Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Herman Cain. What matters and what doesn't?

Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain, has taken quite a lot of flak since he started his surge to the upper results of the polls in the last month. This is partly because he is the frontrunner and is therefore dangerous, but also because he is a moron. Let's go over some modern Cain details:

1) 999. Of all the things I am sick of hearing, it's 999. All the time, Cain's solution to any problem is 999. Unemployment? 999. National deficit? 999. Fix the economy? 99 sodding 9. This is Cain's proposal to have a 9% payment tax, 9% corporate tax and 9% sales tax countrywide. His argument is that this is a simple system that Americans can understand. Well, it's also a dumb system with no proof whatsoever that it will work, but it is SIMPLE therefore it is GOOD. Hear that, America? You're too stupid to work out what a 15% payroll tax is, so we'll make it 9%. Companies, fire all your finance people because we're wiping the tax system. Anyone who can multiply a number by nine and divide by 100 can be an accountant. Oh also, poor people, you'll be paying that same percentage of your income as those who earn bucketloads. And you'll be hit with a 9% sales tax too. People who are actual economists and can explain numbers, instead of just shouting the same one repeatedly, expect Cain's plan (and I use the word in the loosest of terms) to force lower income earners to put more of their income towards the national kitty due to the sales tax than they do right now. It also doesn't take state taxes into account.

2) "When they ask me who's the president of Uzbeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I'm gonna say "You know, I don't know. Do you know? And then I'm gonna say, "how does that create one job?" - Cain.
Yep, this is Cain's attitude to foreign policy. Well, screw the name of the country (which the reporter actually used in the question which led to this answer. If you're a Cain fan reading this it's Uzbekistan). It's always nice when a man vying for the presidency of the world's most powerful nation couldn't give a wank what the name of your country is. While Cain fobs Uzbekistan off as not important enough to matter, he'd do well to, you know, acknowledge the presence of US bases there (and in neighbouring Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan). Can you guess which country they border? Afghanistan. Can you guess where arms were delivered before Kabul (the capital of Afghanistan, by the way) was "liberated"? UZBEKISTAN. I think it's inconsequential that Cain doesn't know the president's name. Neither do I. And I'll bet you no one in the current US government other than Hillary Clinton knows either. Incidentally it's Islam Karimov. I get that jobs are probably the hottest electoral issue, but surely it can't come at the expense of every single other thing?

3) "It was a joke". This has twice been Cain's reponse to the media or a rival picking up on some ignoramous thing the candidate has said. It's his sole defence. In 2008 Cain wrote a column for Economic Freedom Coalition, in which he suggested Tiger Woods would be an excellent Republican presidential candidate come 2016 when Obama had finished two terms. This was when Tiger was still a darling of the world, before we found out he had a woman in every city and was about to destroy his marriage and reputation, so we can't really fault Cain for that. However, what we can fault Cain for is pretending it was all a joke. Which is complete crap. Read it yourself and point out the jokes. How dumb does the man think Americans are? (I suppose we covered that under 999). His other "joke" was this: "We’ll have a real fence. Twenty feet high, with barbed wire, electrified, with a sign on the other side saying, ‘it will kill you'". He followed it up with these comments, "What's insensitive is when they come to the United States, across our border and kill our citizens, and kill our border patrol people. That's insensitive, and I'm not worried about being insensitive to tell people to stop sneaking into America." In South Africa we have a word for this. It's called xenophobia. And that it not even remotely the same as actual immigration policy. Of course it would be unreasonable to allow people over the border willy-nilly, but to stoke xenephobic fires by implying that Mexicans come "across our border and kill our citizens" has a huge social impact. Nasty social impact. Oh, I forget. He was just joking.

While I would be supporting Mr Obama again in the next election, I hope intellectual Ron Paul hammers Cain tonight. It really shouldn't be that hard.

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