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What Questions Should Be Asked at the GOP Debate Tomorrow?

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Tomorrow is the first official GOP primary debate in Cleveland, Ohio, and only the Top 10 contenders will share the main stage. Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the CATO Institute, has put together a great list of questions in the National Review and hopefully the debate moderators will take note.

Here is a quick preview:

What is the purpose of government? Is government a tool to achieve your goals, or are there limits to what it can and should try to do? For instance, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee see government as arbitrating, teaching, or enforcing moral values. Ben Carson and Donald Trump want government to create jobs. Nearly all the candidates see themselves as fighting for or protecting the middle class. But how do these goals comport with constitutional or philosophical limitations on government?

Can you cut the size and cost of government without offending anyone or cutting programs that have popular support? GOP candidates talk about balancing the budget and reducing our ruinous $18.2 trillion national debt, but they seldom say how. Too often they simply pretend that you can balance the budget through economic growth or by trimming “fraud, waste, and abuse.” At the Voters First Forum this Monday, only Rick Perry used the words “cutting spending.” A few other candidates, including Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker, gingerly discussed the possibility of entitlement reform. But by and large, the acknowledgment of the need for spending restraint has been missing from the campaign trail. Some of the candidates, like Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump, have actually come out against entitlement reform, and most of the candidates have been far more comfortable talking about areas where they would increase spending, such as defense or farm programs.

Are you pro-business, pro-jobs, or pro-market? No doubt most Republicans are much more attuned to the needs of the business community than most Democrats. But as Milton Friedman once said, “Business corporations in general are not defenders of free enterprise. On the contrary, they are one of the chief sources of danger.” Too many businesses favor corporate welfare, regulations that impede their competitors, and bailouts if they fail. TARP, the Export-Import Bank, and Donald Trump’s use of eminent domain to seize private property for his own use are classic examples. Nor does a free market always protect jobs or wages, especially in the short term. After all, in a free market, companies can lay people off, move overseas, or hire immigrant labor. Yet, in the long run, free markets will lead to both more freedom and more prosperity than any measure of government intervention. What are the candidates’ priorities?

What other questions do you think moderators should ask candidates in the Fox News debate tomorrow?

Read the rest of the questions in the National Review here. 


Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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