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About last night’s debate

About last night’s debate

The more I see Rick Perry in action the more I like him, but the more I get the feeling that he’s not up to the task of defeating Romney, much less Obama.  I’m not writing him off, at all, but he has to play a long game.  It may not be fair, but running for president is not like anything else; he has to be the messenger not just have a message.

Cain was disappointing.  Alan Greenspan?!?!

Michelle Bachmann had the best answer of the night, focusing on Chris Dodd and Barney Frank as the cause of the housing crisis.

Newt was good, but didn’t get a lot of air time.

Time to thin the herd and drop Huntsman from the next debate, he’s reduced to one-line jokes.

Remember, not a single vote has been cast.  But unless some of the not-Romney’s drop out, I don’t see a path for any of them at the moment as the not vote gets diluted.


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I am not sure that I agree with the “not up to the task” argument. Mitt may be on top of the polls right now, but the anti-Mitt vote is still much higher than the pro-Mitt vote. Once pretenders begin to drop out of the race, the anti-Mitt candidate (Perry, Cain, Bachmann) will rise in the polls.

Ditto against Obama.

Brian O’Connor

I have to disagree with you on Perry. He demonstrates the same weakness as Obama; the inability to think and formulate prompt and articulate responses while on his feet. That ability, I think, is necessary on the international stage.

Sound ideas are essential, but they must be effectively communicated.

    retire05 in reply to Marv. | October 12, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    You must think that with the exit of Obama, foreign policy will now be televised on C-Span, and not within the confines of the White House.

    What Perry has, that Obama doesn’t, is spine. When it came time for Humberto Leal to be executed, Perry caught flack from both the U.S. Justice Department and the Mexican Counsel. He told both to them to pound sand and the excution of that subhuman was carried out.

    I remember when Fred Thompson got in the race. The media did one hit piece after another on Thompson, labeling his slow, dimwitted, not up to the job. You had to do some digging to learn that it was Thompson who was chief advisor to John Roberts during Roberts SCOTUS confirmation hearings.

    It bothers me that people seem to want long, convoluted answers to our economy. The answer is simple; get the government out of the way and let small and large business owners create jobs. Econ 101. It is just that basic.

    But hey, you go ahead and support the captain of the debate team.

      GrumpyOne in reply to retire05. | October 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      Under Texas law, the governor is powerless to commute a death sentence. He can convene the Parole & Pardons Board but historically they seldom change a legal sentence…

    GrumpyOne in reply to Marv. | October 12, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Perry is toast (I hope). As a Texas resident, I’ve seen him in action first hand and the words RINO, slick operator and tool of the road construction lobby apply.

    He is clearly not polished, (to his handlers chagrin), near enough to be presidential material.

    His record regarding illegal immigration is dismal as he failed to provide the leadership to get legislation punishing sanctuary cities, to mandate E-Verify etc.

    The GOP has much better to offer…

    Kerrvillian in reply to Marv. | October 12, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Exactly why I think Perry needs to concede this race. Try to get Hutchison’s seat in the Senate or go into private life.

    The rest of the “not Romneys” are having a tough time excelling by enough points to knock the former Taxachusetts governor out.

    It’s a pity but it’s the truth.

      retire05 in reply to Kerrvillian. | October 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

      No, no, no Ted Cruz needs to replace KBH. And Dewhurst and Strauss need to be primaried in the next election and replaced by legitimate conservatives, not RINOs beholding to H.E. Butt, Jr. and his campaign donations.

I am confused why people are reacting to Alan Greenspan like he’s the plague. Did I miss a memo or are people just wanting to paint him with an Obama brush? I’m not necessairly a fan, but I think throwing him under the same bus as Bernanke or Geithner is the kind of trademark lunacy I’d expect from Ron Paul.

True he majorly failed at seeing the subprime issue, but he had already predicted a housing bubble collapse, that TARP would fail, and pretty much telegraphed every reduction in interest rates so as not to rankle the markets — and successfully I might add.

Ron Paul had quite an interlude with Mr. Greenspan on several occasions. I found transcripts of one in which Greenspan hardly seems a disaster:

Perhaps Paul was ticked that Greenspan opposed his attempt to audit the Fed:

They seemed to be in agreement here:

Bachmann was good. But — is this heresy? if so, why? — although Gingrich mostly was by-passed in this debate (perhaps because he so comfortably smacks down the press), it seems to me that he is the only person in these debates who doesn’t usually respond with vague generalities and who consistently sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

    utroukx in reply to janitor. | October 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    this is why he needs to stay in the race as long as possible. huntsman and santorum need to drop out. but despite not having a realistic chance of getting the nomination, at least gingrich brings something to the debate. huntsman is forgettable and santorum just sounds whiny.

Cain’s 9-9-9 plan won’t hold up. 9% of income is easy to figure. As with the current tax structure, the sticky issue becomes what is considered income. I think Cain has peaked. He received much of the spotlight last night, but that could mean several things.

Perry didn’t stumble, so he’s still poised. It’s actually a plus that he knows when to play his hand and when to sit out.

Bachmann was spot on with the Dodd-Frank issue.

The hope I have is that the final candidate will synthesize the best ideas and arguments from the others and will be better equipped to send Obama packing.

    janitor in reply to windbag. | October 12, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I’m going to work for Cain here in Florida. There are political reasons to do so, perhaps the biggest one being Romney, as well as Cain exemplifying the character and solid American values I want to support. But I can’t shake the feeling that in overlooking Gingrich, we might be overlooking the person who could best smack down Obama, and this is nagging at my mind.

      JayDick in reply to janitor. | October 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      I agree with your assessment. Newt has a lot of negatives, mostly his personal history, but he’s the smartest guy around by far. He would make mincemeat of Obama in a debate.

    Owen J in reply to windbag. | October 13, 2011 at 1:34 am

    The 9% national sales tax is a horrid idea. The plan may sound cute — to people who have little sense.

    Cain’s 9-9-9 plan will work. As Dennis Miller says, when the tax collector comes to your home for “his” money, tell him, “Nein, Nein, Nein.”

The more I see Rick Perry in action the more I like him,….


    GrumpyOne in reply to Liberty. | October 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    “The more that I see Rick Perry in action, the more I like him.”

    Come on down and spend some time with ordinary Texans… The only reason that Perry is still governor is that he had no real opposition.

    Most have grown wary of gov “goodhair”…

      damocles in reply to GrumpyOne. | October 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm

      Hey Grumpyone,
      I’m a regular Texan, I voted for Perry 3 times for Governor. I will vote for him for the GOP nomination too. You don’t speak for all Texans. He may have his flaws, but if you keep on repeating the talking points of the Austin Unamerican Demagogue (the Austin American Statesman ,to you), we’ll know you really are a Democrat.

Wonder how the large field of GOP candidates were doing exactly four years ago today?

The RealClearPolitics average on October 12, 2007, was as follows:

Rudy Giuliani — 30.2 percent

Fred Thompson — 19.2 percent

John McCain — 13.0 percent

Mitt Romney– 11.2 percent

Mike Huckabee — 6.2 percent

Ron Paul — 2.2 percent

What, if anything, can this teach us about the state of play today? Three possibilities:

1) It is still early and given a large field of candidates, today’s positions are basically meaningless and polls should be ignored.

2) Given that some 55 percent of Republicans four years ago cast their straws for one of several candidates perceived as “moderate” or “establishment” — Giuliani, McCain and Romney — either Republican voters are not as ideologically conservative as some conservatives maintain, or they have become measurably more conservative in four years.

3) Since McCain wound up with the nomination — indeed, became the clear frontrunner by early 2008, although he had to beat back a spirited challenge from Huckabee — it cannot be said that a candidate polling 13 percent in October must be out of it. On the other hand, it may underscore the contention that Romney’s seeming to hit a “ceiling” at 30 percent is misleading and Romney has plenty of room to grow and pull in a majority of GOP voters.
Giuliani Thompson McCain Romney Huckabee
30.2 19.5 13.0 11.2 6.2 2.2

    VetHusbandFather in reply to JEBurke. | October 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    either Republican voters are not as ideologically conservative as some conservatives maintain, or they have become measurably more conservative in four years.

    I think that voters fluctuate based on who is currently in charge and how they are doing. In 2007, President Bush was unpopular, even among many Republicans, so they were voting more moderately. Now in 2011 Republicans have shifted back to the right in opposition to Obama’s policies. Ideologically I think most Republicans sit somewhere in the middle between establishment/moderate and conservative.

Cowboy Curtis | October 12, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Most of the republican electorate won’t be paying attention for another two months. Only us political junkies are watching this stuff. Romney and Perry have the money and organization, Cain has neither. As the actual primary dates approach, its going to tell. Cain will be this year’s Teh Fred. (This from someone who really liked Teh Fred)

Can’t decide what’s aggravating me more. The end of daylight savings, the candidates’ performance last night… or the OWS mob… that will be expanding their ‘occupation’ into my neighborhood in Queens tomorrow. That’s right, MoveOn is organizing an ‘occupation’ of my train station at Bayside, a well-to-do community of Korean and Chinese immigrants who commute daily to Manhattan and are guilty of earning over $200k.

workingclass artist | October 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Why should Rick Perry compete for attention with 7 other candidates in these debates.There re too many people on the stage. He did what he wanted to do.

Monday he rattled Romney with a great ad. Tuesday the news reports Romney’s Romneycare staff basically hired by Obama to implement Obmacare. Romney counters with rino Christie…a Gov. who placed a moratorium on frakking in NJ because the earth is warming.

Yesterday before the debates Perry previews phase 1 of his economic plan to be released later this week in an article in the Union Leader. The emphasis is on energy, jobs and the oppressive EPA and liberals who kill jobs to save minnows.

In the debate Perry kept saying energy…energy…energy is the fastest way to jumpstart the american economy. Rick Santorum says the EPA is killing jobs in his home state Pennsylvania. A Coal & Gas state.

This morning the capital of Pennsylvania declares bankruptcy.

Who will Pennsylvanians vote for? They will vote for jobs.

After the debate Perry went over to the Beta House and did what he does best…connect directly with voters.
Redstate posted videos that have hit the web.

This is why Texans keep electing Rick Perry. Texans hate debates and speeches that last longer than 10 minutes…We want straight answers that make sense and we want results. It helps if we like the guy too. Mostly we ignore what the big media says an rely on the locals.Mostly Perry has been dealing with a hostile liberal press for decades & I say this as a native Texan who has followed his career since he womped Hightower. His campaigns are a hoot and legends in cowboy politics.

link to the videos of the Beta House gig with Rick Perry just being Rick Perry. It’s in 2 parts with a short speech and Q & A.

“Not to be, ah, pawkish about this or anything: but as you can see, the difference between Perry’s performance at debates, and his ability to interact with a room, is palpable…” – Moe Lane

Judge for yourself. But this & his record is how he wins elections. He has never lost a race.

Most of these people are still in the race vying for cabinet positions or the VP slot. They will stay in as long as they can, i.e the money runs out. It’s too early to decide on one candiate but I will say that none of them impress me.

Romney is a big government man. He will veto any repeal of obamacare. He will veto any effort to downsize government. He’s an ecco nut who believes in global warming and will join the UN in this farce of taxing us to death. He will veto any effort to drill in Anwar or off the coasts. Who knows what he really stands for though since he has changed his stance so many times. Just another cheap politician who tells everybody what they want to hear.

Perry is the better bet but does not have experience in foreign policy. OTOH, could he do worse than the present occupant of the WH. The media is completely overlooking the job situation in Texas just like they ignored all the accomplishments that Palin did in Alaska and are covering ad nauseum all the little things that don’t realy matter because they have nothing to do with the presidency. That said, I don’t think he is up to the job. He too is a career plitician.

Cain has no experience in politics. Some will say that is a good thing but it is not. Why in the world would we elect a guy who has never held iny public office? Of course, the present occupant has held office but done nothing but vote present or voted for all kinds of abortion and not much else. A real opportunist.

The rest of them need to bow out. They are a distraction and have no chance of winning. Although I would go with Newt, I don’t think the general public would vote for him. I have never understood why Bachmann thought she had any chance at all.

We had a wonderful candidate in Palin and I don’t intend to commit myself to anyone else just yet.

    Cowboy Curtis in reply to BarbaraS. | October 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    In what regard did Palin have more foreign policy experience than Perry?

    Do you have a quote on Romney wanting to veto any repeal of Obamacare?

workingclass artist | October 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm

The only polls that matter to Perry are the voting polls.
He will fight Romney in every state for every vote for every delegate. He will travel to every county in the country to speak with and listen to voters.
Voters like him when they meet him because they can feel in their gut that he digs voters & that is something you can’t fake or learn…it’s natural and effective.

All Rick Perry has to do is remind Americans that we know how to fix our problems using conservative principles and remind them that Texas hasn’t forgotten how to do it & what works in Texas can work everywhere without being a onesize fits all idea.

Perry promised he’ll work everyday to make Washington DC as inconsequential to the lives of Americans as he can. He means it. Pennsylvania might choose energy..NJ under Gov. Christie might choose to sink and go the way of California but Perry will move DC & The EPA out of the way so each state can decide their economic destiny their way. He did it in the RGA when he encouraged governors to compete with him on job attraction…He’ll do it for the country.
That’s why Gov.Scott of Florida said he wakes up every morning asking himself what he can do to bring more jobs to Florida then Perry brings to Texas. It’s healthy and down here we call it leadership.

workingclass artist | October 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm


“Perry is the better bet but does not have experience in foreign policy”

Texas has lead the nation in exports for 9 years in a row. Gov.Perry has a relationship with Israel dating to his days as an AG Commissioner in the 90’s & plenty of experience on a lot of levels dealing with Mexico. Gov.Perry has been on trade missions overseas and to China.
He has as much foreign policy experience as a long serving border state governor would have with an emphasis on trade for the state of Texas.

John Bolton is advising Perry on foreign policy. Perry will choose a smart team.

workingclass artist | October 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm


The problem with Newt (aside from his bi-polar politics) is that his own party booted him out as speaker and the present speaker led that brigade.

So it’s not gonna happen but I think he’ll have influence on the platform which may be the point.

McCain was a typical GOP establishment POTUS candidate–old white guy, lots of time in grade, lots of going along to get along. It was his turn. Those of us that are conservatives (as opposed to Republicans) were not in the least excited about voting for him. Just another old, tired RINO. Some of us did vote for him, because The One was such an obvious disaster in the making, many of us just stayed home. I doubt one vote in 20 for McCain actually was “for” McCain.

As far as your list is concerned, Guilani probably never had a chance west of the Hudson (New Yorkers don’t play well in fly over land) and ran a poor primary campaign. Thompson self destructed. Leaving McCain as the last guy standing. IMO, the 2008 election was a throw away for the GOP–they were going to lose with a near certainty. The fact that McCain only lost by seven points was a testament to Obama’s inherent weakness.

Romney, IMO, is this election’s McCain. The white guy, not so old this time, but a reliable RINO with the appropriate silver spoon. I think Obama’s best chance of getting elected is against Romney. Not because Romney is so bad–Daffy Duck would be a huge improvement–but because the Conservatives will be lackadaisical about him.

BTW, I am an old white guy, have nothing against them.

Want to see some real “change”? Herman Cain.

    retire05 in reply to lichau. | October 12, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    OK, so you think Herman Cain will bring real “change.” Based on what? What part of his record gives you any information on how Herman Cain will govern? Are you not basing your opinion on nothing but pure emotion?

    Herman Cain seems to be a very nice man. He is a real success story. But he is an unknown commodity. You, no one, has any idea how he will govern. And that is a risk most people I know are not willing to take after the disaster that has been Obama.

I want Cain to stay for the shear joy of seeing the leftist race memes exploded. I want Gingrich to stay, for the gravitas of his debate answers. His sitting-by-Pelosi beltway nonsense has disqualified him for POTUS, but he handles the media inanity well. Huntsman needs to go.

Is there absolutely NO GOP Governor/former Governor willing to toss their hat into the ring, even at this late date? Like a North Dakota Governor (which has a very low unemployment rate)? If not, then cull Huntsman (especially if Johnson is not allowed in) and let the primary race begin in earnest.

It is at times like these I am grateful to be a Democrat. I don’t have to worry about the choice during the GOP primary AND I can begin focusing on Operation Counterweight, now, so I am ready to go come election season 2012.

Lichau: Have you seen Cain’s response on the Iranian assassination plot/

and that he didn’t realize there was a housing bubble in 2005?

Cain really stumbled badly on both. He has a lot of holes, foreign policy being one, but the housing crisis he should have known about. Economics is supposed to be his forte. Not good.

I’m hoping for a Cain/Bachmann or a Cain/Santorum ticket.

I would settle for aany combination of these three people.

I won’t be voting for Newt or Romney, period.

I have not made up my mind on Perry but he has been WAY oversold up to this point…

I voted for the Constitution Party last time around and if my option is another RINO I’ll do the same this time around.

The Fed chairmen for the last 40 years are Burns, Miller, Volcker, Greenspan, and Bernanke. Who would you choose as the best? No one who knows any monetary history would choose Burns or Miller. I would choose Volcker, but he may look good because he did one big thing right and then left before he had time to screw up. If Greenspan had served only until 2000, he would be considered one of the greats, and it was in the time before 2000 that Cain was connected to the Federal Reserve.

By the way, Cain’s position with the Federal Reserve is only one of several impressive things on his resume. His opponents try to downplay that résumé by trying to pigeonhole him as only a pizza executive, but none of them have résumés that are more impressive than his.

workingclass artist | October 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm


Cain got spanked pretty bad on NBC this morning over 2 articles he wrote saying there was nothing wrong with the economy and that liberals were being dramatic. One before the housing meltdown and the other days before Lehman Bros. meltdown.

Cain resorted to saying that he’s not perfect but he’ll have smart people around him in the WH.

Blows his economic expertise angle…yeah

He’ll be back on the book tour after the media stops reading his own words back to him.

workingclass artist | October 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Interesting results from evolving strategies.

“Most Americans outside of the media and politics have little idea who Romney is, let alone Perry or Cain. The only way to get a real sense of how each candidate might play in a general election is to introduce respondents to the candidates.

What makes our survey unique and uniquely informative is the fact that we had our respondents watch a video clip of President Obama speaking about the economy, followed by a video clip of either Romney, Perry, or Cain speaking about the economy during the last Fox debate (they also read a short, 125-150 word bio). See the bios and video clip treatments here.

” * Despite several bad debate performances by Perry in September, when respondents watched a clip of Perry he actually gained more support than any of the other candidates and beat Obama by 6-points, 42-36.

* Now Romney had a slightly higher margin – he beat Obama by 7-points 40-33, but he did it with less support. He got less support than Perry, but so did Obama, and there were more people who were uncertain about him, which doesn’t come as a surprise — there’s clearly been a lot of dissatisfaction with Romney as the establishment candidate.

* Finally, the candidate we’re all most interested in — Herman Cain. The question is can he win the Republican primary? And can he win the general election?

* Well, he can certainly win the Republican primary. Across all treatments, when asked to choose among the eight GOP candidates, Cain won handily with 28% of the vote, followed by Romney at 19% and Perry at 12%.

* When it comes to a general election, Cain barely edged out Obama 35-34, but he moved from 5-points down in the control group with the generic Republican to 1-point up. And this jump came entirely out of Obama’s margin of the vote. It’s clear a lot of uncertainty remains in the general population about Cain – for starters he doesn’t “look like” the stereotypical GOP candidate. And he certainly doesn’t have the typical political background. But despite all that, people seem willing to give him a look – and when they get a look at him, he’s running even with Obama. What will be interesting to see is whether all those uncertain votes become more certain about Herman Cain when they get to see more of him.

Bottom Line: Herman Cain can win the general — people have an open mind about him — but he needs to close the sale with those uncertain swing voters.”

Just saw a poll — a bit odd in the method (and not letting me post the link here) — where they asked respondants about the candidates after they read a 120-word bio (source unspecified) and some video.

This seems a tad suspicious to me but the polling firm said they resorted to it because at this point only political junkies and people in the few states with early caucuses have much familiarity with the field (which is quite true).

The results they got were interesting (if only in that they match my personal observations). First, Perry, Romney, and Cain all beat Obama head-to-head, by a signifcant amount.

Second, Perry was the strongest is the sense that he gained the most when people learned more about him. Romney was weak in that people were willing to support him, but they did not especially like him and his support was shallow.

(I read this as a “he’ll do” vote based on “electability”. Basically I think Romney gets picked not because he’s popular or people agree with his positions, but they think other people think he’s popular, hence electable.)

Cain intrigued people and they were willing to give him a look, but they were also unsure about him and his positions. The bottom line for him is that he has raised some interest but he has a long way to go to close the sale.

If this poll has any merit at all (debateable) it means the following:

Perry is seen as the best qualified and a leader people can respect. His support will grow as real voters become more acquainted with him.

Romney is attractive mainly becasue he has name reconition and people are under the impression he is “popular” but they are not inspired by him, nor to they know what he really stands for. As this veneer wears off and people figure out that they aren’t the only ones who think “well, I guess he’d do”, his numbers will decline and could do so swiftly.

Cain will generate some more excitement, but his lack of political acumen and inexperience will begin to tell and people will be reluctant to place a lot of faith in him, although they’ll like him personally and admire his story. But as thngs progress, the story will get stale and he doesn’t have enough relevant accomplishments behind it to close the deal.

So the likely path is Cain peaks and fades when the race truly becomes national; Romney stays about where he is until he goes off a cliff; Perry climbs slowly and unevenly until he pushes Romney off the cliff.

That assumes Perry has the stomach to tough things out. That seems likely. If not, Romney wins by default.

The wildcard is Palin’s endorsement, assuming she makes one (I can’t see her not making one.) I also expect for her to wait until after the NH primary, and probably after Iowa (or whoever’s second). That’s when her endorsement would have the most impact, and I suspect she knows that.

So it will be an interesting few months (as much as it will drive the junkies nuts).

Professor, I agree with you.
I think Perry is the only candidate left who has a legitimate shot at beating Romney and Obama. The problem is no one has done a real evaluation of Romney.
The chattering class is all agog over Romney’s debate performances but the guy has made deflection and obfuscation an art form. He rarely directly answers a question. He gets away with it because Cain is cut from the same cloth (yes folks, Cain is a technocrat and tries the same techniques) and Bachmann comes off as a shrill demagogue. The rest of the candidates are mostly ‘has-beens’, ‘wannabees’, and ‘never will bes’.
Romney also gets away with it because the media has set the bar too high. As long as the media decides Romney doesn’t make a mistake, he wins debates. Therefore, the only way anyone beats Romney is to take the proverbial ‘kill shot’ and succeed. Good luck with that when deflection and obfuscation are treated as presidential. Seven years ago, it was called ‘nuanced’.
Unfortunately for Romney, he remains stuck in the polls. He is also running neck and neck with ‘undecided’. This tells me the GOP base/voter is not sold on Romney. If his debate performances are as boffo as the media tells us, then why is Romney stuck in the polls?
The American people are on to Romney and believe he is truly inauthentic. I think all this chatter about Romney beating Obama in a debate and an election is premature. The GOP will only win if they run a candidate who can contrast himself from Obama. Romney can not contrast himself from Obama. If Romney wins the GOP nomination, he will join such GOP luminaries as Charles Evans Hughes, Alf Landon, Wendell Willkie, Tom Dewey, Bob Dole, and John McCain. A Romney presidency will destroy the Tea Party and any gains made by the Tea Party. Perhaps, that is why certain folks insist on backing Romney.

The wild card in all of this is Sarah Palin. Her endorsement will be key. She brings a lot of energy and new faces to the process. If she endorses Perry, Romney is cooked. If she was hated before that endorsement, I imagine that hate will turn white-hot when Romney fails. I expect her to endorse before the Iowa Caucus.

Godfather of Supply-Side Economics Supports Cain’s ‘9-9-9’ Plan

“Famed supply-side economist Art Laffer​ told HUMAN EVENTS that Cain’s “9-9-9” plan was a pro-growth plan that would create the proper conditions for America’s economy to grow and thrive again.

“Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would be a vast improvement over the current tax system and a boon to the U.S. economy,” Laffer told HUMAN EVENTS in a statement. “The goal of supply-side tax reform is always a broadening of the tax base and lowering of marginal tax rates.”

Added Laffer: “Mr. Cain’s plan is simple, transparent, neutral with respect to capital and labor, and savings and consumption, and also greatly decreases the hidden costs of tax compliance. There is no doubt that economic growth would surge upon implementation of 9-9-9.”

Laffer also said that “such a system provides the least avenues to avoid paying taxes, yet also maintains the strongest incentives for work effort, production, and investment.”

    retire05 in reply to Viator. | October 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

    The money phrase here is “would be a vast improvement over the current tax system.”

    The problem is that the Congress would have to totally abolish the current tax system, and Laffer knows there is as much chance of that as a snowball has in hell. In order for Cain’s 9-9-9 plan to work, states would have to abolish their sales tax systems, which is currently their own secure source of revenue, be willing to collect the 9% federal sales tax at the local level, return it to the federal coffers with the hope they will get it back. As it is now, state sales tax is collected on a local level and distributed by the state. Sales tax collected in Missouri does not go to bail out New York. The states will never do that.

    Also, federal sales tax creates a whole new stream of revenue that could be tinkered with as the Congress continues to spend more and not cut its own budget. There would be no way to stop the Congress from raising the 9% to 12% if they wanted to do so. The president doesn’t set tax rates, Congress does, and I for one am not willing to put that kind of power into the hands of a future Congress full of Democrats who never met a tax they did not love (and yes, eventually, Congress will be a D majority again).

    Cain’s plan, assuming he could even get it passed, runs the risk of there being a 15-19% sales tax on goods and services. Research the VAT tax in Europe. Started out small, now it’s a leviathan.

    And who would it hurt the most? In states where there is no sales tax on groceries and medications, it would reduce the buying power of seniors and low income families by 9% for the two items that take the biggest chunk out of their monthly budgets. Prebates are just another convoluted system that would be confusing.

    I would support a flat tax. You make $XXX, you pay 10%. No deductions for the children you chose to have, no deductions for your mortgage interest, no deductions for medical expenses. If you make $25K/yr, your tax bill is $2,500. End of story. One page: list your income, your tax is 10%. High income earners would still pay the majority of taxes. Progressive taxation was one primary tenent of the Communist Manifesto.

    Cain’s Fair Tax is basically the plan designed by Dennis Prager with a few twists. But the problem is it is not workable. And Cain has yet to hire an economist to his campaign team to really evaluate his 9-9-9 plan.

workingclass artist | October 13, 2011 at 8:55 am


Cain’s 999 plan leads to a VAT. and Cain has showed he doesn’t really understand the legislative process or how this relates to the executive. He thinks like an autocrat.

Cain also didn’t know what the Palestinian “Right of Return” is during the UN petition. Once he found out what it was he was all for it as long as the Israeli Govt. supervises it’s demographic extinction by Jordanians? Where has this man been for 30 odd years? (My estimate for when “right of return” was hijacked by the tribal politics folks allover the world)

Square that circle.

Cain agreed with Harry Reid and admonished Speaker Boehner to fund FEMA now and find the money later.

Herman Cain is a political disaster….sheeesh!

We need a seasoned political veteran executive who knows what battles to fight, knows how to spend political capital,has the courage to do it & can rally support within a constituency. We need conservative leadership to right this ship and make America economically strong so we can be strong in foreign policy.

Newt had those qualities but his own party booted him in a coup led by Boehner.

Gov. Perry has those qualities and it is only in this last election that republicans have gained a majority in both houses. In Texas conservatives and bluedogs try to keep the liberals at bay & with more and more of them moving here from liberal states as economic refugees it will be a factor in the next 10 years. Still Texans will fight tooth and nail to avoid becoming California & because of that many liberals retire to New Mexico to muck that state up.

    This is a back-of-the-envelop hack at Cain’s 999 Plan. I assume he means what he says about no deductions and I would welcome other’s take on this:

    Let’s say you are a married couple living in California with a house-hold annual income (per W2) of about $100K. You own a modest home you bought in 2002, have a fixed 30-yr 1st mortage and 2 kids.

    Given those conditions, you will have deductions of about $40K (probably a bit more): mortagage interest, property taxes, state and local income taxes, and personal exemptions for you, your spouse and your two kids. So your taxible income will be a little less than $60k.

    For that amount, in 2010, you would have paid close to $8000 in Federal income tax.

    Under Cain’s plan, you would pay $9,000 in federal income PLUS 9% sales tax of whatever you buy. This could easily be another $2000 to $3000, so your total federal tax just went from $8000 to $12,000!

    How is this a good thing? A 50% tax increase on a middle-class family?

    So either Cain’s 999 plan is much more complex than this, or he’s ignorant of many people’s reality, or he’s really dumb.

    Looking at the tax code, I find it hard to identify a demographic who’s taxes would actually go down under this plan, except maybe singles who make 6-figures, have no kids, and rent their homes.

    While the tax code can certainly be vastly improved, unless I’m missing something fundamental, Cain’s 999 plan would be nothing more than a huge tax hike for most people, especially for working families.

    Is this really what the Tea Party wants?

      workingclass artist in reply to Owen J. | October 14, 2011 at 7:34 am


      The problem with Cain’s 999 plan is it is based on a European Model. Countries in Europe (Italy) initiated a national sales tax that escalated quickly. Then the EU added on the VAT.

      Cain’s plan adds both at once and states will balk.

      Another revenue stream for an increasingly oppressive distant Centralized Federal Government.

      It also makes it almost impossible to follow the money.

        I know — that’s part of my problem with it. The VAT in the UK has been a huge mess and is heavily gamed. Also some of the “praise” I’ve seen for it is really praise: Ryan said it was bold thinking — which it is — but he didn’t say it was a good idea.

        But my real question is: are there details for the 999 plan that are more than talking points?

        If there are, someone needs to put up a website to show people what their total federal taxes will be under the 999 plan so they can compare them to what they pay now.

        I’d be happy to do this myself if reliable details were available.

workingclass artist | October 13, 2011 at 9:18 am


Most people completely underestimated the Beltway GOP resistance to Perry’s candidacy.

It’s because Perry means business and will shrink the federal govt. as much as he can within the executive. He’ll consolidate where he can…trim the fat,nuke the ones he hates like the dept. of Education & return agencies to states. It will all be according to law and will save money and stifle federal overeach.

Gov. Perry balanced the state budget by refusing to let the legislature dip anymore into the state reserve fund called the “rainy day fund”…He cut the budget instead telling municipalities to prepare and adapt. School districts laid off a bunch of teachers and are now suing but they will lose as some urban school districts in Texas are notorious for wasting money & fraud DISD. By doing this S&P upgraded the state rating citing Perry. Sales Tax revenues are back to 2008 levels and the rainy day fund will be back up to $7 billion by 2013.

It will take leadership and backbone to trim the fat and do it wisely. Even when he was a bluedog Perry was a budget pitbull & democrats in Texas call him Paul Ryan on steroids.

Executive Departments

* Department of Agriculture (USDA)
* Department of Commerce (DOC)
* Department of Defense (DOD)
* Department of Education (ED)
* Department of Energy (DOE)
* Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
* Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
* Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
* Department of Justice (DOJ)
* Department of Labor (DOL)
* Department of State (DOS)
* Department of the Interior (DOI)
* Department of the Treasury
* Department of Transportation (DOT)
* Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
* Administrative Conference of the United States
* Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
* African Development Foundation
* AMTRAK (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)

* Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
* Commission on Civil Rights
* Commodity Futures Trading Commission
* Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
* Corporation for National and Community Service
* Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia

* Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
* Director of National Intelligence

* Election Assistance Commission
* Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
* Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
* Export-Import Bank of the United States

* Farm Credit Administration
* Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
* Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
* Federal Election Commission (FEC)
* Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
* Federal Housing Finance Board
* Federal Labor Relations Authority
* Federal Maritime Commission
* Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
* Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
* Federal Reserve System
* Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
* Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

* General Services Administration (GSA)

* Institute of Museum and Library Services
* Inter-American Foundation
* International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB)

* Merit Systems Protection Board
* Millennium Challenge Corporation

* National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
* National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
* National Capital Planning Commission
* National Council on Disability
* National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
* National Endowment for the Arts
* National Endowment for the Humanities
* National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
* National Mediation Board
* National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK)
* National Science Foundation (NSF)
* National Transportation Safety Board
* Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

* Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
* Office of Compliance
* Office of Government Ethics
* Office of Personnel Management
* Office of Special Counsel
* Office of the Director of National Intelligence
* Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive
* Overseas Private Investment Corporation

* Panama Canal Commission
* Peace Corps
* Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
* Postal Regulatory Commission

* Railroad Retirement Board

* Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
* Selective Service System
* Small Business Administration (SBA)
* Social Security Administration (SSA)

* Tennessee Valley Authority
* U.S. Trade and Development Agency
* United States Agency for International Development
* United States International Trade Commission
* United States Postal Service (USPS)

Boards,commissions etc.

Federal advisory committees.

Quasi official agencies

    Thank you for your eloquent postings for Governor Perry. He is an exceptionally nice gentleman.He and Anita took the lone SEALS’ survivor into their home where he lived for months and Anita made sure he got the best medical and psychological treatment she could. Texas treats its veterans best of any state. Governor Perry always calls the family when a Texas serviceman/woman dies. Governor also called his opponent in last election to say “no hard feelings”. How we need a man of his stature and character to restore America.
    Governor Perry’s appeal is more than regional. Examples:
    40 Maryland GOP Legislators and Leaders Endorse Rick Perry for President

    Governor Perry has the plan to restore America.What outsiders don’t seem to know is that Texas is self-sufficient. Texas could become a sovereign republic because its “rainy day” fund is gold. Look at the Federal inventory below as of March 2010 and wonder where 3/4 of the gold in Ft. Knox went. Why isn’t the Congress grilling Geithner on the disappearance of Ft. Knox gold?

    $190 billion dollars worth of gold was inventoried at Fort Knox as being gone according to the 2010 March inventory.
    “…Perusing the latest Federal Reserve Flow of Funds Report (PDF) released last month, tipster J.B. in Maryland noted something odd:

    Page 24 line 14 reports sales of $190 billion of gold (6,000 tons, roughly), about three-fourths of our alleged domestic holdings. This occurred in the Third Quarter of 2009, over 6 months ago. This was very quietly done, as one might expect…”
    Line 14, in the section entitled “Net acquisition of financial assets” specifies a $-190.9 billion figure related to gold and similar investment commodities…”

    So the state institutions started buying actual gold and storing it. When Obama’s economic jihad is finished, Texas will still be intact and able to survive. Our Governor Perry is very wise.

workingclass artist, I think we are missing a couple of things here: first, the media (WaPo in particular) started doing hit pieces on Rick Perry weeks before he even threw his hat in the ring. Then came the “rock” story with the NYSlimes continuing all last week to publish artices that reeked “Perry is a racist”, even going so far as to point out that in the area where Perry grew up, sling shots were called “n***er shooters”, 100 YEARS AGO.

I think we’re missing the regional aspect of this primary. Romney is an “acceptable” Northerner. Perry is a Southerner. And while people in the South are more than willing to nominate a northerner who is qualified, the north has always seems more reluctant to nominate a southerner. I have seen too many comments by people would like to stick it in the eye of the Democrats by nominating a black man. IMHO, if you vote, based on race either way, its racist (voting for someone just because they are white is just as racist as voting for a guy just because he is black).

The northern press is portraying Perry as Bush, II, when nothing is farther from the truth. Their governing styles are totally different. Perry is also being portrayed as a dumb hick, a cowboy, which is the same tactic the northern press used on both Reagan and Bush, II. What most people didn’t know about Bush, II is that while he did not give good speeches, he suffered somewhat from stage fright, but get him in a crowd of people where he was talking to them individually, he was brilliant. Bill O’Reilly once interviewed President Bush and said he was surprised how smart, and informed, G.W. really was and that he was nothing like he had been portrayed in the unfriendly media.

I am not surprised that Christie endorsed Romney. Birds of a feather. And yesterday, Jeb Bush gave a shout out for Romney. No surprise there, either. The Bushes are not going to come out for Perry.

@workingclass artist

I think the Beltway/GOP Establishment crowd underestimated the resistance to Romney. They tried to get Christie to jump in the race, not because they feared Perry but they did not trust Romney. The same crowd preferred Mitch Daniels and had no problem with Haley Barbour. They are doing everything to give the appearance that all is well when it is not. I don’t know how you can look at the polls in light of ‘being presidential’ and see a non-politician either ahead or nipping at your heels and feel good about your campaign. There are still a lot of undecideds.
To me, Romney is very condescending during the debates. He does not treat his fellow candidates as equals. He believes he is the smartest man on the stage and lacks any sense of humility. He believes he is entitled to the presidency. Over 70% of the GOP/conservative voters must have a similar opinion because they aren’t buying what Romney is selling. Georgette Mosbacher’s victory dance is a bit premature.

I had my doubts about Perry but find myself warming to him. He is raising a ton of money which means a lot of folks are buying into him. I wish some on our side would not give up on Perry or demand instant turn-around. There is a lot of ball yet to be played. I think Cain and Bachmann are side-shows and show horses. They look good and say presumably the right things but their accomplishments are meager. Romney needs them to stay in the race. The media will promote an anti-Romney only to eventually tear them down. Romney can only win the nomination with a plurality (just like McCain in 2008).


I think you are right about the Bushes. Jeb will not endorse Romney at this time and probably would love not to endorse Romney. He would rather be above it all. Some of the stuff the media is using against Perry is dispicable. Of course, they have no interest in examining Obama’s past. So much for a free press ……

    retire05 in reply to spartan. | October 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    spartan, I fully expect Jeb Bush to toss the coin to Romney. He is just waiting to do that in case Cain’s current popularity continues. Meanwhile, the press, and Romney continue to beat up on Perry. That should give everyone cause to ask why?

    If you are in the #1 slot, as Cain and Romney seem to be switching, why do you go after the guy in the #3 slot and not the one that poses the biggest threat to your position on the totem pole? It’s kinda like Romney going after Santorum. Waste of time and effort since Santorum poses no threat. Yet, Romney continues to try to beat up on Perry with a complicit media at his disposal doing the same.

    I also have stopped watching Fox as I get sickened by the talking heads who keep trying to convince me that Romney really has it in the bag. I will judge for myself who I want, not Fox. Charles Krauthammer is especially grievous with his all Romney, all the time mantra. But then, Krauthammer determined that Perry was just another hillbilly (like Reagan and Bush II were called) and will push the East Coast liberal.

    I live in fly-over country. And I don’t want some elitist who thinks that their failing state is the way my state should go by federal fiat.

      spartan in reply to retire05. | October 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm


      Really great points. Why are the pundits liberal and conservative (presumably) fixated on the person in 3rd/4th place?
      It could be because they know Perry can raise a ton of cash (17Million this quarter). They also know that Cain and Bachmann have very little in campaign infrastructure. I have it on very good authority a lady who was hired by Cain to run his campaign in Louisiana did not get paid for a quite a while. I am not sure if she is still working for Cain. Perhaps, Cain subscribes to the HuffPost business model where everyone works for free. Thus, neither are a long term threat to Romney. Let’s not forget, as I understand it, the GOP primaries are not winner-take-all.

      As I see it, only Perry is a threat to the status quo. Cain and Bachmann will not/have not addressed how to deal with spending cuts or entitlement reforms. Instead, Bachmann proposes Reagan tax cuts and Cain proposes his 9-9-9 plan. They are perfect foils/dupes for the statists.
      Cain’s idea will lead to a VAT. A VAT is not only regressive but it is inherently corrupt as companies can get their products exempt from the VAT while their competitor’s products cost more. You never see much competition/free enterprise in Europe. Crony capitalism indeed.
      The other problem with 9-9-9 is it will never be permanent. Congress will raise the rates and like the frogs in the pot, one day it will be too late. Cain, like Romney, never sees the consequences of their ideas and assumes all will be well. When consequences do occur, they place the blame on their political opponents and never on their idea. Hmmm, where have I heard that excuse Mr Romney?

      And yes, I am getting to the point where there is little to watch/enjoy on FOX News.

      workingclass artist in reply to retire05. | October 14, 2011 at 7:40 am

      Marco Rubio’s staff pushed up to Florida primary date to help Romney & yeah they used to work for Romney. Romney also had staff pushing up the date in NV.

        “Cesar used to be with Romney’s campaign,” one informed source explained … ”

        I call BS on this. So who’s the source? Why is he not named? How do we know that is isn’t just more of the same BS designed to stir up hate & discontent?

        We don’t, of course.

        People need to stop promulgating every specious (usually fabricated) rumor in an attempt to tear down their opponents. That’s how we elected the current infestation.

        “A source close to Rubio e-mailed us to note that Florida’s primary date is chosen by committee. He emphatically denies that either Cesar Conda or Rubio himself influenced the process.”

        See what I mean?

        Require proof beyond a reasonable doubt – always. The way out of this mess is NOT to start acting like Liberals.

I agree completely with the anti-Cain folks here. He’d try to run the US like a “business”. Worked out great for Arnie, didn’t it?? No gov’t experience. He’d be in over his head faster than Obama. The Alan “The markets will somehow correct themselves” Greenspan comment was rightly whacked by Ron Paul. His 9-9-9 plan is a cruel joke where poor people pay 18%, WORKING people pay 27%, and rich folks like well…. Herman Cain pay 18%. Not a chance in hell of that ever getting 1 Democratic vote in either house. VAT’s do not work in Europe and once people know what 9-9-9 really is, they’ll drop Herm like a bad habit.

    Owen J in reply to jwillmoney. | October 14, 2011 at 3:18 am

    And those percentage are on gross income since Cain has said “no deductions” which would appear to also mean “no exemptions” — I haven’t heard him say otherwise.

    So compared to current rates, that 9% is more like 10-11% plus the 9% sales tax!

    So I agree with you that once voters find out about that, Cain will be in deep deep trouble (as he should be).

    Cain is a nice guy with a nice story, but if this is an example of his thinking — raising working families’ taxes by 50% — he is as foolish and misguided as they come.

    (If Cain wanted taxes to roughly balance for I think a 666 plan might get close. I assume someone has already thought of that…)

workingclass artist | October 14, 2011 at 7:25 am

Gov. Perry is going to unveil phase 1 of his economic plan to create jobs today. he previewed it in an article in the Union Leader before the debate & spoke about energy production during the debate.

Al Gore will have a coniption fit.

This won’t be Obama’s unicorn solyndra approach that is killing jobs in whole regions…This is the return of American Dominance in the energy production market.

The rigs are waiting, the wildcatters are ready & the people are ready to work…