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If one wanted to know what the 2016 general election campaign could have been like had it not been between Trump and Clinton, one would have gotten a hint during Wednesday night’s debate on tax cuts that aired on CNN between Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. The hypothetical campaign between the champion of socialism in one corner and the defender of Free Market Capitalism in the other would have been far more edifying than the one that features grabbing lady parts and shaming 12-year old rape victims.

Sanders supported high taxes, big government

Sanders, being the honest old curmudgeon that he is, was quite upfront about his support for boosting taxes and using the money to give everyone free stuff.

His model is not America, but Denmark, a country with a generous welfare state, albeit one that has gotten rickety as of late, paid for by the highest taxes in the civilized world. The one aspect of his plan that Sanders was coy about was who would be taxed under his plan. He tried to leave the impression that only the “rich” would pay higher taxes. However, toward the middle of the debate, Cruz managed to pin Sanders down and forced them to admit that everyone would pay higher taxes. Sanders then maintained that Americans would be happy to do so in exchange for “free” healthcare and preschool.

Cruz warming defended free market capitalism

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, defended the cause of free-market capitalism, including low taxes, light regulations, and less government spending. He was able to cite real-world examples of how tax cuts helped to boost the economy, once when President Kennedy’s tax cuts were enacted in the 1960s and again when President Reagan’s tax cuts were passed in the 1980s.

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Sanders had no real good answer to these examples except to wave his arms a lot and try to talk over Cruz, which resulted in the quip of the evening from the man from Texas, “You need to curb your enthusiasm.” The gentle reader is invited to recall the pop culture reference.

Who won the debate?

Neither man very likely changed any minds, especially of partisans from the other side. However, the debate did display a pretty could representation of two opposing world-views that are vying for supremacy in the United States. Should people be ruled by their betters in Washington or should they govern themselves? The entire debate is available below for viewing so that the reading may decide which view prevailed.