Over the past few weeks one by one, the GOP dream candidates Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, and to a far lesser extent, Rudy Giuliani have all taken a pass on entering the 2012 race.
Like a child without a new toy to play with, sometimes you give an old toy a second look.
Enter Herman Cain.
There is no denying that Herman Cain is intriguing. He is well spoken and charismatic. He is the #rationalinterest’s top pick for “Folksy Wisdom Czar.”
We here have two main gripes with Mr. Cain. First, he lacks an understanding on his 9-9-9 tax plan. Secondly, he has yet to articulate a cohesive foreign policy. This post will focus on the former and the 9-9-9 plan.
Cain went on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning to ineptly defend his plan. Cain makes clear that he doesn’t understand his own plan.
Cain’s plan has been under fire from multiple directions. A recent Washington Post article claims that by taking away the tax exemptions for those in lower economic strata, those people will pay more under Cain’s plan. Cain says that is not the case.
But where are the numbers on this plan?
On “Meet the Press” he claims that his plan does away with the compliance costs associated with the current income tax. Proponents of the Fair Tax will realize the rationale here. The Fair Tax relies on completely eliminating the IRS and income tax which would, in theory, get rid off all compliance costs which are passed on to consumers in the form of imbedded costs in the price of a good.
Cain’s plan leaves a 9% income tax for all Americans. This means that the compliance costs on employers associated with the tax will still be present, and further more, the Cain plan would necessitate some version of the IRS will still exist to collect this revenue.
The inevitable conclusion here is that there is no reason to believe Cain’s plan will sufficiently reduce imbedded costs where a 9% sales tax will be cost neutral or that prices will go down as Cain claims.
On another front, people such as Grover Norquist and Michelle Bachmann have expressed trepidation at giving the government new revenue streams. Norquist went so far as to wonder what would happen if the Democrats regained control of government during the transition between the 9-9-9 plan to the Fair Tax.
Herman Cain has given the typical lip service to smaller government, however, on “Meet the Press,” Cain opposed a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan. He has called for a preemptive strike on Iran. Furthermore, he has not proposed eliminating any Federal departments or programs. Cain’s website says everything is on the table, but making Federal programs function ineptly will only strengthen Democrat counter arguments.
Without a serious plan to cut spending, no foreseeable change in foreign policy, and no concrete numbers on his 9-9-9 plan, how can Americans make an informed decision? What will deficits look like under this plan? How will we address the debt under this tax plan?
There are far more questions that answers under Herman Cain’s agenda and especially the 9-9-9 tax plan. Keep in mind America elected a man four years ago who was charismatic but his proposals were also lacking in specifics.
The American people deserve a candidate who is willing to be open and honest about economic proposals and has credible evidence to back his/her claims. America cannot afford to be wooed by fancy rhetoric in place of policy specifics.
Part 2 of our look at Herman Cain will focus on his foreign policy or lack thereof.