Cain said Alan Greenspan. Goldman asked why, and Cain said:
Because that's when I served on the board of the Federal Reserve in the early 1990s.Huh? He's a model because he's the one you served with?
And the way Alan Greenspan oversaw the Fed and the way he coordinated with all of the Federal Reserve banks, I think that it worked fine back in the early 1990s.So... Alan Greenspan, because you served with him and the way he did everything worked fine? Instead of backing that up with substance, he told us he has 2 candidates for Fed Chairman in mind, but he can't tell us who they are. Useless non-information.
Ron Paul got to speak next:
Spoken like a true insider... Alan Greenspan was a disaster....Paul goes on with details. I'm not saying I agree with Ron Paul, but the contrast between the 2 men was amazing at that point. Cain just did not seem forthcoming. I know he might seem straightforward when he keeps saying 9-9-9 is the answer. But it's also simplistic. And when called on for details, he won't tell you any.
Everybody in Washington -- liberals and conservatives -- said he kept interest rates too low, too long. Of course, the solution was, lower them even more, and they think that's going to solve our problem.
But if I had to name one person that did a little bit of good, that was Paul Volcker. He at least knew how to end -- or help, you know, end the inflation....
Now, I thought it was a low blow when Huntsman, asked about 9-9-9, said "it's a catchy phrase.... I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it." My kneejerk reaction was: Huntsman is an elitist, sneering at a man who built a successful business. But look at the emptiness of Cain's defense of his 9-9-9:
... it is not the price of a pizza, because it has been well-studied and well-developed.It has? What's the proof of that? This is like approving of Alan Greenspan the way he did things worked well.
It starts with, unlike your proposals, throwing out the current tax code. Continuing to pivot off the current tax code is not going to boost this economy. This is why we developed 9-9-9, 9 percent corporate business flat tax, 9 percent personal income flat tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. And it will pass, Senator, because the American people want it to pass.What is why you developed it? There's no there there! And it will pass... why? Because people want it to pass?! The why I would like answered is: Why are people so impressed with Herman Cain?
At this point, Karen Tumulty — the WaPo correspondent — follows up. She wants to know what experts he's relying on. That was my question too when he said "we developed 9-9-9." He wants us to accept on faith that he's got this team that's worked it all out, so that now all he needs to do is say 9-9-9. Cain gives a vague answer:
My advisers come from the American people. Now, I will have some experts.What?! You will have some experts? But where did 9-9-9 come from? And what's with the strange expression "My advisers come from the American people." That sounds like he's saying the advisers are not experts. They're some of the people folk. Who knows who? But he will — future tense — have some experts. Is he admitting he doesn't have experts yet? If so, he immediately backtracks:
One of my experts that helped me to develop this is a gentleman by the name of Rich Lowery (ph) out of Cleveland, Ohio. He is an economist, and he has worked in the business of wealth creation most of his career.So, there's this guy in Cleveland... Who is he? He's "worked in the business of wealth creation most of his career." That's a fancy-schmancy way to say he's a businessman and, it seems, to avoid admitting that this man has no impressive credentials as an economist. I think Cain is conceding that, because the next thing he feels compelled to say is:
I also have a number of other well-recognized economists that helped me to develop this 9-9-9 plan. It didn't come off a pizza box, no. It was well-studied and well-developed, because it will replace the corporate income tax, the personal income tax, the capital gains tax, the death tax, and most importantly, the payroll tax.See the empty assurance? It was well-studied and well-developed. Was it? Why should we believe that? The sentence continues with the word "because," which ought to lead to a reason why we should believe that 9-9-9 was well-constructed. But it doesn't! "Because" introduces another repetition of what 9-9-9 is. He keeps saying, essentially: We should destroy the existing system because we should destroy the existing system. Put on that abstract level, it's the same approach to future-planning we're hearing from the Occupy Wall Street crowd.
Tumulty pursues him: "So -- so who are some of these economists?" And Cain's truly scary response is: "Rich Lowery (ph) out of Cleveland, Texas, is one of the economists that I have used. He's been my lead economist on helping to develop this."
Obviously, Tumulty meant: who other than the one economist he already named, which was "Rich Lowery (ph) out of Cleveland, Ohio." I mean, maybe there's another Rich Lowery — the one "out of Cleveland, Texas." Cleveland, Texas!
According to Politico, this "Rich Lowery" is Rich Lowrie, and he is "not a trained economist."
Instead, Lowrie — who’s the only economic adviser Cain has been willing to mention by name — is a wealth manager for a division of Wells Fargo and according to his LinkedIn page holds an accountancy degree from Case Western Reserve University. Lowrie also spent three years on the advisory board of the conservative third-party group Americans For Prosperity.Come on, people. This infatuation with Herman Cain is embarrassing. Wake up!