Herman Cain on Corporations
Republican Businessman & Talk-Show Host; 2011 GOP frontrunner
CAIN: Let's start with two things. First, we must grow this economy. We have the biggest economy in the world. And as long as we are stagnant in terms of growth in GDP, we impact the rest of the world. We must do that. But we're not going to be able to do that until we put some fuel in the engine that drives economic growth, which is the business sector. This administration has done nothing but put stuff in the caboose, and it's not moving this economy. #2, we must assure that our currency is sound. Just like a dollar must be dollar when we wake up in the morning, just like 60 minutes is in an hour, a dollar must be a dollar.
Q: So focus on the domestic economy, allow Italy to fail?
CAIN: Focus on the domestic economy or we will fail. There's not a lot that the US can directly do for Italy right now, because they're really way beyond the point of return that we as the US can save them.
CAIN: My advice to them is something I realized when I first became CEO in 1986. If I did not get involved in these issues then the entire free market system would be collapsed. Don't stand back and play it safe. Get involved with the solution. I want to congratulate the Tea Party for putting these talks together and educating people Better informed people will change this country. You are all becoming better involved. The Tea Party movement is real and growing. The Left is calling people racists to scare them away. My advice to CEOs and business people is to get involved and not sit on the sidelines. You can't stop it with expensive lobbyists down the road.
A: Make the tax rates permanent. The business sector is the economic engine. You have the group that's talking about spending. You have the group that's talking about cutting. I represent growth. And it starts with the business sector putting fuel in the engine. In addition to that one thing that you asked me to identify, we must have a maximum tax rate for corporations and individuals of 25%, take the capital gains tax rate to zero, take the tax on repatriated profits to zero, make them permanent, and--and then certainty back into this economy. And I believe we can turn it around.
CAIN: You're only looking at a small piece of it. It is a combination of things that I indicated. If you just pick out one thing and try just to do that, no, that is not comprehensive. I talked about lowering the top corporate and personal tax rays to 25%, also taking capital gains rates to zero as well as suspending taxes on the repatriated profits. And here's the big one, make them permanent. Uncertainty is what is killing this company. Now if a company were to decide that they want to take some of that money and pay a bigger dividend, so what, it is their money. So I'm not concerned about what they will do with that money if it is allowed to come back. I'm more concerned, bring it back so they will have an incentive to make some growth decisions.
Alleviating the burdens of cumbersome regulation would be an immediate boost for our weakened economy. It would signal to businesses and investors that the government intends to maintain conditions that allow for them to thrive, not to bog them down with additional costs they must inevitably pass on to their consumers. No one is arguing for lead-based paint in toys for kids or unsafe food. We just want reasonable regulations that cut down on bureaucracy and help businesses succeed. And ultimately, the free market, aided in part by the watchful eyes of investors and consumers, will regulate itself.
The federal stimulus funds did nothing to stimulate the economy, Cain said. As president, he would reduce the corporate tax rates from 35 to 25 percent, take the capital gains tax to zero and suspend taxes on repatriated foreign profits.
"Lower taxes do stimulate the economy," said Cain. "It's not rewarding the rich. When was the last time a poor person gave you a job?" He also would replace as a second phase the tax code with a national sales tax, describing it "as simple and fair."
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