Cain’s Economic Plan Dominates GOP Debate


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Businessman Herman Cain catapulted to the top tier in the race for the GOP presidential nomination after his surprise Florida straw poll victory, and he is now feeling the heat. His economic plan, dubbed “9-9-9,” received the most attention in last night’s debate, with former Senator Rick Santorum and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann leading the charge against it.

There were no major stumbles by any of the candidates in this last debate, and there were few fireworks as they sat around a circular table to discuss the economy. Herman Cain received the most attention and aptly handled criticism of his 9-9-9 plan, which calls for a 9% national sales tax, 9% corporate income tax and 9% personal income tax. Cain had serious momentum going into the race, with most polls showing him a close second to Mitt Romney or even slightly ahead. One poll shows him with an eight-point lead in Iowa, and another has him ahead of Romney by one point in South Carolina.

When a moderator from Bloomberg said that the news service doubted whether 9-9-9 would raise revenue, he humorously responded, “The problem with that analysis is that it’s wrong.” He also joked about the complexity of Mitt Romney’s 59-point economic plan. His plan was challenged by Santorum and Bachmann, with the former saying it won’t pass Congress and the latter having a stand-out moment when she said, “Turn 9-9-9 upside-down. The devil is in the details.” Both cautioned against giving the federal government the power to implement a national sales tax, and that concern will resonate with voters.

Mitt Romney performed well and spoke smoothly about the economy and his record. Leading up to the debate, he had kind words for Herman Cain, probably because his ascent helps split the field that is trying to become Romney’s alternative. One poll shows Romney with a three-point lead in Iowa because of this division. He was also endorsed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, inarguably one of the most coveted endorsements a candidate could win. Overall, Romney probably did not gain or lose from the event. There were no big moments, but he did earn an applause when he said, “If you’re not willing to stand up to China, you’ll get run over by China.”

There is no reason to believe that Rick Perry stopped his slide in the polls. He spoke without passion and failed to have a stand-out moment. He is trying to own the issue of energy independence, calling it a “new Declaration of Independence,” and urged domestic production. His comment about the need for a balanced budget amendment was well-received, but this does not differentiate him from the field. He struck Romney hard on his health care plan in Massachusetts, but Romney came prepared to highlight differences between his plan and President Obama’s. It is unlikely that Perry won any new supporters during this debate, and the ascent of other candidates will continue to take a toll on his numbers. He remains in the second-tier.

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  • Nels

    “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams I am very concerned about the left, the media or the establishment selecting our candidate! We need one “real” conservative candidate not a Politician to choose from. Herman Cain is most certainly not a Politician and may well be the most feared GOP candidate for the ‘Left Crowd and the Elites’! He is a “real” conservative candidate and defuses the 'Class Warfare Rhetoric and Race Card'. I do not want a Politician! ‘We the People’ have an unprecedented opportunity to elect not who the ‘Elite’ and the ‘Political Opinion makers’ tell us is the ‘most electable’ but the candidate who really does best represent ‘We the People’! Herman Cain a man of Virtue, a Conservative, and a great Example of living out the American Experiment. Lets think beyond just 2012 that’s to short sighted for my grandchildren’s grandchildren.

  • davarino

    The media try to make us think that Romney is our man because they know Cain will annihilate Obama. Cain will win because there will be no race card to play, he is intelligent, articulate (off the cuff without a teleprompter), more experienced executive, older (which makes him wiser), level headed, original…….etc.

    As far as the debate goes, all the others could do is childishly attack Cain's 9-9-9 proposal. The one issue that really gets me in a marching mood is the IRS. I will spend money traveling across the country marching, or whatever, to abolish the IRS and have a very simple tax system. No more CPAs, tax attorneys, lobbyists for special interests, wasting time and money figuring out how much you owe at the end of the year and wandering if you did it correctly and an IRS aggent is going to show up at your door and harrass you for a week or two. I didnt hear anyone else but Cain propose a revamping of the tax system. Nobody else in the pack has conviction and fire in their belly like Cain. I get the feeling the rest just want to be President, and give us a different version of what we have had for the last 11 years.

  • StephenD

    We can measure the candidates by the company they keep. Who will they surround themselves with? We recognize that Gingrich has the most experience. We see some with Executive experience and some with Congressional experience. There are a few with extensive Business experience. But none of them "has it all." So, again, who will they surround themselves with? This matters to me more than the name on the ticket. We see the result of poor advisors and "Czars" running our country into the ground. But we also recognize that the road to ruin is paved with good intentions. I need for the last two standing to name names. Who will be their "Go to" people?

  • http://satinstrinity.com C'H'Martel

    Unfortunately, this is our field. Romney is simply same-old, same-old. Cain has no congressional constituency and will not be able to get anything through the cesspool. I just don't see him going over congress to the public as Reagan did. Gingrich is too smart by half and if he were to be elected his approach would be too complex to be effective. The rest are just fillers.The best we can hope for is anybody but O'boy.

    • Citizen Kane (Cain)

      No matter how many reviews I've read of last night's debate, it appears there's *UNIVERSAL* misunderstanding of 9-9-9.
      The beauty is in the details (sorry Ms. Bachmann) and the resulting behavior.
      At present, 47% of voters are GUARANTEED to support expansion of the welfare state. Why not? No downside of cost (they pay no tax), with a most promising upside (passage of a generous bill)
      So, sorry Mr. Santorum, government will not raise the rates. Not when almost 100% of the electorate (at this point EVERYBODY'S paying for Congress's decision) oppose any new spending…

    • 11bravo

      Didnt we just have an election in which 30 some-odd congreesman were elected mostly by the TEA party, That seems like a substantial "base" of support to start with for Mr. Cain?

  • mrbean

    Imagine if Cain would get the nomination, we would have two black candidate running for President, Mr, Cain and President UNable.

    • Stephen_Brady

      I have some European friends whose heads are exploding at the thought, considering that we are such a "racist nation"!

  • BLJ

    The MSM wants Romney there is no doubt about that. They figure he will run a campaign like McCain and their precious Comrade Obama will be spared. Cain is the only GOP candidate whole has the stones to call out Obama for what he really is.

  • mrbean

    Oreilly reminds of Ted Baxter from the Mary Tyler Moore show, when he said Cain knows absolutely nothing about foreign affairs. Dennis Miller (while lol) put Oreilly in his place by saying "And I suppose the guy we got in there now does, ha hah ahh hahhaah – look at the real mess in the Mid East Obama has created!"

  • tagalog

    NO NATIONAL SALES TAX WITHOUT A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ABOLISHING THE INCOME TAX AND THE SIXTEENTH AMENDMENT!

  • Solomon

    The Cain/Ginrich ticket is the winning ticket. Either that or a Cain/Romney ticket. A rmoney Cain ticket MIGHT have some chance but much less. The reason why the Cain/Gingrich ticket is the winning ticket is because Cain can get 10% or more of the black anti-Obama vote due to his social conservatism. Blacks all across american oppose special GAY RIGHTS and so does Cain. If Cain gets 20% of the black vote or near that in the genral election in only those few necessary swing state such as Florida, and Ohio etc. Cain could easily win the election. The other issue is that ROMney has many thorns in his side- being Mormon is somthing the liberal media will not drop- and his flip flops on many important issues couples with Romeny care WILL haunt him. Even though Romeny is the most qualified, being a free market guy with public office experience, and the most presidential "looking" of the crowd, he will be a puching bag for the liberal media and press. Cain, at least ,creates enthusiasm.

  • jtbaumgart

    I would prefer to see a Cain/West Ticket.

    • 11bravo

      SSWWEEEEEEETT!!

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Cain's 9, 9, 9 plan, which he touts as a do everything plan is nothing but a tax plan. Indeed, if Cain wins he'll have to do far more than 9, 9, 9 to kick start the economy, which, by the way, will never pass in any event, and as pointed out in the debates would provide Congress a new revenue stream, which would open up a whole new Pandora’s box.

    In fact, if Cain is unable to talk specifically about what he would do to get the economy back on track other than say 9, 9. 9, it indicates that he is woefully unprepared.

    In addition, I can't quite get the image of Cain out of my mind in an interview with Chris Wallace earlier this year not knowing what the so-called right of return was with respect to Israel. I think Cain would make a fine Cabinet level Secretary, but he is woefully unqualified to be President, especially when it comes to foreign policy.

    I thought that Romney scored a lot of points when Huntsman challenged him by stating that he wasn't a member of the Trump-Romney school of trade policy because it would inevitably lead to a trade war with China, when Romney raised his hand high to indicate how much we buy from China and then lowered his other hand low to indicate the wide disparity of how little China buys from us, which indicated at the same time that we have far more leverage since China has far more to lose in any trade war between us.

    Gingrich as always looked good and again acted as a cheerleader for all Republican candidates. It looks to me like he is running for vice President more than President. Perry looked like an empty suit again. Bachman scored some points when she attacked Cain's 9, 9, 9 plan, as did Sanatorium as well. Paul also scored a few points against Cain after Cain had praised former Fed Chief Greenspan and Paul pointed out that Greenspan was a disaster. As for as Huntsman goes, one has to wonder what he is even doing there because he attacked Romney for Romney's pledge not to cut defense spending.

    All in all, it looks to me like the race at this point is Romney's to win or lose, especially with his big Christie's endorsement yesterday and with the big money donors looking like they are going to settle on supporting Romney.

    • 11bravo

      Yo; "I think Cain would make a fine Cabinet level Secretary, but he is woefully unqualified to be President, especially when it comes to foreign policy."
      And the guy currently in the white house has how much FP experience?
      Just like 999 most economic and foreign affairs problems are quite simple to solve as long as you do not care if your re-elected because someones sacred cow always has to be slaughtered. The problems of the world and at home take courage and strong leadership.
      Guys like Newt and Romney waaaaay over-think stuff.

  • Willie Green

    Enter text right here!If you visit Herman Cain's website, you'll note that 9-9-9 is only Phase I of his tax "reform" proposal.

    Phase II is the abysmal "Fair Tax" — abolish the IRS, personal and corporate income taxes — and slap a highly regressive 30% National Sales Tax on all goods and services including consumer necessities of food, clothing, housing, medicines and medical care. The only exemption to this tax are goods and services purchased by the business community.

    "Fair Tax" advocates (such as former Lester Maddox speechwriter, Neil Boortz) claim that this system is "fair" because they'll issue every man, woman and child in our nation a monthly, cradle-to-grave tax "prebate" check to cope with the onerous taxation of necessities. Yet wealthy investors are free to compound their wealth in a totally tax-free environment.

    No thanks, Herman.

    Go back to peddling your soggy cardboard pizza.

    America doesn't need your tax "reform" scam.

    • 11bravo

      Willie so harsh; hatin on my man Cain!!!

      I consider paying no taxes (poor people) unfair and regressive.

      • Willie Green

        The extreme and highly polished economic policies pursued by Cain and the southern "libertarian" GOP/Tea Party can all be philosophically traced to Jim Crow era "Right to Work" plantation economics.

        The end result is economic segregation not dissimilar to Banana Republic Plutocracies. And the disappearance of the American Middle Class.

        • thetruth

          Having a consumption based tax that would allocate more money to savings accounts thus resulting in more lending to small businesses would result in the disappearance of the American middle class?

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, we may just as well sit at home and consider
    why with three hundred million Americans we have a few people with some
    talent seeking high office. With the alure of a rusty pipe the candidates move
    me to prepare not for another round of Obama but another round of political
    elites using the American population as herd cattle, shearing and culling us
    at their will. ……………..But,……….there is something about Herman Cain, when
    he does not have some subject matter at hand, when he thinks about it I like
    his answer, he is a man that gets things done and does what he does well.
    I will stick my neck out and say I think Herman Cain is and honest man and
    capable of leading and he is willing to listen to good advice and make the
    most of it…………….at this point ……………Cain/Bachman—-Bachman/Cain.
    William

  • johnnywoods

    Hey guys, I am going to vote for a REAL Black Man, one Herman Cain as opposed to the "mongrel" we have now. Anybody but Obummer!

  • Stan Lee

    I like Herman Cain, but I doubt if his 9-9-9 plan would ever get through the Congress, let alone pass inspection by American voters if they would only take the time to examine Mr. Cain's proposal.
    I don't see the tax payers paying a 9% consumption tax in addition to other local, state, and federal taxes.
    Yes, it would be a good idea if every earner, large or small earnings, paid a federal tax, thereby "having skin in the game," a popular saying by Joe Biden who had no idea how to fairly implement it when he used the terminology.
    The country cannot continue to afford 43% of the workers paying no federal income tax at all. It also cannot continue to afford corporations like GE paying no federal tax. I mention GE as an example of Obama favoring friends, but there are probably more. That, in addition to cutting excessive spending, economizing where we can, would be better than the 9-9-9. Not a catchy slogan, but more practical.
    And, freeing up businesses and industries (energy!) by canceling the excessive regulations that hinder business and industry would lead to creation of jobs.

  • BS77

    I like Herman Cain….this guy is a blast of fresh air . He seems totally unlike most "politicians" and seeks to turn America's industrial might loose, as it once was… US.steel, farming, manufacturing, big business, building, renovated railways……He is totally against the current libtard socialist agenda…..I think Herman Cain would make a terrific president….

    • BS77

      did I say something wrong???

  • Oleg

    I find Herman Cain very much appealing personality wise but I think that his 9-9-9 policy sounds catchy but stinks when you look at the details. When you consider that most states already have a sales tax you could end up with a combined sales tax rate of 19% in some cases, the problem with the U.S economy is not enough people are spending or can afford to spend how is having European style consumption tax rates going to help with that? There may be an arguement about abolishing the income tax and replacing it with a consumption tax (although a fairly incoherent one about how this is an improvement) but this 9-9-9 plan doesn't do that. 9-9-9 tinkers with the income tax rates and then saddles the economy with a new tax, big mistake. The arguement is frequently made that it encourages savings or investment, but if you are paying an extra 9% on groceries, usually the #1 or #2 expense for most people, how much are you going to have left to invest? On top of that you would need to establish an entire new bureaucracy to collect and enforce this new tax.

  • Oleg

    Meanwhile it is estimated that there is the equivailent of a $500 billion dollar hidden tax imposed on the U.S economy as a result of needless government regulation and it's associated compliance costs imposed by the EPA, the Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, etc, even the Department of the Interior. Slash the regulations and slash the workforce that enforces them, maybe even close down some agencies outright, and that will give a boost to the economy without even touching the tax system.
    This isn't to say that the tax system shouldn't be reformed, more accurately symplified so you don't need 100s of 1000s of employees to enforce a complex and convoluted tax code, but that is pretty far down the list of things that need to be fixed. But you don't fix the system by handing the government another vacuum cleaner hose to suck money out of everyone's wallets. Quite frankly the 9-9-9 plan has a snowballs chance in you know where of ever coming to fruition, even those in favor suggest that the rates be set by a constitutional amendment. I think such an effort would be better spend persuing a constitutional amendment limiting the growth of government which is the root problem of most of the other problems.

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  • thetruth

    The price of production should fall if the 9-9-9 plan ever comes to be. There are numerous taxes associated with any product produced and sent to the market today. I don't have the time of day, to list the many that is located within the 67,000 pages of the U.S tax code, but in theory reducing this code to three tenants of taxation should bring the price of goods down, thus offseting the 9% sales tax.

  • johnnywoods

    Hey Mac, I think you would be surprised at the way Cain`s Plan will work. We can`t get anything done now because the "chicken little" Republicans have no guts and even less imagination. You might check out the book "The Fair Tax" by John Linder and Neal Boortz..

  • 11bravo

    but in theory reducing this code to three tenants of taxation should bring the price of goods down, thus offseting the 9% sales tax. "

    I agree totally; this is something never mentioned by Cain, hopefully he will.
    As for the poor get over it! I was poor too for about 10 yrs until I worked my way out of it like most other people. Most people do not make under 40k their entire career!

  • MassajMahRhaad

    They have already begun marketing the "Uncle Tom" card and blacks are lapping it up. It won't matter if Cain is nominated, republicans will STILL be labeled as racists.