The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

VIDEO: Brian Williams Announces NBC Poll Showing Herman Cain Leading

Posted on | October 13, 2011 | 37 Comments

Wanted to post this one as a record for history:

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Comment? I got no comment. I’m just thinking back to CPAC, when I was introducing my friends in the hotel lobby bar to “the next president of the United States.” And they all thought I was kidding.

Because Everybody Keeps Saying He Can’t Win
And Yet Somehow He Just Keeps on Winning


  • Joe

    The rest of the blogosphere may ignore you, but we know the truth Stacy.  You are like the beat up old handicapper at the track who can spot the champion in a stable full of nags.  You have the eye. 

  • Rick

    I want to like Cain, but he is dangerously wrong about the bank bailouts, the Federal Reserve, and a national sales tax that isn’t dependent upon repealing the national INCOME tax (he wants BOTH, for Pete’s sake! That’s conservative???). Is he better than Romney, Perry, Huntsman, and Gingrich? Absolutely. Is he better than Bachman or Santorum? I’m not so sure.

  • Joe

    Bachmann is not going to win.  Neither is Santorum. 

  • Joe
  • Quartermaster

    Rick, in the final analysis it won’t matter what he campaigns for, what he can get through Congress is all that matters. He may push for it, but that’s all he can promise.

    If the Reps take congress, I think there will be enough TEA types to keep the sales tax from going through. I don’t think we can say that’s a weak reed or not. We’ll just have to wait and see how it shakes out.

    I wish Paul had more on the ball than the others, but Cain and Paul are really the only ones in the race that are not beholden in some way to the hacks that run the GOP. Paul is the guy with the better positions, but won’t be even close in the end.

    I doubt the GOP survives this election intact.

  • Joe

    I agree with Quartermaster below.  999 is just a starting point of discussion.  It is not going to pass through Congress without being read and modified (who do you think Herman Cain is, Barack Obama?). 

    It is a conservative plan, but I agree it needs review and work.  I like the vision of it though. 

  • Joe
  • Anonymous

    Does is matter if he thinks an income and a sales tax coexisting is a good thing?  I agree that Congress is unlikely to pass it, but what does this say about his judgment?

  • Finrod Felagund

    I’ve said this so many times I feel like a broken record.

    9-9-9 is intended as a transition to the FairTax and the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment.

  • Anonymous

    But what are you suggesting is the proper judgment (or policy)? Keeping the existing tax frameworks but lowering rates, wherever politically feasible?

    That’s better than the status-quo, but the existing tax frameworks are products of piecemeal socioeconomic planning under the postwar “progressive” Social Democratic “consensus,” which is no longer sustainable.

    If nothing else, 9-9-9 signals that Cain understands the underlying, deeper problems inherent in those existing frameworks. I’d prefer that he address those problems and perhaps not be in such a hurry to roll out a catchy-sounding plan (or “fix”), but at least it’s a start.    

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, and letting kids eat their dessert first is a great way to get them to eat their vegetables.

    Also, I have a bridge you might be interested in.

  • Anonymous

    If nothing else, 9-9-9 signals that Cain understands the underlying, deeper problems inherent in those existing frameworks.

    Yes, but that hardly makes him unique.  However, he’s proposing something that looks even worse than what we have. 

  • Finrod Felagund

    Take your permanent pessimism and stick it where the sun don’t shine, fool.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Worse than the current system?

    Have you looked at the gawd-awful system we have now?

    A boot to the head would be better.

  • Anonymous

    While it remains at 9-9-9, it might be better than what we have now.  There will be unintended consequences.  A lot of planning has been done based on the current system, dysfunctional as it is.

    But that also assumes that we don’t get 12-12-12, and then 15-15-15 or something.  You might call me pessimistic, but it’s only because I pay attention.

  • Finrod Felagund

    I’ll happily take a new system where in the future there may well be negative consequences over the current system where there are Lots Of Negative Consequences Right Now That Are Horrible.

  • Anonymous

    You must be happy that Obamacare passed, huh?  I hear there’s lots of awesome stuff in there to help out the problems with health care delivery in the US!

  • Andrew Patrick

    The notion that 9-9-9 is to be rejected based on what later Congresses would do afterwards strikes me as spurious. Such would be true of any piece of legislation.

  • Anonymous

    It hardly makes Cain unique? What other candidates are signaling that they TRULY understand the deeper problems with Social Democracy? Certainly not Romney or Perry, right?

    Possibly Gingrich, yet he’s also demagogued these issues (e.g., accusing Perry of “social engineering” for calling SS a ponzi scheme).

    Sorry, Bachmann’s heart is in the right place, but I’m not convinced her thinking goes beyond superficial.

    Santorum? Maybe he’s undergone a quiet transition during the last 3-4 years, from a “pro-business” conservative to a more Hayekian direction – that’s what happened to me. If so, perhaps he’ll let us in on his conversion?

    Ron Paul arrives at SOME of the right conclusions, but via the wrong assumptions, principles, modes of analysis.

    Am I missing someone?

    Also, you never explained what you believe is the right approach to tax policy . . .   

  • ThePaganTemple

    The best way to deal with the tax system is a constitutional amendment that would make a progressive tax unconstitutional. Everybody pays the same flat rate, regardless of income. The only variation should be in business and corporate taxes which should never be more, but can be substantially less, than the rate for individual income. It can even be eliminated altogether if there should ever come a time when that would be feasible and practical.

    Moreover, make it possible where a person who is in business for themselves but who files his taxes as an individual can take advantage of the lower business rate, merely by having an accountant verify through check stubs and/or purchase receipts that he is a private business.

    This would encourage more people to go into business for themselves, and many of them would hire people.

    Finally, do away with the death tax, and substitute capital gains taxes for a 7% sales tax on the sale of stocks.

    Finally, eliminate all deductions, refunds, and loopholes, on business and individuals. Raise minimum wage to 10.94 an hour as a means to encourage support from middle-income and low-wage earners who would no longer be getting refunds. But at the same time, eliminate most regulations, at a target of 70% reduction. Then start gradually reducing and outright eliminating government employees and cabinet department agencies, and some cabinet departments themselves. Let the states do their own regulations, with a bare minimum of federal oversight to discourage bribery of state officials. Otherwise, when there is a problem (like if somebody gets stupid and dumps toxic chemicals in lakes and rivers) let the courts deal with them.

    The business/corporate tax should be 14%/
    The individual tax should be 21%
    No sales tax at all, except for the 7% on sale of stock in place of capital gains.

    I call it my 7-14-21 Plan.

    And yeah, it is kind of based on Numerology, so eat me, Althouse.

  • Anonymous

    Perry comes from a state with no personal or corporate income taxes, so I suspect he sees the dysfunction of the Federal system, and has some ideas about how things could be better.

    Cain and Perry are the only two that I’ve heard make much noise about the regulatory state, if we’d like to expand the discussion beyond the tax code.

    But in proposing 9-9-9, I think Cain is probably making the system worse, so even if he understands today’s problems, he’s creating a new system of problems.  Jumping at a novel sounding idea is hardly a conservative virtue.  Proposing novel ideas is a great discussion starter, but a serious Presidential Campaign is not the same as a bull session.

    I’m not sure what the ideal system is, but I think we could do without all corporate income taxes, capital gains taxes and payroll taxes.  I’d probably like to see a more simple flat tax.  I like the idea of a Chilean SS system.  Hopefully Cain would be more successful implementing that than Bush was when he tried to reform SS.

    However, you probably have to cut spending before you enact any of this.  We learned the hard way how starving the beast works.

  • Anonymous

    matt, I share some of your reservations about 9-9-9, but logically the first step is admitting (being aware) that we have a problem, right?

    I agree, we need to talk about the regulatory state. Guys like Romney and Perry complain about particular regulations, but are quite comfortable with corporate welfare. They believe that it’s the government’s job to incentivize economic development. 

    As you know, the regulatory state is intertwined with the tax systems. Federal, state, and local governments use both tax breaks and regulatory relaxation, often in tandem, as “carrots” in an effort to incentive economic development (a form of picking winners). Likewise, they use the regulatory stick not only to “protect the public interest,” but also as a tool for pounding down economic “losers.”

    Unfortunately, the government is terrible at picking winners and losers. Cain appears to understand that, but I’m not so sure that Perry or Romney do. 

    Btw, to what extent is Perry responsible for the tax policies in Texas?

  • Anonymous

    I’m inclined to go all-in on the 7-14-21 plan because it reminds me of football scores and I’m a college football junkie.

  • ThePaganTemple

    Haha you’re right I never thought of that.

  • Anonymous

    “but the existing tax frameworks are products of piecemeal socioeconomic planning ”

    There in lies the problem. The sole purpose of taxation and tax policy is to raise sufficient revenue to finance the proper tasks of government. It doesn’t matter what the details of our tax regime are.  As soon as it becomes permissible to use/abuse tax policy to implement social policy or distort the market, what ever grand scheme for fairness or simplicity that’s been adopted will be corrupted.

  • Adjoran

    When you throw off repealing the 16th Amendment as just another step in the process, you should probably be careful who you call a fool.

  • Adjoran

    Misstate the critique, then refute it?  Nope.

    The problem is that Cain’s proposal DEPENDS upon future Congresses and Administrations to behave as he expects.

    Predicting behaviors which have never been observed in nature is radical and requires proof.

  • Adjoran

    The R word:  revenue.  999 doesn’t raise as much as we have already, and we are already at a deficit so large it threatens our future prosperity.

    So all you 999 backers are cool with adding at least $200 billion per year to the deficit, until and unless the promised “boom” kicks in?

    Or have you just not thought it through that far yet?

  • rosalie

    I’m a skeptic.  How can Cain be leading if we’re all racists?

  • ThePaganTemple

    @ScaryMatt there is no law that states all numbers have to stay the same. If they change it, why couldn’t it be 10-11-12?

  • Andrew Patrick

    It’s great that I didn’t do that then.

    Keeping tax rates to a sane level requires the constant vigilance of we who don’t want our pockets picked. If we repealed the 16th Amendment tomorrow, we’d have to fight against the moonbats pushing to reinstate it the day after.

    The Dems have managed to make the entire Constitution say something other than what it says. Should we have avoided passing that?

  • David R. Graham

    Pop culture, so-called, for long has propagandized that the black man is superior to all, is white people’s savior and benevolent, all-wise, really cool ruler.  Americans yearn for that notion to be true.  They want to experience the black man, deeply.  For “the black man” to be their deus ex machina.  To take care of them.  To satisfy them, fill and gratify their yearning.  So pop culture, so-called, long inculcates in the minds of white people.

  • Anonymous

    @TPT, I’d prefer 3-14-15.  Sadly, though it’s a better number, 27-18-28 is right out..

  • ThePaganTemple

    They want to experience the black man, deeply.

    That’s what she said.

  • Finrod Felagund

    If you go 0-0-30 then you’re almost all the way to the FairTax.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Practice your non sequiturs much?

    Hey, can I just ascribe to you the motivations of the Nazis and end this thread here?  I just pulled that out of the air, just like you did.

  • Anonymous

    @Finrod:disqus , sorry for not connecting all of the dots in the analogy.  Obamacare is simply more obviously bad.  You’re just too focused on the current problems to see what new problems are going to be created.  And maybe you’re relying on the assurances of a politician too much.