Yes, he can?

In the volatility of the Republican 2012 primary, one thing is for sure.  Calling this race now would be like predicting the Superbowl in September.  How ’bout them Eagles.  Of course, I called the Eagles faltering before the season started.  I’m usually pretty good with my football picks.  So, allow me to apply some of that prophetic magic here.  FYI, this post is not for the faint of heart.  I’m just giving it to you straight.

Romney is all set as the Republican establishment candidate.  He has had that spot locked up really since before Mitch Daniels dropped out of the race.  Now the one stable thing in this race is that Romney will get the establishment vote.  He will also get a lot of mainstream Republican votes.  But he is going to run into a real issue, and that is with the anti-establishment movement within the Republican party.  All that is about to blow wide open this week as the NYT releases a story about opinions among establishment Republicans of the TEA party.  The GOP is about to have a civil war on its hands.  Whether they can recover by next November will be huge in determining whether or not Barack Obama is President in 2013.  Mitt Romney absolutely must nail down his conservative support and soon, or he will lose Iowa, South Carolina and Florida.

Cain's 999 plan could be his undoing

I like Herman Cain a lot.  I think he would make a great Vice President.  I think he would be a star on the campaign trail.  I think he would bring a lot of conservatives to the table and would bring the TEA party and anti-establishment wing to the table.  Here’s the problem: Herman Cain’s 9 9 9 plan sucks.  He would do better to drop that plan completely and advocate a Fairtax, which I also oppose for various reasons you can find here.  But even the Fairtax is better than 9 9 9.  Cain’s 9 9 9 plan has several Achilles’s heels hidden in its simplicity.  Perhaps the worst is the 9% flat tax on corporation’s gross profits minus purchases and dividends.  Unless Cain plans to include payroll with purchases, his 9% flat tax could turn into an effective 99% tax, or even higher, on low margin service industries with high labor costs.  But simplicity and feel good soundbites are what drives the Cain campaign.  Sometimes those soundbites are the common sense we are all thinking, but nobody who represents us is saying.  In those times, I love Herman Cain.  Other times it’s not much better than the soundbites written on a Wall Street mob sign.  Great for riling you up, until you stop and think about it.

Right now, we are watching the French Revolution in the TEA party and anti-establishment wing of the Republican party.  And who can blame them?  I should say, who can blame us.  Our party had the President who initially signed TARP.  Now, of course I don’t think Bush ever imagined TARP would be used to give the treasury secretary ultimate powers to steal companies from their bondholders, sell them overseas and give the proceeds to unions.  But he should have.  Conservative Constitutionalists are praying, quite literally, that we don’t get fooled again.  The result has been the rise and fall of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and now Herman Cain.  Each time, the anti-establishment establishment is looking for that perfect, conservative candidate that we can get behind and support.

Now, suddenly Newt Gingrich is inching back into the top three.  In fact, while Cain tops out the very volatile state of Florida, Gingrich has hit double digits.  As a matter of fact, Gingrich’s facebook page shows a photo of him on the Drudge Report with a story about how he is still in this.  And he definitely is.

The difference between Newt and the other candidates is that Newt’s laundry has been on the line for years now.  Everyone knows who Newt Gingrich is.  He isn’t going to come out with a plan that sinks his campaign a month from now.  No one is going to learn during a debate about him forcing 12 year old girls to get vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases.  Everyone knows how imperfect his past is.  That’s why he hasn’t been in this race up to now.  And that is why he will be very dangerous if Cain falls on 9 9 9.  Of course, I mean “dangerous” in the best way possible.  Newt versus Mitt with no specter of late arrivals and no more candidates left to shoot up to the top could solidify January’s primaries.

Newt can carry Iowa and South Carolina easily once the other social conservatives lose their votes to him.  Newt was the first in the debates to really highlight how Obama was preventing jobs from coming to South Carolina.  And Iowa will pick the social conservative every time.  In a Newt/Mitt race, it will all be about Florida.

Could the debate in Jacksonville, FL determine the next President of the United States?

On January 26th, Republicans will hold the last GOP debate that matters before the primary.  I know, there will be one in Tampa the night before the primary.  No one is going to change their mind because of the Tampa debate.  It will all come down to January 26th in Jacksonville, Florida.  Mitt Romney versus the TEA party favorite.  The last time the Superbowl was held here, the Patriots won.

Huckabee’s Fair Tax Mistake

Bookmark and Share Mike Huckabee has released an editorial promoting the virtues of a national sales tax or as he calls it the Fair Tax.

He writes;

Hopefully by now youre somewhat familiar with how the FairTax works, but if not let me explain it briefly: You get rid of all income and payroll taxes and you get rid of corporate taxes completely. When someone tells you corporations should be taxed more – remember, if more taxes are put on a corporation – the corporation is simply going to raise the prices of their products to cover the increase – passing the increased cost to you.

That sounds good but it is also typical Mike Huckabee.deceptive.

Now I shouldnt be too hard on Huckabee. He does at least have the guts to propose true reform of a tax system that is obsolete, chaotic, oppressive, and a hindrance to economic growth. We need a presidential candidate and President who will not simply tinker with a broken system but prepared to support a cash for clunkers like approach to our tax code by junking it and replacing it with a system that does not penalize success, oppress entrepreneurial innovation, and hold back our economy.

Huckabee is correct when he writes refers to tax reform in his editorial by writing , I do know we wont have a chance if we dont have the courage and leadership in Congress to see the task through. That is most certainly true. But that leadership must come from more than just Congress. Sweeping change must be supported by our Commander-in-Chief, the person who has the power of the bully pulpit behind them and who believes in the reforms that he or she convinces the nation of the need for.

But the Fair Tax is not the reform that this nation needs. First of all, the Fair Tax is anything but fair. If George Soros decides to have his help purchase televisions for all the bathrooms in all of his estates, he can afford the additional cost that a national sales tax places on his purchases. But for an average family that lives from pay check to pay check, the new national sales tax simply makes it harder for them to replace the one TV screen that they have had for 10 years and is displaying a screen with a picture that is shrinking.

For a family making $200,000 a year, a rise in the cost of all products may be affordable but for too many higher prices simply puts more products further out of the reach and places a significant burden on them.

Higher prices are not what I believe the Republican candidate for President or Congress should be proposing.

Instead I believe it is incumbent upon our Party and its candidates to demand that we abolish our current arcane tax code and replace it with a Flat Tax. Unlike the so-called Fair Tax, a Flat Tax is exactly what it says..flat. It is one rate for one nation. There is no discrimination, there is no hike in the costs of products and there is no penalizing of success. Instead, a Flat Tax offers tax relief, puts an end to loopholes, and grows our economy.

Of the last ten years, the fastest growing economies of the world have adopted a flat tax for their nations. The greatest examples of this exist in the former Soviet states of the Balkans. When they adopted a flat tax, they saw their economies boom and have maintained steady economic development and growth. Yet, the United States, still hangs on to our antiquated tax system, a system that only grows our economy whenever we tinker with it to reduce rates. And when we reduce rates, which area of debate is the greatest source of disagreement? Why it is who those reductions should go to. And from there inevitable comes the debate on what constitutes defining one as rich.

The Flat Tax puts an end to all those debates. With a Flat Tax rate of say, 14%, the wealthy still pay a greater percentage than do the less wealthy. 14% of 40 million comes out to be much more than does 14% of 40 thousand. And unlike Mike Huckabees national sales tax, it does unduly burden families with higher costs. In fact for many, it lowers the amount of money that the government currently takes from them.

Huckabee understands that we need real change in America. That is a good thing, but what he does not realize is that the change he proposes does more harm than good and if he really wants to promote tax fairness, then the Flat Tax, one rate for one nation is the way to go.

Government does not produce wealth and it is not naturally sustainable. The people and the entrepreneurial spirit of America through its free markets, are what creates wealth and sustains our government. That is why I believe we must eliminate our current oppressive tax code, a tax code that rewards failure must go. We need leadership that will implement what I call a National Economic Recovery and Responsibility plan that will help spark our economy, reduce spending and put America back on the road to a steady, growing, stable economy. As such I offer my own detailed tax reform plan for Governor Huckabee to consider in place of his national sales tax.

I.-The National Tax Equity Act

(For a detailed explanation click on thebill titlelink above)

1. A flat tax rate on individuals and businesses shall be adopted as outlined below with a rate of 18% that, after three years, will level off at 15.5% of whats left of the total annual income from all wages, salaries, and pensions after subtracting a personal allowance.

Those four allowances would be:

  • – $26,600 for married filling jointly
  • – $16,850 for single head of household
  • – $13,650 for single
  • – $5,300 for each dependent child
1.A Individual gross earnings up to 2 times the established poverty level (based upon the year preceding) are exempt from taxation. All income above that level shall be taxed at the specified rate.

1.B Businesses and Corporations with gross earnings up to the value resulting from multiplying the number of legal US resident employees in the business against 2 times the established poverty level (based on the year preceding) shall be exempt from taxation with all gross income above that level taxed at the specified rate.

1.C– All corporations will be taxed by the same single national tax rate and they will take their total income, subtract total expenses and if the result is a positive amount (profit), they will pay tax on that amount at a the national tax rate.

2.A – All Businesses and Corporations thatexceed federalenergy efficiency and environmental standardswill be entitled to an annual dedcution of10%the amount oftheir annual profit.

2.B-All individual home amd property owners thatexceed federalenergy efficiency and environmental standardswill be entitled to an annual dedcution of10%the amount oftheir annual profit.

3.A -There shall be an exemption up to but not to exceed the greater of 10% of gross annual income or 25% of the annual median income, applied to College Savings Accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), Money Market Accounts and Certificates of Deposits.

3.B– Allow for the automatic deposit of tax refunds that are based onthe rate of savings formula implemented upon passage of thefederally insuredPrivatizedFuture Security Annuity Accountsprogram that will take the place of SSI.(see proposed PFSA program here)

3.C-Provide employment-based health insurance to individuals with annuals earnings under $55,000, in the form of refundable, advanceable tax credits. Families would get up to $5,700 a year and individuals up$2,300 to buy insurance and invest in Health Savings Accounts

4. Social Security benefits are exempt from taxation.

5. A complete 100% exemption from the flat tax for spouses of military personnel deployed in a theatre of battle to be effective from the time of deployment to the end of the calendar year after deployment ends.

6– The following will hereby require a 2/3 majority for passage and adoption:

-Raising or reducing the flat tax rate

  • -Extending or eliminating tax credits
  • -Increasing or decreasing the rate of a penalty tax
  • -Creating any new penalty taxes
  • -Borrowing money to pay for general expenses
7. Direct income from inheritance settlements are exempt from taxation.

8. Specific provisions for implementation to be determined by a Congressional review committee with input from regulators, industry representatives and budget experts

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