Had I been on the panel for Wednesday’s economics debate, I’d have opened with the question: “Are taxes lower or higher today than on the day President Obama was sworn into office?” Just for fun.
CBS and National Journal asked me among others to suggest some questions to ask the candidates at tomorrow’s foreign policy debate. My suggested list follows. Note that it was written in advance of the Keystone XL pipeline decision, which adds urgency to the energy security questions.
1. Mexico is being torn apart by a civil war to control the drug routes to the United States. Many Mexican leaders urge drug legalization in the US in order to move the drug trade away from violent criminals to legitimate business. If a Mexican president asked you to consider such a step, what would you answer and why?
2. Canada is our largest trading partner and most important energy supplier. What do you see as the major issues between the US and Canada and what would you do to strengthen this supremely important relationship?
3. If asked, would you support a US contribution to the fund to stabilize the Euro currency? Why or why not?
4. Taiwan is China’s largest foreign investor. Taiwan and China have an intensifying economic relationship. Taiwan has refused to make the military investments that our military considers necessary to Taiwan’s security. Is the US security guarantee to Taiwan obsolete?
5. If you had been president in 2010, would Hosni Mubarak still be in power today?
6. Do you believe there is a peaceful way to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?
7. It’s often said that our present energy policy leaves us dependent on oil suppliers who do not like us. Our top 10 suppliers are:
Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, Algeria, Iraq, Angola and Colombia. The anti-US feeling of the Chavez regime is notorious. Which of the other 9 would you describe as a supplier who “does not like us”?
8. Afghanistan: At the end of your first term do you think we’ll have more or less than 20,000 troops in that country?
9. Iraq: Knowing everything you know now, if you had been in Congress in 2002, would you have voted to authorize force against Saddam Hussein, yes or no?