Well, friends, it looks like I was wrong about Herman Cain. As of the last debate, I was continuing to say that, while I like Cain as a candidate and I think he'd make a good President, I also did not think he was going to get the nomination. Now Mr. Cain is making me wrong. I'm very happy to be wrong about this by the way, and it is neither the first time I've been wrong nor will it be the last time I am wrong.
All of a sudden, here comes Herman Cain! He's filling the grassroots Tea Party void that Michelle Bachmann has unfortunately left. Last time I wrote about the candidates I considered Cain at best a Vice Presidential nominee. Now I'd have to say he's at worst the VP. Just think about this: Cain has the frankness and the moxie to say it like it is and have people listen. Combine the frankness of Chris Christie with the conservative credentials of Sarah Palin and wrap it up in the experience of a man who has lived the American dream and you've got one heck of a great candidate.
I'd have to say, right now, if my state's primary were today he'd get my vote. Let me tell you why:
- Cain has real business executive experience. He has run Burger King Corporation and Godfather's Pizza under the banner of the Pillsbury Corporation.
- Cain's 9-9-9 Plan combines two common sense conservative tax principles, the Flat Tax and the Fair Tax. I find this idea intriguing, actually. Most people who speak of a flat tax talk about a flat rate of 10-17% (depending on who you ask), whilst the Fair Tax is generally expected to be about 23%. (Please note that the Fair Tax is intended to replace ALL Federal taxes whilst a Flat Tax would replace all income taxes, so it makes sense that the Fair Tax would be at a higher rate.)
Cain's plan takes both these concepts and essentially takes the best of both. He creates a 9% personal income tax and a 9% sales tax would be a net 18% tax on individuals. That's just about the average of say a 15% Flat Tax and a 23% Fair Tax. It would create two tax bases: One income based and one that is consumption based. The net result of the consumption end would be a significant amount of fresh money in the economy that would be spread out into further purchase, which by the way would create a new tax base. The 9% flat income tax rate will provide for the necessities of government that cannot ebb and flow with the economy. It's a good plan.
For those of you concerned about the 9-9-9 plan's impact on your personal income, please note that if you are in the 15% tax bracket or higher, you are looking at a tax CUT, because your current 15% rate plus 6.2% in payroll taxes for a total tax of 21.2%. Cain's cut would put you at 19% total, and actually a bit less because the 9% sales tax would not include food.
- Cain tells it like it is, but he does it in a way that is loving and grandfatherly. He doesn't talk down to people like Obama does, but he doesn't talk above people the way someone like a Newt Gingrich tends to do. My point is not "Cain is a good speaker, elect him" (we've learned how that doesn't help the country at all), but rather that Cain has the rhetorical tools to effectively communicate conservatism.
- Cain is a real, dyed in the wool conservative. He believes in freedom, he believes in America. Even though he was born into the segregated South, he doesn't walk around expecting to be given constant repayment for this wrong, rather he appreciates this nation's ability to change away from the mistakes of our past and to constantly strive toward a more perfect union.
- Cain is a shining example of how the opportunities of America can take a man from rags to riches through the sweat of his brow and his own hard work. Cain has shared that his American dream started with making a lower middle class salary. He felt when he hit a modest middle class salary "His American Dream had come true." However he didn't satisfy himself there, but rather he then set a new goal. He went from so poor that he felt poor didn't describe it to becoming a very wealthy man. He earned it, and he understands that you can make whatever you want out of yourself in this country with hard work and sacrifice.