obamacare." Mr. Romney said it would hurt the economy and cost jobs.
 
The president said that when he took office, problems in the nation's health care system were just as urgent as the jobless rate. He said health costs drove government spending and troubled businesses and families.

"It was not just that small businesses were seeing costs skyrocket and they could not get affordable coverage even if they wanted to provide it to their employees. It was not just that this was the biggest driver of our federal deficit, our overall health care costs. But it was families who worried about going bankrupt if they got sick."

In closing, Mr. Obama said he wants to build on the strengths of his first four years in the White House. Mr. Romney said re-electing the president would hurt the middle class. He promised to replace the country’s new health care program and to create millions of news jobs.
 
The two candidates are to meet again October sixteenth.

And that’s the VOA Special English Economics Report. I’m Mario Ritter.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: brucelee from: viet nam
10/27/2012 3:44 AM
t think the American ecomomy is the important problem in the word
so Obama should change the election campaign to become the leader'American goverment


by: Wang from: Taiwan
10/14/2012 2:15 AM
Economic issue is the best important thing in every country of recent world. I know that I must vote candidates carefully and concern the policy about my country. So I will watch the debate in the TV program and think and judge which opinion is correct. Health care plan is also important and I know even if the plan causes a lot of deficit, the government should do it for people.


by: Jean
10/10/2012 12:39 AM
I don't trust both, but just try to find out which one is better than the other one.


by: Helene from: China
10/07/2012 3:31 PM
For me, Mitt Romeny seems to confident to win this election more than President Obama. But I think " Obamacare " law will make a lot of Americans pleasure.


by: BIJU.P.Y. from: SOUTH INDIA
10/06/2012 1:49 PM
It is as clear as daylight that President Obama took office when America was going through great economic crisis since 1930s. Yet, he successfully managed to keep America's economic equilibrium intact. As far as Romney is concerned, I think, it is easier to speak than done. But America should try her best to held back sky-rocketing prices of commodities, increase job oppertunities and curb health issues. Whom should be elected is fully up to the hands of the highly conscious American public. Thank you.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
10/05/2012 7:22 AM
I think those who good at rhetoric are not always excellent politicians. Obama should claim what he has achieved during his first term. Rommny have rights to criticize Obama's presidential works but should be humble when referring to his policies because they remain only plans yet. Well articulated comments sound clear and reliable but often betraying. Debaters shouldn't ponder audience. How did middle class hear Romny's reference to them on tax cut?


by: John McNeill from: Arlington, Texas
10/05/2012 12:31 AM
One thing for sure-we got to see the "real" Barack Obama at last night's debate-- without the teleprompter or the off-camera assistance of someone speaking through an earbud microphone.

Now we know why he skirted requests to meet with world leaders recently. It's one thing to "preach to the choir" at a campaign rally stocked with gaga supporters. It's another to effectively deal with opposing views from people who have come prepared with opinions of their own.

Obama preferred the fawning ladies of "The View", and found a time slot for David Letterman, too.

He looked like a deer-in-the-headlights last night. No wonder why his negative and hard-hitting advertising speaks for him. He can't articulate his own vision or ideas when questioned before the nation he has dragged down for the past four years.

I look forward to the next debate.