Thursday, September 22, 2011
Q&A With Herman Cain: He's All About Solutions
Q&A With Herman Cain: He's All About Solutions
by Jedediah Bila 09/22/2011
I recently had the opportunity to interview 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain. Here’s what he had to say about Social Security, his plan to revive the economy, ObamaCare, energy independence, and more.
You’re not a conventional politician. You’re a businessman. Do you think a candidate needs to have political experience to inspire confidence, or is America ready for a businessman to sit in the Oval Office?
America is ready for a businessman to sit in the Oval Office because the American people are ready for a problem-solver. If you produce results, as my record has shown, that’s all you need to show. A message of results is resonating with the American people.
Social Security was a hot topic in the Sept. 12 CNN debate. How do you plan to simultaneously protect seniors and young workers?
My proposed solution, which is the same approach used by the Galveston County, Tex., employees since 1981, is very similar to a 401k, except you have to wean people off the current system. Current seniors will not be affected. Younger workers will have the option to continue to put a portion of their Social Security contribution into the current system so we can take care of the seniors that are there. Younger workers will be able to take an increasing portion of their contribution into an individual retirement account. Seniors would have nothing to worry about.
In the Sept. 12 debate, you said, “This economy is on life support.” How will your 9-9-9 plan revive it? And how will you reply to the Left’s class-warfare-driven call for “shared sacrifice” that is sure to come your way?
The 9-9-9 plan would resuscitate this economy because it replaces the outdated tax code that allows politicians to pick winners and losers, and to provide favors in the form of tax breaks, special exemptions and loopholes. It simplifies the code dramatically: 9% business flat tax, 9% personal flat tax, 9% sales tax.
The way to connect with voters on the plan is to simply give the facts. Fifty per cent of taxpayers pay 97 per cent of the taxes. By most people’s standards, that’s already fair. The President is playing the class warfare card because he knows that a lot of people may never hear that particular fact. But it’s a fact.
You have been an outspoken voice against ObamaCare. Once ObamaCare is repealed, do you have a patient-centered, pro-free market plan to address health care reform?
Once ObamaCare is fully repealed, I support using HR 3400 as a starting point, and we should enhance it with additional patient-centered market reforms. HR 3400 was introduced in July 2009, but people didn’t hear a lot about it. I happen to believe that’s a great starting point for replacing ObamaCare.
In the Sept. 12 debate, you stressed the need for America to become energy-independent, particularly with regard to “an EPA that’s gone wild.” What specific steps would put us on a path toward energy independence?
We need responsible regulations, not regulations that have gone wild. For example, the EPA has a rule that is going to be implemented Jan. 1, 2012, where they’re going to begin to regulate dust. That’s right, dust. It’s called PM 2.5. That is focusing on the wrong thing.
I would put together a regulatory reduction commission, and its mission would be to identify responsible regulations that we ought to keep, identify irresponsible regulations that are not based on science, and suggest changes in the system that would allow energy providers to get the necessary permitting faster and more efficiently.
I also support expanding domestic drilling, as well as the free market deciding which forms of alternative energy consumers will use.
Rasmussen recently reported that only 17% of likely voters say the country is heading in the right direction. On Aug. 30, Gallup reported that “President Barack Obama’s job approval rating averaged 40% last week, tying his record-low 40% ratings for the two prior weeks that started on Aug. 8.” What do you say to those who insist that President Obama is a shoo-in for reelection?
I say to those who say that Obama is a shoo-in for reelection that they are clueless. That 17% [of people who say the country is heading in the right direction] is clueless. Those that think he’s doing a good job are clueless, especially those who are sitting at home without a job. The political heads believe he’s going to win it based on the lack of knowledge of a portion of the electorate.
On the other hand, I believe that we can overcome that. If we can get conservatives to the polls to vote for our conservative candidates, and we get independents and moderates to come over to the conservative side, we can still win.
A recent Gallup poll revealed that you hold the second-highest positive intensity score among 2012 GOP contenders. What do you attribute that to?
I attribute that to having a message that is resonating. My message of common-sense solutions: making sure we’re working on the right problems, surrounding myself with the right people, and putting together the best plans to solve the problems and not kicking the can down the road. That’s what’s resonating.
Finally, we know that Barack Obama captured the hearts of so many young people in 2008 by promising them “hope” and “change.” If you could tell America’s youth in one sentence why they should vote for you for President of the United States, what would you say?
My focus would be economic growth, which would mean jobs for everybody.
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To read more articles about Herman Cain, click here.
Posted by Brett at 10:45 AM