Friday, October 21, 2011

Herman Cain is a pretty impressive guy

On the drive back home yesterday, I was scanning the radio waves, and ran across a Cain interview at Sean Hannity.  I'm not much of a Hannity fan, but I stuck around to listen to Can.  He's very impressive.

The problem with the debate, he said, was not that the other candidates pig piled on him.  Rather, it's that the format only allowed 60 second answers.  He has a serious program with 9-9-9, and one minute doesn't give enough time to do more than sound bites.  Hannity told him OK, take as much time to explain it.

And Cain did, in depth.  He took probably 5 minutes on why the business depreciation tax implications of his plan will spur job growth.  As I listened, my thought was there's nobody else running who understands this.  Romney and Bachman would understand depreciation, but only from a financial model perspective.  They don't have the background to see how it could energize the jobs market.

I'm not necessarily convinced about Cain's plan - I think that it's a truism that corporations collect taxes, they don't pay them.

But I am utterly convinced that Cain is no dummy, and may in fact be the smartest guy running.  His vision is big, radical stuff.  It's aiming to fix something that is clearly broken. It convinced me to go download his plan and read the details.

This guy might have what it takes.


WoFat said...

He seems like a smart, hard working man.

Spikessib said...

In the last year of listening to him I've heard no shuffling, backtracking, or mincing of words. He seems smart, honest, and straight-forward, something that is refreshing in a politician. He also has a grasp of real life, the life lived by the average working person. He knows what it is to have to count change to buy a loaf of bread to go with your peanut butter to get to payday. That's something no one else in politics understands.

Weer'd Beard said...

I watched the last debate and I must say I was sold. The guys were pig-piling on him and he didn't so much as break a sweat.

Put that in a debate against Zero and watch him melt like a Hershey bar left on your dashboard in Georgia.

Also I bet some of the more "Progressive" members of the party might call him a n***er.

Divemedic said...

9-9-9 includes a direct tax that is unapportioned, and therefore unconstitutional.

Such a plan would therefore require an Amendment, just like income taxes did (16A). The result would be an income tax AND a sales tax.

Sorry, not buying.

Joe said...

One thing most people don't know is that when Herman Cain graduated from college with a mathematics degree, he worked as a ballistician. I believe it was for the Department of the Navy.

Dirk said...

I've read comments/analysis of the 9-9-9 plan several places. Other than a few hysterical (not the funny kind of hysterical) rants against it, I believe I only found one or two places that even hinted that the plan was unconstitutional.

It can be argued that a national sales tax is a form of an excise tax (like the tax you pay on gasoline, for instance), and excise taxes are constitutional.

We already have an income tax - this would lower it, and replace some of it with a sales tax. A sales tax can contain exemptions for basic necessities, such as food and housing, to lessen or eliminate the impact on the poor.

Something I have not seen mentioned - people engaged in "extra-legal" occupations are, obviously, not currently paying income or business taxes. But they do buy stuff. A sales tax would at least generate some tax revenue on some of their economic activity.

I'm not saying I support the 9-9-9 plan without reservation. Clearly, there's potential for abuse, and for increasing those percentages. And as I said in an earlier comment, corporations don't pay taxes. Sure, they write out checks to the tax man, but they're just passing that money along from their customers. So, taxing businesses really taxes the customers of those businesses.

It's a step in the right direction, though. It's an attempt to try something other than the same-old, same-old that's just not working, and in fact, is getting worse.

Pete said...

Agree he's a lot smarter that he's being made out to be. I do believe actually running a business has helped him understand many things that the other candidates don't get. I suppose Romney might also be able to say that but he still comes off as way to oily. I also like the fact Cain seems to be able to keep his cool when the other pathetic examples of best-of-the-GOP decide it's a good idea to attack him. This could get interesting, especially now that Perry has essentially imploded.

Ken said...

It's amazing to me how many pains are being taken by GOP laundry-waving honks at places like Ace of Spades to position Cain as someone running for a job on Fox News, pouncing on every "gotcha" they can find, claiming he's not a serious candidate, preparing the battlespace to ram that Mitt Sandwich down the Republic's throats.

I doubt 9-9-9 would get through Congress as written, and there are legitimate Constitutional questions. But Borepatch's characterizarion of Cain as someone who gets it in the way that other candidates do not (even Ron Paul, who is more sound on first principles) is dead on, I think.

And franklly, even if Cain were as unserious as they claim he is, I still won't vote for Slick Willard in the general.

Paladin said...

Anybody think 9-9-9 has any chance of getting through Congress if he's elected? I don't.

Disclaimer: I like Cain very much. As things stand now, he'd get my vote in the primary and definitely in the general election as well.

As for 9-9-9, what will stick in people's minds if it comes up in the legislature is the fact that, for example, if you are currently paying 8.25% state sales tax you will be paying 17.25% on everything you buy under this plan. That, and supposedly a lot of people not currently paying federal income taxes at all will now be paying 9%. Reps and Senators won't exactly be lining up to champion this cause. I think it would get zero traction in the Congress.

Just being realistic. My personal problems with 9-9-9 don't have anything to do with that. They have to do with the generation of yet another needle through which the government can suck out our blood (sales tax), with absolutely no restriction on any of the rates going up under future regimes. A Liberal Congress and Whitehouse in the future would be very happy to have such a variety of income streams available. We could find outselves looking at 12-11-10 or worse one day. Death by a thousand cuts, so to speak.

I DO like the fact that Cain is willing to stick his neck out and think outside the box, though. I'd be much more comfortable with a single revenue source for the fed that is much more simple: Ditch the IRS/Tax Code and go with Flat tax or Fair tax.

That would be a hard sell too, but if I'm wishing I might as well wish big :)

DaddyBear said...

The thing that is starting to get me interested in Cain is that just about everything I hear from him makes sense. He's actually saying things that need to be said and proposing solutions rather than just talking about problems. He's actually held down a real job, and has real world experience and opinions. I'm not sold yet, but he's definitely in the running for my vote.

The Czar of Muscovy said...

Cain "...may in fact be the smartest guy running." I hadn't thought about this before.

But I'm convinced you're right about that. And possibly by a margin.

Will 9-9-9 be passed? Probably not: but the fact he's hitting hard with this means he could still get some real good done.

wolfwalker said...

IMHO, Herman Cain would be a good candidate if tax policy was the only thing that mattered.

It isn't. So he isn't.

His rapidly-changing statements on social issues make me nervous, and his ignorance of foreign-policy matters genuinely scares me.

SiGraybeard said...

IMO, the most interesting thing about 9-9-9 is that he is unique among the candidates in taking on a very complex issue and putting forth a concrete proposal. I've heard that people who don't even know who Herman Cain is know the phrase "9-9-9 tax plan".

I share many of the concerns listed: (1) it's a new needle in our arms to bleed us dry (2) how do we know it doesn't end up (say) 49-18-3? (3) I don't think it will get out of congress because the ruling class clearly wants the 10 million page tax code - so they can distribute favors to friends, themselves, and campaign contributors. Not to mention social engineering.

While I'm undecided and leaning toward Cain, I'm more convinced than ever that collapse is unstoppable and we don't vote our way out of this.

doubletrouble said...

If the repeal of the 16th amendment is a prerequisite to inclusion of 9-9-9, I'll consider it.

Anonymous said...

That 999 is intended to be half-way to the Fair Tax. And repeal of the 16th amendment is deemed necessary by proponents.

foxmarks said...

People currently paying no income tax are still paying 15.3% FICA (half is hidden). 999 drops that to 9%.

Play that against the sales tax as a replacement tax. Does the final price to which State sales tax is applied change? As Cain presents it, eliminating taxes embedded in the retail price of goods allows retail prices to drop. On this lower base comes the national 9. That brings the amount subject to State tax back to where it is now.

You can argue about whether the embedded tax savings will go to the the consumer or to labor or to capital. And you can argue about whether the value of that effect works out to more or less than 9% in your favorite category of goods. But you should see that adding the national 9 to State sales tax is apples and oranges.

The Forgotten Man said...

He seems smart but I cant get past the fact that when faced with someone who really drills into his statements he says incomprehensible things. Such as saying that in order for the free market to work, we have to help the farmers get to the market. uh what???

"Once you help the farmers get their products to market … they won’t need those subsidies and the free market principles will perform much better" at 12:00