Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Analysis: Cain's 9-9-9 Plan

A couple of you have asked that we provide more detail on Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. With another debate tonight (join us for another play by play), now is a good time to discuss the Hermanator’s plan.

Here’s how the plan works:

● Businesses would pay a flat 9.1% tax on gross income less purchases from other US located businesses, capital investment and net exports.

● Individuals would pay a flat 9.1% tax on income, less charitable deductions.

● A 9.1% national sales tax would be created to make up lost revenue.
Here are the reasons this is a good plan:
● The elimination of deductions ends the incestuous relationship between Big Business and government where Big Business buys politicians who insert deductions into the tax code to allow companies like GE to declare record profits and yet pay $0 in tax.

● This plan ends the economic misallocations caused by the current code because it eliminates the deductions which encourage people to hide their income. It does not give preferences to savings or consumption, capital or labor, or dividends verses income growth. In effect, the government gets out of the business of telling people how to structure their economic lives.

● It reduces the disincentive to work because it lowers payroll taxes. And it boosts the incentive to work, hire and buy new equipment because it lowers the overall tax rates for those activities.

● It encourages spending on American goods and services as only those can be deducted. And it encourages exports.

● This forces everyone to pay taxes, i.e. it broadens the tax base. Right now 47% of the public pays no tax, but gets government benefits. That needs to change to change the incentive these people have to keep demanding bigger government. Making them pay taxes goes a long way toward that.
Here are the arguments against:
This will create a hidden Value Added Tax! Europe uses the VAT because VATs can be raised without people knowing. But this isn’t a VAT. This is a sales tax and would only apply to the sale of new goods or services to end users. In other words, whereas a VAT gets added at each level, a sale tax only gets added once. Moreover, you would see this tax on your receipts -- something you don’t get with a VAT.

This weekend Cain admitted that some people will pay more under his plan. So what? Finding a plan under which no one pays more but revenues remain about the same is an impossibility.

Idiot liberal: “Poor people will pay more!!” Idiot progressive: “The evil rich will pay less!!” A lot of information is being produced to claim this plan shifts the tax burden from the rich to the poor, but that's all fake -- it's based on unreal assumptions about what the rich and poor pay now (like assuming GE actually pays taxes) and it assumes neither rich nor poor will change their behavior in response to the plan. The truth is the 47% of people who currently pay no taxes will pay more. The others (the productive 53%) will pay less. And frankly, that doesn't bother me in the least.

Grover Norquist: “This raises taxes!!” Grover is again equating the elimination of all those deductions with tax hikes. But if we accept Grover’s logic, then we are trapped in the current tax code forever. What a tool.

The plan doesn’t raise enough money! Opponents scored the plan and claim it will only raise $2 trillion, not $2.2 trillion as Cain claims. Frankly, that’s more accurate than anything else proposed by Congress. But more to the point, this is standard static scoring where they just take current spending/ income and apply the new rates. They did not determine whether people would work more once they can keep more of their income (they would) or whether people would spend more once they have more income to spend (they would). (They did the same thing to criticize Reaganomics.) No one knows what this plan would actually bring in, but if the critics are claiming $2 trillion, expect it to do much better in reality.
But there is one more problem with the plan. . . this plan ain’t happenin. Our government is specifically designed to prevent radical ideas from being implemented and this plan is deeply radical. This plan would require a complete change in the way Washington works, and that will upset too many vested interest. For example:
● K Street will lose most of its business with the end of the deductions in the tax code.

● The poverty lobby will lose its cherished progressive tax.

● Most tax attorneys and tax accountants would lose their jobs.

● All the people who currently use deductions (everything from home owners to GE) will try to save their own deductions.

● Businesses will whine about the sales tax hurting their sales.

● Foreign countries will complain about “predatory taxation” designed to steal businesses.
That’s too much opposition for Congress to do something this radical. The Democrats will cling like grim death to the old system, as will many Republicans. Still, this plan tells us a lot about Cain and his goals and it is a worthwhile goal.


P.S. Check out Herman Cain singing about pizza: Not, I'm not kidding

72 comments:

T-Rav said...

Interesting analysis, Andrew. I do have a few questions:

1. What is the exact definition of a Value-Added Tax?

2. Has Grover Norquist ever backed any tax-reform plan? (Yeah, I thought not.)

3. Since this is all about getting people who pay no taxes to pay into the system, this can't fail to get the support of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, am I right?

Okay, one or two of those may not be entirely serious.

TJ said...

Thanks for the analysis, Andrew. This really explains it well and I have forwarded it to my mother-in-law since I wasn't able to give her nearly as good an explanation as you.

Joel Farnham said...

Who knew? Herman made sense of that song? Wow. Kewl.

Are you sure liberals are against this? Cause some Red State people are arguing against this.

CrisD said...

I appreciate the review, Andrew.

My question is: Where do you find the 9.1% (rather than the 9& rates that I read on his site)? I guess you found a more detailed explanation somewhere else.

Tx.

Tennessee Jed said...

Was off-line all yesterday so good to be back :-) thanks for a concise and accurate description. I've long been a fan of the fair tax, and there are many similarities with 999. The real issue, ultimately, is making the good old U.S. of A. a friendly economic environment for people to invest in businesses and create jobs. We have gotten to a place with the socialist/labor party where that is no longer the case.

My installation team has arrived to do the upgrades on the theater so must hop off for now.

T-Rav said...

Heh heh, I heard Cain's singing about pizza a little while ago. Very funny--and whaddya know, he's a pretty good singer (or at least was).

Joel, I've seen those criticisms, and while they may have some merit--I'm not an expert on tax code so I can't say for certain--I think RedState and a lot of other sites are still mad at Cain for stealing Perry's thunder (after Perry basically gave it away), so they feel the need to denigrate him in hopes that that will make their guy surge back up.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yes, the Occupy Wall street crowd will love this so long as we renamed it the "bringing socialism to America tax".

Grover opposes anything that reduces a subsidy or eliminates a deduction. I am not aware of any real reform he's ever offered.

On the VAT... think of a value added tax like a sales taxes at each phase of production. For example, assume I build a box and sell it to you and you paint it and sell it to BoxesPlus who add a bow and sells it to the public.

Under a sales tax, only the final sale to the public gets taxed and it's based on the sales price.

Under a VAT, each step of the way gets taxes. I get taxed for the value of the box at my phase. Then you get taxed for "the value you added" to the box. Then BoxesPlus gets taxed for the value they added.

In theory, a VAT and a sales tax should be about equal, but they aren't. VATs are always higher.

Moreover, a VAT is hidden because the consumer never sees it. As far as they are concerned they get a "tax free" purchase. Which makes it so much easier for governments to hike a VAT because the companies just pass it on and the consumer doesn't know they are being taxed.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome TJ! I'm glad it helps! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Liberals vehemently oppose to this because:

1. "the poor" (i.e. those who have not been paying taxes) will now have to pay taxes.

2. They argue that a sales tax is regressive because "the poor pay a higher percentage of their income under a sales tax." In other words, if you only earn $10, a $1 sales tax hurts more than if you earn $1,000.

3. This will reduce the income tax burden on the rich, which flies right in the face of the spite agenda of the progressives.


The reason some conservatives think liberals like this is exactly what you saw in the last debate -- they argue that adding a sale tax (1) gives the government another source of revenue and (2) will be too easy to raise, like a VAT.

The problem with that however is that it ignores the reduction in rates. They are arguing basically that it's hopeless to do anything because the Democrats will always win so we shouldn't even try or else we'll just end up giving them a new way to tax us and the other rates will remain the same. But that's a philosophy that traps us in the current code, which is highly supporting of big, liberal government.


His opening line in particular made me laugh -- about the tacos and the Kentucky Fried! LOL!

Writer X said...

It still is better than anything I've ever seen proposed by Congress. Herman Cain strikes me as the kind of guy who could make this happen. I understand the opposition and hurdles; I'd like to understand how Cain can/will make this happen.

I've been on the road, traveling. So if he's already begun his explanations, my apologies. Thanks, Andrew!

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Good analysis, and sadly I agree with you that it's extremely unlikely that the plan (or something like it) will be passed.

The one deduction I still cling to (along with my guns and Bible) is the mortgage interest deduction. One of the things that made America the engine of the Twentieth Century was the percentage of homeowners. Anything that gets people to buy their homes instead of renting is a plus. Homeowners tend to be more fiscally and socially responsible than renters, and the families tend to be more stable. The deduction could be tweaked to avoid subsidizing mansions and investment properties, and could have some sort of cap, but I wouldn't want to see it eliminated entirely.

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, The 9.1% was in an article that broke down how the plan raises revenue. Let me see if I can find the link again and get back to you.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Welcome back to e-land! :)

This is similar to the Fair Tax, but not quite. My understanding is that Cain's ultimate goal is to shift us all over to the fair tax plan, but I can't find where he's says that specifically.

I'm not a fan of the Fair Tax because it gets oddly complicated whereas it should be very simple. I prefer a flat tax or a straight sales tax.

I like the 9-9-9 plan, but would ultimately prefer either just a sales tax or just an income tax, but not both an income tax and a sales tax. I think leaving both will be a bad idea in the long run because it will allow politicians to work both back up to high levels and to start reintroducing things like millionaire surcharges and deductions for friends.

But as a correction to the current system, I think the 9-9-9 plan is great, particularly as it eliminates the lobbies who favor the income tax and would greatly reduce opposition to the elimination of the income tax over time -- which would make our economy much more productive.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think the one thing Cain has going for him which I haven't seen in another politician since Reagan (and to a lesser degree Clinton) is an incredible sense of humor. You see that in the video. He is a man who enjoys life and has an incredibly positive disposition. That is a trait that makes it virtually impossible to hit you with mud or make people not like you.

In fact, look at how easily he's been able to laugh off all the nasty attacks on him by moderators (or even his own slip ups).

Do not underestimate the "wow, I just really like him" factor. And that is a direct result of his positive personality.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, You're welcome! He hasn't really explained how he intends to make this happen, but I'm not sure there is more to explain other than saying it will be his will versus Congress.

Interestingly, Paul Ryan has given a nod of approval (though not an endorsement) to this plan, so Cain should be able to win over the Congress. But the Senate will be the real hurdle.

Cain might be able to pull this off, but I do honestly think the odds are against it because our system is designed to stop things like this.

However, if he were to blow Obama out in a Reagan-like landslide, then he may just have the clout to do it -- especially as people are crediting his 9-9-9 plan as the thing that is attracting people.

I guess we'll see?

Also, even if he doesn't get this plan precisely, it tells us the kind of reform he will favor -- flatter tax, fewer deductions, pro-growth.

TJ said...

I believe I heard that Art Laffer likes this plan as well.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, The home deduction would be the hardest to eliminate because so many people rely on it. Keeping it wouldn't bother me. But I don't want another slippery slope where we start keeping dozens of deductions because they encourage good behavior. That just gets us right back to where we are now.

Personally, I'd like to see the income tax gone entirely and just rely on a sales tax. But that's unlikely at the moment.

Would I trade the home deduction to get rates to 9%? Probably. Or at least, we could cap it at a couple thousand dollars.

That's a tough one.

AndrewPrice said...

TJ, That's a great sign. Laffer was really the lead man on Reaganomics. I still remember how much the left ridiculed the Laffer curve and how it turned out to be absolutely true.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Andrew
I like the 9 9 9 idea.
Varying taxes based upon percentages is a weasel. Taxes should be just that, a tax based upon an amount that each pays. If a flat percentage is applied to all that is equality.
If you want or need more after taxes then do what is needed to make more.That is what the wealthy do, they make their life's priorities such as to maximize their income.
The national sales tax concept is a no brainer. Every one spends money, some more than others because they can which results in some paying more taxes than others.

StanH said...

This is marketing genius. As we all know by now Herman Cain knows how to market a product, and is someone who understands the link between the bottom-line and sales. He and will increase his team as business dictates, or in this case as his poll numbers rise. As far as getting his “999” tax policy through, if he can bring the public along with him ala Reagan with a hostile congress, you never know. By the same token we must also look at the long game here, it took decades to get this screwed up, I would imagine it will take several election cycles to fix. So maybe Herman doesn’t get it through in his first term but his second, with super majorities in the house and senate. Regardless it’s all very cool that Herman Cain is on the rise.

I’m with Jed, I like the “Fair Tax” as well.

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, I can't find the article I was looking at yesterday, but here's a link to an NPR story which mentions it: LINK (it's about 5 paragraphs into the article).

Larry Kudlow sort of mentions it in passing (near the end of the article here) LINK.

AndrewPrice said...

Tom, I agree. I think the argument that we should have a progressive tax structure is morally corrupt. We should not be punishing people for their success, nor do the successful owe anything more than others. They already pay more because we get more from their higher incomes and larger purchases. To argue that we should heap an even larger percentage on top of that is simply immoral. It is targeting people because we think they have have too much. We don't have that right.

DUQ said...

Thanks for the analysis Andrew! Commentarama can always be counted on to cut through the bull! :D

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I agree that the mortgage interest deduction could be a slippery slope. I would hate to see that happen. I'm in favor of retaining it, in some form, on philosophical grounds more than fiscal grounds. A cap on the deduction would help to keep people from going back to playing the game of musical houses. But keeping it in some form would encourage that "pride in ownership" that builds better neighborhoods and stronger local involvement in government. But as you said, it's a tough one. I like seeing the freedom of mobility so dear to Americans, but there's a point where mobility is too much like wandering gypsies with no ties to the land or the community.

patti said...

we must bring those who pay no taxes into the tax-paying fold. it's fair, and aren't libbies about being fair?

across the board these folks don't balk at sales-tax, so why not this tax program?

wait, i think you already answered that.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Agreed. Cain is a marketing genius here. He has created an issue that is so easy to grasp and so easy to remember that it's starting to dominate the debate.

On him getting it through, the system is against him, but he might have the clout if he wins by a large enough percentage and he gets more Tea Party people and Republicans in the Senate.

But leaving that aside, you are correct that we need to look at the long game here. Cain strikes me as a guy who will find the best way to make this happen even if it takes 6-8 years or even another President to follow his term.

I think flattening the income tax and eliminating deductions, and getting more people paying taxes, goes a long way to eliminating the opposition. And Cain seems to get that. So even if he doesn't get his 9-9-9 plan, I have no doubt he will lay the ground work to getting to something like it eventually.

I honestly haven't felt that we've had a candidate with a genuine vision and an understanding of how to get there since Reagan. Cain is the first one to truly remind me of Reagan.

rlaWTX said...

Even if it is "unpassable", it starts a conversation. And if (when?) he's elected, he can push the agenda toward revision. Will we end up with perfection? Of course not. But something needs to be done, and I'm not hearing anyone else seriously pushing CHANGE, just tweaks. I think the mess has outgrown tweaking.

And is anyone else sick and tired of the word "electable"???? Electability can't be defined until AFTER the election!!!!

rlaWTX said...

(oh, and thanks!!!)

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree entirely. I like the deduction and I think it does good things (though it should be capped to stop people from buying bigger and bigger houses). And I would be happy to keep it and don't have a problem with keeping it.

My concern is just that I don't want people using it to get their foot in the door for other deductions. So we would need to be very clear that this is it.

AndrewPrice said...

patti, I agree. We need to get more people paying taxes because it's too easy right now for too many people to demand more services because they never have to pay for them. That must change.

This plan would change that and would wake a lot of people up (like those idiots squatting on Wall Street) once they started to realize that taxes aren't pleasant.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, You're welcome! :)

I agree. First, I think the odds are against Cain, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

Secondly, as several people said above, don't count out Cain's ability to get something like this through, even if he doesn't get this exactly. This plan, even if it doesn't pass, tells us what we are likely to see from Cain.

Also, as you say, even if it doesn't happen, it has started the conversation. And let me say that in the past, a plan like this would have been considered lunatic fringe and would have just been scoffed at. The fact people are genuinely talking about this tells us that the public really is in the mood for some big, radical change -- and Cain is the only one who isn't talking about tinkering.

And I personal am sick of tinkering. Everyone wants to tinker and all they do is make things more complex and more insane. It's gotten to the point that our tax code is more like a mindfield spread over our economy than it is a tax code. That needs to change.

CrisD said...

Thanks for the links, Andrew.

The NPR article refered to 9.1% but didn't say where they got it (as far as I could tell). Kudlow's article (which I had already read twice yesterday and still missed the 9.1% reference!!!)did say that it was from a study examining whether or not it was a revenue neutral plan or not. I think that is where it came from beacause they said at 9.1% it was revenue neutral.

I wrote to Cain and asked the campaign if 9.1% was what Mr.Cain had in mind. I was watching him on TV and someone at Fox asked him if he could just drop the sales tax portion and he said "no". I know .1 percent does not sound like a big deal but I like to follow what a candidate says and what others say and keep them separate. After all, if he is making a proposal his centerpiece I need to know if that is his final answer or if there is something he's like to ammend in his statement.

I will be tuning in to the debate.

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, That is a wise policy.

I've only seen 9% on his website, but 9.1% in the articles talking about the analysis. So it could be the articles are misinterpreting what the analysis said. I'm not sure.

If he gets back to you about that, please let us know! :)

AndrewPrice said...

UPDATE: Newsmax conducted a poll and found that Cain is ahead by 8% in Iowa -- 26% to 18% for Romney, with the rest lower.

This is a huge change from where he was a couple weeks ago. He's also apparently even with Romney in New Hampshire now.

Ed said...

Andrew, I have faith Cain could get this plan passed. I think the public is calling out for something different and this is right in line with how the Tea Party folks think. Also, Cain is a man who gets what he wants. He is a natural leader and I think he has the ability to win over the Congress.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, He has shown a lot of leadership ability and he's proven to be an excellent communicator. I don't doubt his ability, but DC is a place that doesn't quite work like the rest of the world and some people just can't be reached because they literally depend on things failing.

We'll see though.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Andrew
I believe that Hawks point on mortgage deduction has greater value than the charitable deduction.
However both are of a nature that they should be retained. As Hawk indicated some form of restriction is mandatory and certainly some upper limit would be needed.
With that said I feel the 9 9 9 tax with proper deductions allowed could do the greatest good for the country as well as all of the citizens.
Some form of casting the whole in stone would be the only additional consideration needed.

BevfromNYC said...

The only drawback to Cain is his lack of foreign policy. At this point it's even an unknown to him.

But, that video is better than Clinton and his sax! The man can sing...I'd love to hear what he could do in a church singing real gospel.

AndrewPrice said...

Tom, I would rather have the mortgage deduction than the charitable deduction as well.

My only concern with the idea of keeping the mortgage deduction is that this doesn't become the nose under the tent to let in more deductions. Because everyone will rush to claim "my deduction is good for the country just like the mortgage deduction." If we stop at the mortgage deduction, then I'm 100% sold on the idea. But if we let our "leaders" use that start pushing for more deductions, then we're keeping the same system plus adding a sales tax.

So as long as we can be firm on limiting this to the mortgage deduction only, then I'm fine with that.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, He does have a heck of a voice! And you're right, this does easily beat Clinton's sax!

I agree about the foreign policy experience, but in my opinion, that's not a big problem because almost none of our Presidents have had such experience and what really matters is their instincts for how to handle problems as they arise -- though it would help if he told us who he would consider for the State Department so we get a sense of the kind of foreign policy he's thinking of.


P.S. Tonight's debate is supposed to focus on foreign policy.

Mitt Romney said...

What do you mean, stop talking about the word "electable" until after the election, Commentarama members?? We should be talking about it NOW, while my campaign is using it as a major selling point!

AndrewPrice said...

I see the sockpuppets have arrived! You're a couple hours early. LOL!

T-Rav said...

Hey, what are you doing out, Romney sockpuppet? Get back in your drawer with the others until the debate!

AndrewPrice said...

You're going to like tonight's theme T-Rav because it is Nevada after all, so the main event has been appropriately named! :)


On the electability point, Rush drilled this the other day -- the American people are ready for a solid conservative... electability is a non-issue. Indeed, if there was ever an election where we should not be looking just at the guy who is most likely to appeal to moderates, this is it.

I would caveat that by saying we shouldn't pick someone who scares people, but there's no reason to go weak in the knees and pick a moderate.

CrisD said...

Hi! Checked my email after I got back (from the dentist -ugh)and Cain's team had not gotten back to me :))) ! But the conservative dental assistant told me that Mitt put his dog in a cage on top of his car for a ride to the vacation house so she didn't like him before but NOW she really didn't like him! I guess there are a lot of factors out there for the voters! Can't believe I smiled after a teeth cleaning. I got the impression she wasn't going to be tuning in for the debate either.

CrispyRice said...

Not sure if I said this yet, today:


Go Herm! Go Herm! Go Herm!!


I have to admit, I was holding my breath when I saw the title, because I thought, "Here it comes. Andrew will find the faults and crush my dreams." But lo!

Go Herm! Go Herm! Go Herm!!

Go Herm! Go Herm! Go Herm!!

Go Herm! Go Herm! Go Herm!!

(I'm just going to ignore the "It ain't happening" part if that's ok with everyone.) :D

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, I hate going to the dentist too, though I have relatives who strangely seem to really enjoy the experience? Go figure.

Romney put his dog in a cage and left it on top of his car? Wow! I have no tolerance for that kind of thing.

T-Rav said...

Hmmm...I'm curious.

On the tax thing--I hate it when I have stuff to attend to during the day with all my Marxist grad student colleagues and miss discussions like this--I personally prefer a national sales tax, along the lines of the FairTax, but I think the most realistic solution would be a flat income tax. A lot of Eastern European countries have followed this path and had consistently strong economies.

As far as electability goes, I think this election is possibly the best one in recent years for picking a genuine conservative--we have several people who are probable wins against Obama, so there's no need to opt for the centrist one.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, We work hard to crush dreams around here! LOL!

Feel free to ignore the "it ain't happening" part. It could happen if things go right, plus even if it doesn't, it still tells us the kind of reform we could expect from Cain and that's still a good thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Comrade T-Rav, Sorry to hear you spent your day with Marxists. I can imagine many better ways to spend the day.

My preference would be a "flat" sales tax and no income tax. The income tax distorts people's incentives to work and becomes a tool for social engineering. The sales tax doesn't unless you start picking different rates for different products. The one exception I would make would be no tax on basic foods (not restaurants), fuel or medicine.

On electability, absolutely. This is our best chance to get a genuine conservative since 1980 and we should not pass it up.

Scott said...

You said it; Attorneys don't want change...but this guy WILL stir the soup...Good thing.

Scott said...

Yes Laffer and crowd agree...for all that's worth to the elite get along Rinos.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I agree. The establishment doesn't want change. They don't mind minor tweaks, but they've created a system that works for them (at our expense) and they don't want anyone changing that. But Cain seems like a guy who intends to shake everything up. It really is like Reagan in 1980 when the GOP was so utterly opposed to Reagan because he was offering "voodoo economics" in their minds -- even though it was common sense to all the rest of us.

Tennessee Jed said...

I actually agree with you that Cain's 999 plan is superior. My main point was that the flat tax was the first real effort to do a needed structural overhaul of our ridiculous tax code. Both plans have the same objective. You are also correct (sadly) that too many powerful lobbying forces will probably prevent either from becoming reality.

Random Republican Candidate Puppet said...

Buzz off, Puppet Man. We're here to stay...grrrr, go to war with China puppets...

Protesters said...

Make cheap tee shirts, not war!
Make cheap tee shirts, not war!
Make cheap tee shirts, not war!
Make cheap tee shirts, not war!
Make cheap tee shirts, not war!

Oh, and free college for protesters.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, things have been nuttier than usual lately, but I endure as always. As long as I have my bottle of antipsychotics.

I hope Cain can keep this up and become a real viable alternative to Romney. He needs to prove tonight that he can handle foreign-policy questions, which has been his weak point up to now.

T-Rav said...

Okay, so those two aren't mine. I swear...

Sockpuppet Union Rep said...

Heh..heh...heh!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's funny. The protesters is me, but I was pretty sure you were the Romney people!

Things are probably more nutty than ever because of the Occupy Wall Street fools. I would expect that seeing up to a 1,000 other idiots bravely urinating in the streets has inspired campus Marxists everywhere to assume they have a real movement -- so now that the iron is hot, they have chosen to strike. Of course, in this case, the iron is more like a warm toothpick. And even a couple thousand people is meaningless in a country of 310 million.

It will pass once the first snow storm sends the Occupiers scurrying back to the roach motels from whence they came.

On Cain, I think he just needs to avoid being tripped up by the usual gotcha questions: "what do you mean you've never heard of the name of the third in command of a small rebel group in Splatistan? And you want to be President?!" That's how the media plays the game when they want to trip someone up.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I got your point and I agree completely! :)

I think the flat tax is a good first step, but isn't really the best plan ultimately -- it is a good start to a better ends. But sadly, as we both agree, there are a lot of very powerful people who will fight very, very hard to stop this.

But then, this is an age when strange things seem to be happening politically, so why can't this?

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I wouldn't bet your savings that they will leave come the first snows. The "leadership" does not sleep in the park. They go home every night to their warm and toasty 3 bedroom highrise with the Serta Posturpedic pillowtop mattress. They've convinced the wild-eyed foot soldiers to sleep in the park.

Trust me, at 8:30am, there are maybe 30 people there. It swells by 10am when the leadership arrives rested and refreshed.

BTW, the thieves and pickpockets have arrived and are stealing these poor naive kids blind. Just yesterday, some "poor" protester lost his $5,500 macbook. He didn't realize that anarchists do not recognize "ownership". And isn't this really what the protest is about anyway? There are 1%'ers who own stuff and the 99% think they deserve to take it because no one should have the right to own stuff if others don't have stuff. (or something like that...)

rlaWTX said...

so, on foreign policy - Bolton or Gingrich as VP?

why do they schedule these debates on TUESDAYS!!?? I must go to class.

I had a teensy epiphany a few minutes ago - perhaps this small hopeful tingle (not in my leg) that I feel is similar to what the OMessiah's followers felt once upon a time. I am too young to have voted for Reagan, so I am not sure if they felt it then. My first Pres election was GHWB, then Dole, then GWB... this feeling of a sense of representation and hope is kinda new... (I admit I was hopeful for GWB1, but not nearly this almost-giddy)
GO CAIN!!!!!

T-Rav said...

Heh. Bev, I read this morning that there have been a string of thefts at the OWS location. Funny, that. Who would have guessed that a movement composed of people who have done nothing to earn wealth and demand it from those who have, would have some out-and-out thieves in their ranks?

rlaWTX said...

from Cain's fb: "My team will be running a live chat at our Livestream channel during tonight's Republican Presidential Debate to be broadcast on CNN starting at 8 pm EDT. I hope you can join us and let me know what you think of the debate. Please share this with your friends and if you're on Twitter follow me at @TheHermanCain."

In case the sock-puppets get bored...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Why am I not surprised? I'll bet they're not sleeping at the Motel 6 either -- and I'll bet people who have sent them money are paying for it!

On the theft, I really have to chuckle at that. First, that these people claim to represent the poor and oppressed, yet they have a $5,500 macbook! Secondly, they want a world without property... there it is. In a world without property anyone can take anything they want. So what are they complaining about?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I know exactly what you mean. This is the first time in my life (was also too young to vote for Reagan), I am feeling like I have a candidate I can believe in. It's a really strange feeling not to be choosing from the lesser of evils.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, They aren't thieves, they are redistributionists.

Unless it was some homeless dude or a Republican, then it was theft. ;)

rlaWTX said...

even at the primary level... there have been some ear-perkers, but not this much possibility.
maybe it's just been sooooooooo bad that good looks extraordinary.

rlaWTX said...

I look forward to the sock-puppet commentary (read after the debate, which gives it a different feel) and to the wrap-up tomorrow (I hope).

I love Commentarama!!!!

(GO CAIN!)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I think there's more going on than just "not bad." I really do think we've stumbled upon an inspired choice in Cain. And even with the others, there are some good choices for once. Plus, the public seems to be in a mood to listen for once, rather than just voting for whichever bland candidate is next in line.

(P.S. On foreign policy, I'm not sure yet who I would recommend. Let me think about that one!)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX! Thanks! We're glad you visit! :)

Yes, there will be a wrap up in the morning.

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