The businessman eschews semantics and revising history in favor of taking care of America's business
Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme? A "failure"? Who cares what one-word description best fits says Herman Cain. Leave such irrelevancies to politicians, academics and bloggers with time on their hands. He would rather be about the business of curing what ails America.
Admittedly, it helps to have a record in business of fixing broken companies rather than having inherited messy state governments and people with demands more complicated than Whoppers or Mafia pizza pies at reasonable prices. But unlike his Bay State, Lone Star State and Gopher State opponents for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the former corporate CEO from the Peach State is not afraid of truthful explanations of his present policy positions and frank apologies for past mistakes.
This early 2007 supporter of Mitt Romney, before Fred Thompson briefly dropped in on the 2008 race, began this campaign in Cain's corner, having volunteered for his unsuccessful Georgia senatorial bid in 2004. But we quickly became disillusioned when our Atlanta neighbor and former 750 WSB-AM radio talk show host took an extreme and unconstitutional position opposing the building of a mosque within the city limits of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and seemed not up to speed on the Palestinian demand for the "right of return" of so-called refugees to Israel and other issues in the first two debates.
Cain's honesty and common sense trumps slickness
But, to our great pleasure, rather than deny ignorance or mistakes, Cain did his homework, apologized and made corrections in his positions where appropriate. Now, he and fellow Peach State denizen and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, look like the adults on debate hall stages full of a few unruly children fighting over toys.
Toys? Yes, and especially the age-old stand-by of mostly meaningless semantic arguments that seek to simplify major issues down to labels.
Whether the Social Security program always was or now is a "Ponzi Scheme" and/or a "failure" in some existential sense, it is not sustainable in its present form. Many if not most federal government programs need to be reformed with conservative principles, returned to the states or ended altogether and most if not all bear no resemblance to schemes known by proper names or geometric shapes.
Could at least one candidate identify problems in plain language and figure out what laws to pass to solve the problems, rather than seek history books for cute analogies? Cain says yes.
Labels matter most with unknown quantities. Obama has a record Americans live under and loathe for what it IS NOW. So labels warning of what it could evolve into aren't necessary.
This rule also applies to attempts to label Obama, Democrats and their policies with one-word, generally, but on this I do agree with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney that its best to stick with the "Liberal Democrat" moniker to identify those that advance failed policies, rather than "socialist".
What Obama and the Dems have wrought is bad, very bad, and everyone knows it. Its bad because of what it has produced that we have to live with it everyday, not merely because of why they have done it and what it may evolve into. Hence, there is no need for a scary label whose main purpose is to warn of what is to follow on a slippery slope. With Obama and liberals, the slope done slipped, so why get into a gotcha question re Ponzis or Marxists etc? No reason.
I suspect that Mitt and Texas Governor Rick (the Rick that didn't lose a senate race in the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania as his last relevant political act after supporting Arlen RINO Specter for re-election) would, if elected, also advance policies to actually fix the problems of the Social Security program, but they should be held to their own words as written voluntarily in their respective books (not exactly bestsellers, but I digress).
Social Security under the Rule of Law and as lived under by grandparents
I will admit that I agree with Governor Perry that Social Security was unconstitutional when passed. I have even written that I think it would be preferable to re-do the program and pass that new version in the form of a Constitutional Amendment due to its 70+ year place in our national identity and also so that when we conservatives argue for a federal government limited to its enumerated powers, we would have credibility to oppose other actions liberals favor that are also not authorized by the constitution.
I would hope Perry is competent enough to eventually mention, and not just in passing, that despite the text of the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court long ago upheld a program that millions have relied upon for generations, which has provided a Common Law claim of detrimental reliance independent of Article I enumerated powers.
But there is no excuse or basis for calling Social Security writ large a "failure". Yes, I agree that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's signature New Deal program had nothing to do with recovery from the Great Depression. I know that the program was greatly expanded beyond its limited purpose as merely an income supplement for the elderly to prevent destitute homelessness. I also know that Congress has continually raided it to add to general revenues so they could pretend not to have increased deficits. And we all know that over time whites and blacks decided to have fewer babies and abort millions, so that now it most assuredly does resemble Pyramid schemes, as if that analogy matters.
But despite all of the above, we won’t help our chances of replacing Barcak Obama in the White House (which chances are of epic proportions) by trashing 70 years of Social Security as a “failure”. It is failing of late due to reasons mentioned above, but to call the whole program for all of its 70 years a “failure” is to demean the term failure.
But what I also know, as do over a hundred million grandmothers, grandfathers, grandsons and granddaughters, is that the program worked quite well for decades. That a program changes over time mainly due to unpredictable demographics doesn't make it, in its totality, a "failure", and to say so is to insult a great part of American history.
Conservative hearts and peoples' last names, amigo
And speaking of insults Mr. Perry, conservative Republicans that don't favor your "no fence" and discrimination against Arkansas (and the other 49 states, territories and District of Columbia) college applicants because we lack hearts and are Latino last-name loathing bigots! Have you been reading Senator Lindsey Graham's La Raza speeches?
Sir, have you no shame! I demand an apology for Leftist-style accusations of imputed bigotry and not caring about the needy, and I don't even necessarily oppose your limited Texas-American dream acts.
I would also suggest that you come clean as to WHY you oppose a fence. I assume your home is protected by security officers AND a fence rather than just by human elements, thus showing that you do understand the value of fences. I also suspect that within the State of Texas (maybe even within just one of your huge counties as large as Delaware), not to mention within the United States generally, that many more miles of fencing have been erected than would be required to place a physical barrier between drug cartel vehicles and the Lower Forty-Eight.
So please sir, what is this magic of standing in El Paso and looking west towards Juarez that makes a fence self-evidently impossible to imagine? If you don't think Americans are intellectually or technologically capable of erecting such a barrier, then maybe we need an exponentially larger DREAM Act or should we just go ahead and surrender to Ming Dynasty wall-builders from centuries ago?
Of course you know that its ridiculous to just man the border, thus inviting border-crossing events with violence on our side. Of course you know that the mere presence of a fence deters most would-be illegal crossers and prevents mass rushes.
So why not have the guts to say why you really oppose the fence? I would respect you more if you would just say that you wouldn't like a symbol akin to a Berlin Wall in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. I don't agree with that analogy for obvious reasons (Keep Out v Keep In, i.e. Iron Curtain prison) and I certainly don't have the Ron Paul paranoia fear of our own government and love for Iran's Mullahs.
But sir, please say what you mean, with clarity.
I loved President George W. Bush who killed terrorists, kept us safe after 911, cut taxes and appointed Roberts and Alito; all despite his Texas cultural loathing of fences and propensity for mangling the English language. We the People in a great majority are going to elect the GOP nominee as our next President. So would you please do your homework and be worthy of the honor? Please.
Cain more able, 9-9-9 more fair than FAIR
Another problem we had with Herman Cain early on was his support for the so-called FAIR tax that claims to rid the world of the Internal Revenue Service and bring peace on Earth and goodwill to men.
Earth to Humans: As long as we have to raise revenue internally, there will be an IRS, and people and politicians being what they are, we will always need to periodically purge it of subsidies. There is no panacea that prevents the growth of tax codes. Just look at states with sales taxes for proof that no FAIR tax would prevent same.
I have always agreed that if one wanted to replace the Income tax with the FAIR tax, repeal of the 16th Amendment was imperative given how high the tax rate required under the latter. But given how low Cain's 9-9-9 Plan rates are, and given my opposition to the much higher rate and Big Brother pre-bate of the FAIR Tax, I am thrilled that Cain has embraced 9-9-9 for now, even if he does so only as a transition to an eventual FAIR tax as these 9-9-9 rates are so low, purges the tax code of all the subsidies, and ends FICA. I suspect the transition to FAIR will never come since I doubt there aren't enough Americans to agree on baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, Chevrolet and mama; much less eliminating the income tax.
The fact is that no matter what system we adopt, it will grow onerous over time because of human nature and human politicians. We will always have to purge it periodically, of subsidies, exceptions, etc. There is no panacea until Jesus returns.
Romney waiver waivers and Bachmann's repeal appeal
I have generally been pleased with how much better a campaigner is Governor Romney now than in the 2008 campaign in which I think he (like Rudy Giuliani) overstayed his welcome in Iowa. I trusted Mitt on his pro-life epiphany then and I trust him on his vow to build a border fence and issue waivers fromObamaCare to all states. I do believe that he would honor all conservative pledges and would not seek to impose RomneyCare in place of ObamaCare.
But (you knew it was coming), I want to elect the most conservative candidate we can so that we have the best chance of actually saving the country from inevitable decline into the unexceptional nation ObamaDems seem to prefer.
Mitt needs to be asked if he will join Congresswoman Bachmann's pledge to also seek REPEAL of ObamaCare and if not, why not? Is it because he wants to retain the pre-existing condition mandate that could kill private insurance all by itself? And if so, how would he re-structure what remains of of an un-waived ObamaCare so as to reduce health care costs and save a health care industry capable of providing reasonable premium prices?
As we alluded to earlier, we want the most conservative candidate that can win. We look at the state of the economy, polls among: Whites, Hispanics, Jews, even Blacks and especially even among those formerly-White guilt driven and non-white guilt driven Independents; and history and feel secure in the belief that a warm bucket of spit could defeat Barack Obama on Election Day 2012 in the popular vote, Electoral College and maybe even the Yale campus.
Hence, our initial excitement even with Bachmann before ambition clouded her un-vaccinated judgment that seems not to understand the meaning of "opt-out" given her false claim that Perry's executive order would have "forced" young girls to get unwanted shots. She is loose with the facts and allegations of venality imputed to her opponents. But we do think she has raised good points about the Governor of Texas that will "always choose life" (reminds of a Bush government ready to act if someone hurts?) and his corporate cronyism in state government.
The debates have been informative and entertaining for this self-proclaimed "issues guy" that really loathes actual politics, especially this early in the game. But as of now, we lean to Herman Cain. But mostly we lean to wanting the contenders to be honest and become more competent in the game they have to play on the way to taking the Oath of Office on January 20, 2013 to begin the Post-Obama Rebuilding of America.
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Co-Founder and Editor - Political Daily
Atlanta Law & Politics columnist – Examiner.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson