« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Herman Cain is Losing Me

I am a witness to defeat being snatched from the jaws of victory.

I’ve written on Rick Perry before and expressed that he is a candidate that I can support. I’d also previously expressed an interest in Sarah Palin, Chris Christie & Herman Cain. Sarah and Chris aren’t running obviously, and last night I got a deeper insight into who Herman Cain is. I find myself disappointed and concerned.

I’ll start with his 9,9,9 plan. On it’s face, there is a lot that I like about the 9,9,9 plan, besides its catchy name. I like that it lowers the personal and corporate income taxes to a low and flat level. I like that it eliminates other taxes like Capital Gains, Payroll & Self-Employment taxes. I like that it allows investments to be written off for business. There is a lot to like in this plan.

Unfortunately, what’s not to like trumps all of that.

I’m amazed that he’s only just now getting heat for opening the doorway to a brand new revenue stream for government to toy with. The national sales tax is an absolutely awful idea. I’ve never been much of a fan of the fair tax anyway, but at least they proposed simultaneously getting rid of the income tax as opposed to simply adding another way for government to bleed the populace.

If the 9,9,9 plan played out exactly as Mr. Cain is suggesting, it might be fine. But the fact that he thinks for even a moment that it has a shot shows an ignorance of Washington unparalleled on that stage.

There are only two ways that I see 9,9,9 getting passed. One would be some enterprising Democrats realizing that they’ll have brand new money to play with and enthusiastically jumping at the chance to create a new revenue stream. The second way is if Gandalf the Grey summoned his giant Eagle friends to threaten members of Congress to make a constitutional amendment that forces it to stay exactly as it is…forever.

While we’re on the subject, the payroll tax holiday is a bit of a non-starter as well.  He claims that he’s ridding employees of this burden while ignoring the fact that half of the burden is on the employer.  He may wrongly believe that employers will magnanimously forward all of the proceeds from these savings into an employees paycheck, but this would be further ignorance on his part.  More confounding ignorance actually, since he does have vast business experience and should know how a small business owner would look at the opportunity to amass more cash flow.

Believe me, I want the current tax code thrown out as much as anyone. I want to elect a Congress that will vote for a Flat Tax as well. But we can’t do that if we’re going to throw away all of our experience with government and ignore their penchant for taking a good idea and morphing into a monster.

There was another part of Cain that bothered me, which I hadn’t seen until last night. He’s still trying to find a way to defend his TARP support. Is TARP worth defending? I’ve consistently made the case that it is not. Cain’s defense stands on an indefensible premise: “I agreed with the concept but not the implementation.”

This defense revealed to me a personality trait about Herman Cain that I cannot defend. It is the same personality trait you find in any big government supporter: They will support things on paper that look good when they throw in their biased assumptions, and when its real world application fails, they blame the implementation ignoring the fact that human nature must be part of the equation.

It’s not dissimilar to the argument that Communism works if you get the right people to do it. Well, the problem is that people are going to be people, and if people can bring the whole thing tumbling down simply by being themselves, then you’re doomed from the outset.

TARP was a bad idea. We did not “save the free market by abandoning free market principles.” We simply abandoned free market principles. We allowed government to give unfair advantage over competitors who could have had a landslide of new clientele from the closure of such massive institutions as Bank of America. There could have been more mergers, more acquisitions, more opportunity, and new jobs, had the free market been allowed to function and eliminate the losers through market selection.

Anyone who supports TARP must stop fooling themselves into believing that the problem was the implementation. The problem was the idea.  And for all the heat that some get on that stage for “crony capitalism,” it’s hard to look past the support of giving almost $1 trillion dollars to the banking industry and say that it doesn’t encourage the same cronyism.

So Cain has lost me with this. Two extremely important tests for me he has failed. And in both cases it seems to be for the same reason: he has a misplaced almost childlike faith in the implementation by bureaucracy, to keep promises, implement flawlessly, and execute dutifully. Time and again, government has proven it is capable of no such thing.

While it’s certainly the case that I will support whoever the eventual nominee is, be it Cain, Romney or Perry, this does whittle down my more enthusiastic support for primary candidates.  I guess that means for now, I mostly support Perry.

This guy has two major issues in the primaries:

  1. In state tuition for illegal aliens
  2. EO for mandatory vaccinations
I am not going to go into them again, only to say, if you balance those against his stance against TARP, the enormous job creation in his state, his willingness to boldly confront entitlements using language we’ve all been using for years that approaches it honestly, his strong pro-life, pro state’s rights, pro-military, anti-big government, spending cutting, education reforming record and rhetoric, he should be a shoe in.
Thus, my opening sentence about the jaws of victory.  He, or perhaps the people around him, can’t seem to get their heads out of their asses and into the game.  A few days ago, I watched this video of him on Glenn Beck back in June and few things occurred to me.

 

 

Governor Perry, I’m taking a wild guess here, but after watching the above video, I’d say that something has changed behind the scenes.  In that video, you were able to express your thoughts and articulate your ideas, perhaps not with the flair of pretty-boy Romney or with the dash of Barack Obama.  But certainly without the appearance of being unprepared, which is how you look in the current debates.

When it comes to oration Governor Perry, you are no Barack Obama.  You are no Ronald Reagan.  Sometimes I wonder if you’re even a George W. Bush.  And while it’s true that your leadership and ideas are more important than your debate skills, Erick Erickson was right this morning when he said that it didn’t matter.  If it’s important to the primary voters to see that you can articulate your positions, then it should be important to your campaign.

Stop prepping for zingers.  It seems so obvious that the time you’re spending is mostly prepping talking points.  ”Zing Romney with this one, deflect this question with this one,” etc etc.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and listening to you in person.  You know your stuff.  You knows why you’ve done what you’ve done.  You knows what needs to happen if elected president.  Your advisors need to take you above the fray.  When they pit you against Romney, ignore the bait and go after Obama and his record and use your record to make your case.

This should’ve been easy.  Stop making it hard.

Follow @Ben_Howe

Get Alerts