Swiftly rising to the top of the pack of Republican candidates is Herman Cain, the author of the 999 plan. Cain won a 37 to 15 percent victory over Rick Perry in the Florida Straw Poll on September 24 and a SurveyUSA poll of Florida Republicans on September 24-27 put Cain trailing frontrunner Mitt Romney by only two percentage points.
Raised by hardworking parents in Atlanta, Georgia, Herman Cain graduated from Morehouse College with a degree in mathematics in 1967. According to his website, Cain went on to earn a Master’s degree in computer science from Purdue University while working full-time developing fire control systems for ships and fighter planes for the Department of the Navy.
He later returned to Atlana, where he worked as a computer systems analyst for the Coca-Cola Company and then, later, the Pillsbury Company, where he became Vice President. As regional Vice President of Pillsbury’s Burger King division, he led a low performing 450-restaurant region to become the best performing region in the company within three years.
Moving on from Burger King, Cain became the President and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, managing to take the nearly bankrupt company to a place of profitability in fourteen months.
His success brought him the title of President of the National Restaurant Association and, in 1994, gave him the opportunity to meet President Clinton in a nationally televised town hall meeting. He began working with business leaders from across the country and became a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
In 2004, Cain ran for the GOP’s U.S. Senate nomination in Georgia, losing in the primaries to Johnny Isakson, by a 52 to 26 margin. He has never held a public office.
Cain has been married for over forty years, and has two children and three grandchildren.
Cain believes that the United States must support its military with the best training, equipment, technology and infrastructure necessary to keep them in a position to win. He also feels that the country must provide its military, veterans and their families with the “benefits they deserve for their tremendous sacrifice.”
On immigration, Cain says we must secure our borders, enforce our laws and promote the existing path to citizenship. “Taking a stand on the issue does not mean one lacks compassion, but instead, that one respects the rule of law and the importance of not becoming a lawless nation,” he states.
On Energy, Cain states, “liberals have forced excessive environmental regulations that have stifled our domestic energy production, and instead, forced American consumers to rely far too heavily upon foreign oil. In many cases, this oil comes from Middle Eastern countries, some of whom are not friendly to the U.S., who end up dictating the prices of our energy consumption. In return, Americans have seen no improvements in our environment or in the cleanliness of our air. We must expand our domestic energy resources by loosening government’s grip responsibly.”
“The majority of Americans agree: it’s time to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, free market reforms,” states Cain on healthcare. “It’s time to institute legitimate tort reforms that let doctors practice medicine without fear of frivolous lawsuits. Loser pay laws would be a great start! That is, require those who lose frivolous lawsuits to pay the legal expenses of those found not guilty. Additionally, loosening the restrictions on Health Savings Accounts would help to empower Americans to save and invest their own money to expand their options for health care.
Regarding education, Cain states that offering school choice as a real option for educational competition is a way to put kids first. He is in favor of expanding school vouchers and charter schools.
One of the most talked about facets of Cain’s candidacy is his 999 plan, which eliminates payroll tax, capital gains tax, the death tax and double taxation of dividends. In place of those taxes is a 9% business flat tax, 9% individual flat tax and a 9% national sales tax. The benefits of this plan, Cain says, is that it unites all tax payers so “we all pay income taxes and no one pays payroll taxes,” Cain states on his website. In addition, he states, it would end the IRS as we know it, ending nearly all deductions and special interest favors. The 999 plan would also launch properly structured Empowerment Zones to revitalize inner cities, he states.