Herman Cain on Budget & Economy
Republican Businessman & Talk-Show Host; 2011 GOP frontrunner
The American people, the Tea Party people, we know that this nation is broke. Not almost broke, it is broke. And Washington is broken. We can't spend our way to prosperity. We also can't tax our way out of debt. Not until we get this economy growing.
CAIN: The first thing we do is restore faith in business by providing certainty so businesses can grow. A lot of the volatility is being driven by uncertainty. Businesses are uncertain about what the health care rules are going to be, they don't know what the tax rules are going to be. All of the uncertainty has this economy stagnated. So, the way you restore that, grow this economy. That's job one.
Q: When the economy was going great there was no trust.
CAIN: You've got to provide certainty in this environment so businesses will grow. We have got to repeal Dodd/Frank. There's three big things wrong with Dodd/Frank, which is why it needs to be a top priority to repeal. Number one, it doesn't provide oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And we all agree that that was a catalyst for the meltdown in 2008. The two other biggest problems with Dodd/Frank, Dodd and Frank.
CAIN: Yes, I do stil say that. I still stand by my statement, and here's why. They might be frustrated with Wall Street and the bankers, but they're directing their anger at the wrong place. Wall Street didn't put in failed economic policies. Wall Street didn't spend a trillion dollars that didn't do any good. Wall Street isn't going around the country trying to sell another $450 billion. They ought to be over in front of the White House taking out their frustration. So I do stand by them.
PAUL: I think Mr. Cain has blamed the victims. There's a lot of people that are victims of this business cycle. We can't blame the victims.
CAIN: What do the protestors want from bankers on Wall Street, to write them a check? Get to the source of the problem, is all I'm saying.
CAIN: Two things: Present a bold plan to grow this economy. It starts with throwing out the current tax code and putting in the 9-9-9 plan. Secondly, get serious about bringing down the national debt. The only way we're going to do that is the first year that I'm president and I oversee a fiscal year budget, make sure that revenues equals spending. If we stop adding to the national debt, we can bring it down. So the answer is, we must grow this economy with a bold solution, which is why I've proposed 9-9-9 and at same time get serious about not creating annual deficits, so we can bring the national debt. That will re-establish confidence in our system, and I believe we could get our credit rating back.
PERRY: I've signed six balanced budgets as the governor of Texas. Working with folks on both sides of the aisle and--and bringing ideas, whether it's ways to redo your tax structure or what have you.
ROMNEY: You don't want to bail out anybody. The idea of trying to bail out an institution to protect its shareholders--that's a terrible idea.
Q: [to Cain]: Back in 2008, you wrote that the Wall Street bailout was a win-win for the taxpayer. You just heard Gov. Romney. Do you agree?
CAIN: Conceptually, I made that statement based upon the concept, but I happen to agree with Gov. Romney. The way it was administered is where it got off track. They were discretionary in which institutions they were going to save, rather than apply it equitably, which is what most of us thought was going to be done. The implementation of it is where they got off track. I didn't agree with it. I don't think Governor Romney agreed with it, so did a lot of us. The implementation was at fault.
CAIN: Yes, it should be audited. And, secondly, I believe that its focus needs to be narrowed. I don't believe in ending the Fed; I believe in fixing the Fed. For many, many decades, the Fed did its job when it was singularly focused on sound money. Now, because of some of the actions of the current Fed, we don't know what the value of the dollar is going to be.
CAIN: This economy is on life support. we need a bold solution, not one that tinkers around the edges, not one that allows politicians to continue to pick winners and losers. I believe we throw out the entire tax code and put in my 9-9-9 plan. A 9% business flat tax, a 9% personal income tax and a 9% national sales tax. Now I've been told by some people, well, you can't get that done. I say why? Well, because you don't know how Washington works. Yes, I do. It doesn't. The American people are ready to do something bold. We need a bold solution in order to get this economy growing at the maximum rate. I agree with many of the others up here who say, you get the government out of the way. American entrepreneurship, American businesses, they will create the jobs if we provide some certainty.
CAIN: This is why I proposed my 9-9-9 plan. The government needs to get out of the business of picking winners and losers. The government needs to get out of the business of trying to figure out who gets a tax break here, who gets a tax break there. When you go to 9-9-9, it levels the playing field for all businesses. What a novel idea. And the government won't be in the business of trying to determine who's going to be able to make more money and pay no taxes and vice versa. Secondly, this recession is the worst recession since the Great Depression. If the recovery that this administration claims would just tie for last place, we would have another 6 million jobs. The president simply does not understand that the business sector is the engine for economic growth
That's code for more spending and debt, which have not worked. The Republicans should block proposals for more spending and debt.
Now, President Obama wants to address a joint session of Congress to discuss his plan for jobs. If his Labor Secretary has given us a clue from her statement, then we will not hear anything new--just more spending proposals repackaged in different rhetoric.
This is because, after a long list of failed programs, excessive federal spending, unpopular legislation, regulatory abuse and now zero job growth, there are not enough rabbits to mitigate all of the uncertainties generated by this administration.
A: I think we just heard from Standard & Poor's. When they dropped our credit rating, what they sai is, we don't have an ability to repay our debt. I was proved right in my position: We should not have raised the debt ceiling. And instead, we should have cut government spending.
Q: Mr. Cain, do you agree with that?
CAIN: I did not agree with raisin the debt ceiling, because the solution that they came up with does not solve the problem, as Rep. Bachmann talks about. The way to deal with it is pay those things that need to be paid and then make the tough choices of cutting the other things, agency by agency, program by program, based upon performance metrics. We didn't need to raise the debt ceiling, but there was an easy way out, and the problem still has not been solved. And Standard & Poor's has sent a message.
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