Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Bernie Sanders appeared in a CNN debate on Wednesday night over the topic of tax reform and taxation in general. The discussion was civil and informative on many fronts. Their visions couldn’t be more different, but the arguments were made for bigger government with more services and higher taxes, and limited government with fewer services and lower taxes. If you want to learn more about how both sides view the role of government, this is great presentation.

Here is the full debate video from Wednesday, October 18, 2017, on CNN:

Here’s some reporting on the event from The Hill:

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sparred over tax reform in a prime-time debate on CNN Wednesday, with Cruz arguing that the GOP’s recently released framework would benefit the economy and Sanders lambasting it as a boon for the wealthy.

“Bernie and the Democrats want to raise your taxes, and the Republicans want to cut them so that you have more in your pocket,” Cruz said.

But according to Sanders, “What this entire proposal is about is to give tax breaks to people who don’t need it, and you do that by making massive cuts in education, in health care, in housing, in the programs that working families desperately need.”

The debate between the two former presidential candidates comes as Republicans aim to pass legislation overhauling the tax code by the end of the year. The White House and congressional GOP leaders released a framework last month that would reduce the number of individual tax brackets and cut rates for businesses.

I for one welcome debates like this. I think we need more of them in society today where substance and policy are debated rather than talking points and politics. Most of the time, the meat of the problem is lost in a tribal discussion of which “side” has the answer. Many voters don’t really have all the details on where each side is coming from on a particular issue. In the case of tax reform, there are many issues wrapped up in one and it touches on several facets of life, on all income levels.

Bravo to Bernie and Ted for doing this event since the viewers win when more ideas are exchanged and explained in a civil manner.