If you read the Drudge Report, then you’ll become convinced very quickly the Herman Cain is going to be the Republican nominee. He’s surging in the polls, and the latest general election matchup shows him beating President Obama. Now, I would like to say with certainty that Herman Cain will not be the Republican nominee. In previous election cycles, when the world made a little more sense, I actually could say that with certainty. But with the Tea Party frothing at the mouth, anything goes.
The fact that anybody is taking this man seriously is a sure sign that our electoral process is collapsing around our ears. Understand that this is a man with absolutely no governmental experience at all, which seems to be a resume enhancement to the Tea Party. The problem with having absolutely no governmental experience is that when you’re in government, you have to deal with governmental things. That includes more than implementing single-digit flat taxes.
Herman Cain, at one point, was asked about the Palestinian right of return. He made it very clear very quickly that he had no idea what the Pali-whojiwatsit right of refund was.
Now, granted, not everybody needs to understand the intricacies of the Middle East peace process. But a potential presidential candidate does, and I’m not convinced that Herman Cain even knows where the Middle East is.
I grant that there is much about Herman Cain that is attractive and appealing. First of all, his name is Herman, which is really cool in a retro kind of way. Then there’s the fact that he’s charismatic; he’s no-nonsense, and, yes, he’s African-American. All those who think the Tea Party is racist can’t explain why it’s the Tea Party that is bolstering this clearly-unqualified man’s candidacy. In the abstract, it should be heartening to people of goodwill of any ideological stripe to consider the possibility that our general election candidates might both be black. It shows just how far we’ve come as a nation in terms of ignoring race as anything but a cosmetic factor. But, unfortunately, the devil is in the details. A qualified black Republican would be a great thing. That’s not Herman Cain, who only proves that African-Americans can be loony Republicans, too.
Consider his signature issue: the “9-9-9” tax plan.
To begin with, it doesn’t have a holy chance in Hades of ever even being considered by the United States Congress. And, in the absurdly unlikely event that it does come up for a vote, Democrats will filibuster the living snot out of it; Republicans won’t want to touch it, and it will die a miserable and well-deserved death.
The poison pill in the thing is the 9% national sales tax.
Currently, almost every state in the nation relies on a sales tax as its primary source of revenue generation. Having the feds come in and slap an additional 9% on everything will make the cost of goods and services for the average American whole lot more expensive than they’re willing to pay, so state governments will see pressure to see them slash taxes and revenues in ways that they will not be able to afford, particularly during this economic downturn.
Remember, 48% of All-Americans don’t pay any income taxes at all. The 9% income tax that Cain is proposing will supposedly replace the payroll tax, so Mr. Kane claims that’s a tax cut for those currently paying about 14% in payroll taxes. The problem is that, currently, half of that is born by employers, so it’s only the self-employed will see that as a tax cut. Slap a 9% sales tax on top of a new 9% income tax, and you’re going to see a massive revolt among the people who currently think it’s only the so- called Rich’s responsibility to pay for government.
Dont misunderstand. Tax cuts are always nice, and slashing the corporate tax would go along way toward creating scads of new jobs, but this is not a tax cut for the vast majority of Americans; it is, rather, a colossal, regressive tax increase for the middle class, and no matter how much the Tea Party loves it, the American electorate is not going to stand for it.
So, to sum up: Herman Cain is impractical, inexperienced, and ignorant.
That makes him the perfect Tea Party candidate.
Heaven help us all.