1st Obama-Romney debate

Some words from the first presidential debate between Obama and Romney at the University of Denver, Oct. 3, 2012.

Transcript: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/10/03/transcript-first-presidential-debate/
definitions & notes only words
  1. top-down
    of an approach to a problem that begins at the highest conceptual level and works down to the details
    Are we going to double-down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess?
  2. preexisting
    existing previously or before something
    But, number one, preexisting conditions are covered under my plan.
  3. voucher
    someone who guarantees another
    And the essence of the plan is that you would turn Medicare into a voucher program.
  4. health care provider
    a person who helps in identifying or preventing or treating illness or disability
    I used to consult to businesses -- excuse me, to hospitals and to health care providers.
  5. businessperson
    a capitalist who engages in industrial commercial enterprise
    As a businessperson, I had to have -- I need to know the regulations.
  6. trend line
    a line on a graph indicating a statistical trend
    One is to simply leave a whole bunch of people uninsured and let them fend for themselves, to let businesses figure out how long they can continue to pay premiums until finally they just give up, and their workers are no longer getting insured, and that's
  7. hand over fist
    at a tremendous rate
    But you also had banks making money hand over fist, churning out products that the bankers themselves didn't even understand, in order to make big profits, but knowing that it made the entire system vulnerable.
  8. loophole
    an ambiguity (especially one in the text of a law or contract) that makes it possible to evade a difficulty or obligation
    But I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.
  9. running mate
    a nominee for the lesser of two closely related political offices
    I know that you and your running mate keep saying that and I know it's a popular thing to say with a lot of people, but it's just not the case.
  10. spending cut
    the act of reducing spending
    Well, that's how the commission -- bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it, in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts.
  11. balanced budget
    a budget is balanced when current expenditures are equal to receipts
    Number four, get us to a balanced budget.
  12. deficit
    the property of being less than expected or required
    Now, in order for us to do it, we do have to close our deficit, and one of the things I'm sure we'll be discussing tonight is, how do we deal with our tax code?
  13. tax cut
    the act of reducing taxation
    And this is where there's a difference, because Governor Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut -- on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts -- that's another trillion dollars -- and $2 trillion in additional military spe
  14. sales pitch
    promotion by means of an argument and demonstration
    The approach that Governor Romney's talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003, and we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years, we ended up moving from surplus to deficits, and it all culminated in the worst finan
  15. blank check
    a check that has been signed but with the amount payable left blank
    But I wouldn't designate five banks as too big to fail and give them a blank check.
  16. AARP
    an association of people to promote the welfare of senior citizens
    AARP thinks that the -- the savings that we obtained from Medicare bolster the system, lengthen the Medicare trust fund by eight years.
  17. Medicare
    health care for the aged
    So 77 government programs, everything from aircrafts that the Air Force had ordered but weren't working very well, 18 government -- 18 government programs for education that were well-intentioned, not weren't helping kids learn, we went after medical frau
  18. reelect
    elect again
    There's no question in my mind that if the president were to be reelected you'll continue to see a middle-class squeeze with incomes going down and prices going up.
  19. food stamp
    a government-issued stamp that can be used in exchange for food
    It's just -- it's -- we've got -- when the president took office, 32 million people on food stamps; 47 million on food stamps today; economic growth this year slower than last year, and last year slower than the year before.
  20. tax break
    a tax deduction that is granted in order to encourage a particular type of commercial activity
    I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States.
  21. tax rate
    rate used to calculate tax liability
    When it comes to our tax code, Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high, so I want to lower it, particularly for manufacturing, taking it down to 25 percent.
  22. reassign
    move somebody to a different position or location of work
    The first two weeks she's got them, some of them sitting on the floor until finally they get reassigned.
  23. training program
    a program designed for training in specific skills
    It's energy and trade, the right kind of training programs, balancing our budget and helping small business.
  24. science teacher
    someone who teaches science
    So now I want to hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers, and create 2 million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.
  25. overpay
    pay too much
    $716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers.
  26. insurance company
    a financial institution that sells insurance
    $716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers.
  27. deduction
    the act of removing a part from the whole
    But in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run out of money, I also lower deductions and credits and exemptions, so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.
  28. trillion
    the number that is represented as a one followed by 12 zeros
    And this is where there's a difference, because Governor Romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut -- on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts -- that's another trillion dollars -- and $2 trillion in additional military spe
  29. Medicaid
    health care for the needy
    So 77 government programs, everything from aircrafts that the Air Force had ordered but weren't working very well, 18 government -- 18 government programs for education that were well-intentioned, not weren't helping kids learn, we went after medical frau
  30. institutionalize
    cause to be admitted, as a person to a hospital
    Now, so what this board does is basically identifies best practices and says, let's use the purchasing power of Medicare and Medicaid to help to institutionalize all these good things that we do.
  31. tax
    charge against a citizen's person or property or activity for the support of government
    And the answer is, yes, we can help, but it's going to take a different path, not the one we've been on, not the one the president describes as a top-down, cut taxes for the rich.
  32. bring down
    move something or somebody to a lower position
    That is, I want to bring down rates.
  33. retiree
    someone who has retired from active working
    ROMNEY: ... people, right, not for current retirees.
  34. health care
    the preservation of mental and physical health by preventing or treating illness through services offered by the health profession
    The segments as I announced in advance will be three on the economy and one each on health care, the role of government and governing, with an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics and choices.
  35. segment
    one of several parts that fit with others to make a whole
    There will be six roughly 15-minute segments with two-minute answers for the first question, then open discussion for the remainder of each segment.
  36. segue
    proceed without interruption, in music or talk
    LEHRER: That is a terrific segue to our next segment, and is the role of government.
  37. extrapolate
    draw from specific cases for more general cases
    But -- but what it did do is to -- if you extrapolated how much money we're talking about, you'd look at cutting the education budget by up to 20 percent.
  38. middle-class
    occupying a socioeconomic position intermediate between those of the lower classes and the wealthy
    How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign.
  39. community college
    a nonresidential junior college offering a curriculum fitted to the needs of the community
    So now I want to hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers, and create 2 million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.
  40. unbalance
    throw out of balance or equilibrium
    Now, if you take such an unbalanced approach, then that means you are going to be gutting our investments in schools and education.
  41. make sure
    make a point of doing something
    Number three, make sure our people have the skills they need to succeed and the best schools in the world.
  42. repeal
    cancel officially
    And ironically, if you repeal Obamacare, and I have become fond of this term, "Obamacare," if you repeal it, what happens is those seniors right away are going to be paying $600 more in prescription care.
  43. insurance
    protection against future loss
    $716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers.
  44. federal deficit
    an excess of the federal government's spending over its revenue
    This is, theoretically now, a second segment still on the economy, and specifically on what to do about the federal deficit, the federal debt.
  45. federal government
    a government with strong central powers
    But our training programs right now, we've got 47 of them, housed in the federal government, reporting to eight different agencies.
  46. job
    a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty
    Let's start the economy, segment one, and let's begin with jobs.
  47. land grant
    a grant of public land (as to a railway or college)
    So, in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said, let's help to finance the Transcontinental Railroad, let's start the National Academy of Sciences, let's start land grant colleges, because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for
  48. middle class
    the social class between the lower and upper classes
    Or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says America does best when the middle class does best?
  49. gasoline tax
    a tax on every gallon of gasoline sold
    He said he and his son calculated how much they pay in taxes, federal income tax, federal payroll tax, state income tax, state sales tax, state property tax, gasoline tax.
  50. governor
    the head of a state authority
    I'm Jim Lehrer of the "PBS NewsHour," and I welcome you to the first of the 2012 presidential debates between President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee.
  51. in and of itself
    with respect to its inherent nature
    This is a -- this is a tax in and of itself.
  52. regulation
    the act of bringing to uniformity; making regular
    So to finish quickly, briefly, on the economy, what is your view about the level of federal regulation of the economy right now?
  53. health insurance
    insurance against loss due to ill health
    The idea, which was originally presented by Congressman Ryan, your running mate, is that we would give a voucher to seniors and they could go out in the private marketplace and buy their own health insurance.
  54. churn out
    produce something at a fast rate
    But you also had banks making money hand over fist, churning out products that the bankers themselves didn't even understand, in order to make big profits, but knowing that it made the entire system vulnerable.
  55. out of work
    not having a job
    I was in Dayton, Ohio, and a woman grabbed my arm, and she said, "I've been out of work since May.
  56. end up
    finally be or do something
    If you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for, $7 trillion -- just to give you a sense, over 10 years, that's more than our entire defense budget -- and you think that by
  57. president
    the chief executive of a republic
    It's an honor to be here with you, and I appreciate the chance to be with the president.
  58. affordable
    reasonably priced
    Now, let's move to health care where I know there is a clear difference, and that has to do with the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.
  59. grandparent
    a parent of your father or mother
    My grandparents did.
  60. talk about
    to consider or examine in speech or writing
    I don't have a tax cut of a scale that you're talking about.
  61. kid
    young goat
    They can buy a computer for their kid who's going off to college, which means they're spending more money, businesses have more customers, businesses make more profits, and then hire more workers.
  62. bipartisan
    supported by both sides
    Well, that's how the commission -- bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested we have to do it, in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts.
  63. PBS
    a solution containing a phosphate buffer
    I'm Jim Lehrer of the " PBS NewsHour," and I welcome you to the first of the 2012 presidential debates between President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee.
  64. middleman
    someone who buys large quantities of goods and resells to merchants rather than to the ultimate customers
    When it comes to making college affordable, whether it's two-year or four-year, one of the things that I did as president was we were sending $60 billion to banks and lenders as middlemen for the student loan program, even though the loans were gua
  65. rebate
    a refund of some fraction of the amount paid
    And it also says that you're going to have to get rebates if insurance companies are spending more on administrative costs and profits than they are on actual care.
  66. entitlement
    right granted by law or contract
    Entitlements.
  67. tax policy
    a program for setting taxes
    You said, "Look, I'm going to extend the tax policies that we have now; I'm not going to raise taxes on anyone, because when the economy is growing slow like this, when we're in recession, you shouldn't raise taxes on anyone."
  68. reform school
    correctional institution for the detention and discipline and training of young or first offenders
    And when it comes to education what I've said is we've got to reform schools that are not working.
  69. living will
    a document written by someone still legally capable requesting that he should be allowed to die if subsequently severely disabled or suffering terminal illness
    We've going to make sure that you've got to have a living will so -- so we can know how you're going to wind things down if you make a bad bet so we don't have other taxpayer bailouts.
  70. Democrat
    a member of the older of two major U.S. political parties
    First, we've got to improve our education system and we've made enormous progress drawing on ideas both from Democrats and Republicans that are already starting to show gains in some of the toughest to deal with schools.
  71. broaden
    make broader
    He said he was going to broaden the base.
  72. school district
    a district whose public schools are administered together
    Every school district, every state should make that decision on their own.
  73. income
    the financial gain accruing over a given period of time
    But I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high- income people.
  74. coal industry
    the producers of coal considered collectively
    People in the coal industry feel like it's getting crushed by your policies.
  75. disable
    injure permanently
    We're a nation that believes that we're all children of the same god and we care for those that have difficulties, those that are elderly and have problems and challenges, those that are disabled.
  76. push through
    break out
    What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote.
  77. economic crisis
    a long-term economic state characterized by unemployment and low prices and low levels of trade and investment
    And we know where it came from: two wars that were paid for on a credit card; two tax cuts that were not paid for; and a whole bunch of programs that were not paid for; and then a massive economic crisis.
  78. balanced
    being in a state of proper equilibrium
    Number four, get us to a balanced budget.
  79. provider
    someone who provides the means for subsistence
    $716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers.
  80. federal
    of a government with central and regional authorities
    But our training programs right now, we've got 47 of them, housed in the federal government, reporting to eight different agencies.
  81. fend for
    argue or speak in defense of
    One is to simply leave a whole bunch of people uninsured and let them fend for themselves, to let businesses figure out how long they can continue to pay premiums until finally they just give up, and their workers are no longer getting insured, and
  82. checkup
    a thorough physical examination
    They're now going to have to be paying copays for basic checkups that can keep them healthier.
  83. exemption
    an act freeing someone from obligations
    But in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run out of money, I also lower deductions and credits and exemptions, so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.
  84. Social Security
    social welfare program in the U.S.
    Do you see a major difference between the two of you on Social Security?
  85. cutback
    a reduction in quantity or rate
    My cutbacks will be done through attrition, by the way.
  86. prescription drug
    a drug that is available only with written instructions from a doctor or dentist to a pharmacist
    And using that money, we were actually able to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by an average of $600, and we were also able to make a -- make a significant dent in providing them the kind of preventive care that will ultimately save money
  87. marketplace
    an area in a town where a public mercantile establishment is set up
    The idea, which was originally presented by Congressman Ryan, your running mate, is that we would give a voucher to seniors and they could go out in the private marketplace and buy their own health insurance.
  88. state line
    the boundary between two states
    OBAMA: But the fact of the matter is that some of the prescriptions that he's offered, like letting you buy insurance across state lines, there's no indication that that somehow is going to help somebody who's got a pre-existing condition be able t
  89. rate of growth
    the rate of increase in size per unit time
    The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth.
  90. initiate
    set in motion, start an event or prepare the way for
    What we've said is to states, we'll give you more money if you initiate reforms.
  91. structurally
    with respect to structure
    Social Security is structurally sound.
  92. take office
    assume an office, duty, or title
    It's just -- it's -- we've got -- when the president took office, 32 million people on food stamps; 47 million on food stamps today; economic growth this year slower than last year, and last year slower than the year before.
  93. skyrocket
    shoot up abruptly, like a rocket
    And it wasn't just that small businesses were seeing costs skyrocket and they couldn't get affordable coverage even if they wanted to provide it to their employees.
  94. autistic
    affected with an abnormal absorption with the self
    Now, you know, that may not seem like a big deal when it just is, you know, numbers on a sheet of paper, but if we're talking about a family who's got an autistic kid and is depending on that Medicaid, that's a big problem.
  95. qualify
    describe or portray the character or peculiarities of
    You had loan officers were -- that were giving loans and mortgages that really shouldn't have been given, because the folks didn't qualify.
  96. unintended
    not deliberate
    And it includes within it a number of provisions that I think has some unintended consequences that are harmful to the economy.
  97. rule out
    include or exclude by determining judicially or in agreement with rules
    Now, Governor Romney has ruled out revenue.
  98. taking over
    acquisition of property by descent or by will
    The federal government taking over health care for the entire nation and whisking aside the 10th Amendment, which gives states the rights for these kinds of things, is not the course for America to have a stronger, more vibrant economy.
  99. revenue
    the entire amount of income before any deductions are made
    And how do we make sure that we are reducing spending in a responsible way, but also, how do we have enough revenue to make those investments?
  100. business people
    people who transact business
    And over the last four years, small- business people have decided that America may not be the place to open a new business, because new business startups are down to a 30-year low.
  101. trickle
    run or flow slowly, as in drops or in an unsteady stream
    The president has a view very similar to the view he had when he ran four years, that a bigger government, spending more, taxing more, regulating more -- if you will, trickle-down government -- would work.
  102. first of all
    before anything else
    First of all, I don't have a $5 trillion tax cut.
  103. put forward
    put before
    And so I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan.
  104. discretionary
    having the ability to act according to your own judgment
    And I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars out of our discretionary domestic budget.
  105. layoff
    the act of laying off an employee or a work force
    In fact we've seen layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers over the last several years, and Governor Romney doesn't think we need more teachers.
  106. math
    a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
    So now I want to hire another 100,000 new math and science teachers, and create 2 million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.
  107. Department of Energy
    the federal department responsible for maintaining a national energy policy of the United States; created in 1977
    First of all, the Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year.
  108. property tax
    a capital tax on property imposed by municipalities
    He said he and his son calculated how much they pay in taxes, federal income tax, federal payroll tax, state income tax, state sales tax, state property tax, gasoline tax.
  109. overseas
    beyond or across the ocean
    But I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.
  110. Great Depression
    the economic crisis beginning with the stock market crash in 1929 and continuing through the 1930s
    The approach that Governor Romney's talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003, and we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years, we ended up moving from surplus to deficits, and it all culminated in the worst financial cr
  111. devastate
    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    The secretary of defense has said these would be even devastating.
  112. healthier
    improved in health or physical condition
    But there's still a problem, because what happens is, those insurance companies are pretty clever at figuring out who are the younger and healthier seniors.
  113. simplify
    make easier or reduce in complexity or extent
    You've said the same thing, you're going to simplify the tax code, broaden the base.
  114. gridlock
    a traffic jam so bad that no movement is possible
    Many of the legislative functions of the federal government right now are in a state of paralysis as a result of partisan gridlock.
  115. Oval Office
    the office of the President of the United States in the White House
    OBAMA: When I walked into the Oval Office, I had more than a trillion-dollar deficit greeting me.
  116. premium
    a prize, bonus, or award given as an inducement
    It's called premium support, but it's understood to be a voucher program.
  117. program
    a series of steps to be carried out
    We've got a program called Race to the Top that has prompted reforms in 46 states around the country, raising standards, improving how we train teachers.
  118. replace
    put something back where it belongs
    ROMNEY: Well, I would repeal and replace it.
  119. principled
    based on objectively defined standards of rightness
    But, ultimately, part of being principled, part of being a leader is, A, being able to describe exactly what it is that you intend to do, not just saying, "I'll sit down," but you have to have a plan.
  120. create
    bring into existence
    What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs?
  121. reduce
    make smaller
    And how do we make sure that we are reducing spending in a responsible way, but also, how do we have enough revenue to make those investments?
  122. add up
    add up in number or quantity
    OBAMA: When you add up all the loopholes and deductions that upper-income individuals can -- are currently taking advantage of, you take those all away, you don't come close to paying for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional milita
  123. prescription
    the action of issuing authoritative rules or directions
    And using that money, we were actually able to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by an average of $600, and we were also able to make a -- make a significant dent in providing them the kind of preventive care that will ultimately save money
  124. education
    activities that impart knowledge or skill
    First, we've got to improve our education system and we've made enormous progress drawing on ideas both from Democrats and Republicans that are already starting to show gains in some of the toughest to deal with schools.
  125. economy
    the system of production and distribution and consumption
    The segments as I announced in advance will be three on the economy and one each on health care, the role of government and governing, with an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics and choices.
  126. free people
    people who are free
    As a matter of fact, free people and free enterprises trying to find ways to do things better are able to be more effective in bringing down the cost than the government will ever be.
  127. Republican
    a member of the younger of two major U.S. political parties
    I'm Jim Lehrer of the "PBS NewsHour," and I welcome you to the first of the 2012 presidential debates between President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee.
  128. balance
    harmonious arrangement or relation of parts within a whole
    Number four, get us to a balanced budget.
  129. Denver
    the state capital and largest city of Colorado
    Good evening from the Magness Arena at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado.
  130. cost
    be priced at
    How we pay for that, reduce the deficit, and make the investments that we need to make, without dumping those costs onto middle-class Americans, I think is one of the central questions of this campaign.
  131. National Academy of Sciences
    an honorary American society of scientists created by President Lincoln during the American Civil War
    So, in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said, let's help to finance the Transcontinental Railroad, let's start the National Academy of Sciences, let's start land grant colleges, because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for
  132. clinic
    a medical establishment run by a group of specialists
    So at Cleveland Clinic, one of the best health care systems in the world, they actually provide great care cheaper than average.
  133. workforce
    the force of workers available
    And as a consequence we'll have a better trained workforce and that will create jobs because companies want to locate in places where we've got a skilled workforce.
  134. budget
    a summary of intended expenditures
    Number four, get us to a balanced budget.
  135. open up
    cause to open or to become open
    Number two, open up more trade, particularly in Latin America, crack down on China, if and when they cheat.
  136. endow
    give qualities or abilities to
    Second, in that line that says we are endowed by our creator with our rights, I believe we must maintain our commitment to religious tolerance and freedom in this country.
  137. rates
    a local tax on property (usually used in the plural)
    Electric rates are up.
  138. fall apart
    go to pieces
    And over time, if traditional Medicare has decayed or fallen apart, then they're stuck.
  139. collaborative
    accomplished by working jointly
    We have to work on a collaborative basis, not because we're going to compromise our principle, but because there's common ground.
  140. tweak
    adjust finely
    It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill.