The Candidates: Herman Cain

The next big thing in the Republican contest is former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain.  Despite rising popularity in the polls many are skeptical of his chances in the long run.  Sarah Palin even called him the “flavor of the week.”  Well maybe more like flavor of the month, but for probably the first and last time I actually agree her.  Despite his likable personality there really isn’t enough substance to get Cain anywhere.

Sure he was the Fed Chairman in Kansas City, but he has no political experience besides a failed run at the Senate.  Being President is nothing like being CEO, no matter how often GOP candidates try and run on that angle.  It’s a political position with a job description of  leading your political party and setting the legislative agenda.  The president works out compromises instead of issuing top down directives to Congress.

The crux of Cain’s campaign is his 9-9-9 plan to revamp the tax system.  There are a few particulars to it’s implementation, but basically it boils down to abolishing the IRS and establishing a national sales tax, aka the “fair tax” or “consumption tax”.   Cain himself has described this as revenue neutral meaning that the U.S. would collect the same amount of taxes, but what it translates to is a radical tax cut for the rich and a perilous tax increase for the poor.  Many Republicans have come to support a “fair tax”, but there is nothing fair about it.  As I have already covered it is true that the rich pay a large majority of the taxes in this country, but this is because they are so much wealthier than the rest of the country.

Beyond the 9-9-9 plan Cain offers nothing but broad generalities and no specifics.  If you take a look at his campaign website you need not be surprised by the lack of substance.  After all, this man has no expertise outside of business.  To me it sounds like generic Tea Party red-meat.

  • National Security:  They hate us for our freedom, so we must be strong and good to our troops.
  • Spending:  It’s out of control and it’s all the liberal’s fault.  The answer is to gut entire agencies and entitlement programs.
  • Immigration:  Change absolutely nothing.  Secure our borders, enforce immigration laws and keep the path to citizenship the same.
  • Energy:  If we drill in Alaska suddenly we will have enough oil for everyone!
  • Economy:  Lower taxes and end regulation.  Big surprise.  Oh, and destroy unions.
  • Health Care:  Repeal Obamacare and emphasize HSA’s.
  • Entitlements:  “It is time to admit the mistakes, and get the federal government out of the way. This will allow states, cities, churches, charities and businesses to offer a helping hand instead of a handout where they live.”  Seriously.  Government can’t take care of you, but hopefully businesses will find it in their hearts to do so.
  • Regulation:  Cue rant about Wall St. reform, ignore history and call for massive deregulation.
  • Education:  Destroy teacher’s unions, make education more local and offer school vouchers.
  • Faith & Family:  If you don’t believe in God our freedom will disappear.

Although Herman Cain has made some headway in the polls recently, this is more indicative of the fall of Rick Perry, than the rise of Cain.  He is a complete unknown and has no real chance of gaining traction in the primaries.  Depending on the poll Cain is now tied with Romney or in second place, but as a candidate he is completely out-classed.

Winning the nomination requires more than a month of poll support.  Politics is ever increasingly about money and Cain is lagging behind in fundraising.  The Republican elite will only support a candidate that has a chance against Obama and at the end of the day that candidate is going to be either Romney or Perry.  Herman Cain can enjoy his few months of fame and maybe translate that into a position at Fox News, but he does not have even a fraction of the policy or political experience necessary to become President.