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In Iowa, Cain says he sees a redeemable America in crisis

CEDAR RAPIDS — America is facing some massive problems, said Herman Cain, and it’s time for politicians and elected officials to be honest about the magnitude of what is before the nation.

Cain highlighted seven separate areas that need to be addressed — a moral crisis, an economic crisis, an energy crisis, an entitlement spending crisis, an immigration crisis, a national security crisis and a deficiency of leadership crisis in Washington, D.C.

“Now, we have other problems, but those are our seven crises — and I stopped at seven because it has sort of a Biblical significance. I like Biblical significance,” he said.

“Those are the seven biggest crises that we face. But here’s the good news: We can face them, and they aren’t going to face themselves.”

While most presidential candidates attend Iowa events with a box of swag comprised of bumper stickers, pamphlets and sign-up sheets for supporters, Cain came to Cedar Rapids with two items — a small tri-fold brochure with a detachable and mailable card for those wanting to donate to his Presidential Exploratory Committee and a 20-page, full-color brochure that lists that contains mini white papers on each of the crisis areas he’s identified. Pages three through 17 of the document, which measures roughly 3 inches wide by six inches long, contains only one photograph amid page after page of text.

Many of the problems before America, he notes, have plenty of “low-hanging fruit” ideas that could begin a move in the correct direction.

“If you think about it, there are a lot of simple and good ideas that come to Washington, D.C. and die because of liberal ideology,” he said.

If elected president, Cain said one of his first self-imposed jobs would be to jump-start the economy — “the biggest thing that we have got to turn around.” Toward that end, he would lower the nation’s highest level of corporate taxes from 35 to 25 percent.

“We are the only country in the world that has not lowered its top corporate tax rate in 15 years,” he said. “How dumb is that?! … And we wonder why jobs are leaving this country. It is all about the tax structure, that’s why jobs are leaving this country.”

Tax rates for America’s highest individual earners, he said, should also be reduced, the Capital Gains tax rate should be taken to zero, and taxes on employers and employees should be taken to zero for a year.

“I know that the liberals are going to say, ‘All you want to do is give tax breaks to the rich.’ That’s their usual class-warfare rhetoric,” he said. “But, you know, when Herman Cain becomes President, I’m going to make a breaking news announcement to all of America: It’s OK to succeed in America.”

And, when the tone has change, Cain says he plans “to put a bow around it” by making his new lowered tax structure permanent.

“We have to get this uncertainty off of this economy,” he said. “I plan to get Congress to do this in the first 90 days of my administration.”

Other items of note in Cain’s brochure:

Labor Unions — “While labor unions once provided a representative body to lobby for fair wages and safe working conditions for employees, the now principally serve as a political mechanism for the Left. Forced unionization through the dishonesty named ‘Employee Free Choice Act,’ or ‘card check,’ would drive up the costs of goods and services, cause hundreds and thousands of jobs to be lost and ultimately, a more powerful system of liberal fundraising to be maintained.”

Entitlement Programs — “Though it might not be politically popular to modernize and eliminate some of our entitlement programs, responsible leaders should be willing to do it all the same. … We must return to free market-based solutions that empower our nation’s workers to take control over their professional and retirement futures.”

Ethanol & Other Energy Subsidies — “Subsidies on agricultural products, like ethanol-producing corn, have become a mechanism for the government to pick and choose industries it favors, while doing little to enhance our ability to harness real alternative energy resources. Instead, we must allow all forms of energy the ability to develop in a free market system.”

Immigration — “Illegal immigration has only exacerbated illegal activity, such as the horrendous crimes of drug smuggling and human trafficking. Illegal immigrants who are repeat offenders are harder to track, making it difficult for law enforcement to prevent crime. Further, weak borders have caused a compounding problem of terrorists assimilating with illegal immigrants, crossing the border with them and entering the U.S.”

Repeal of Health Care Reform — “Patient-centered free market health care reforms have already been developed and introduced in Congress, but they are stuck in committee and can’t get out. With the right leadership we can get them out and get them passed.”

Financial Reform — “We must repeal financial regulatory ‘deform.’ We must enact real reforms that protect the roots of our economic system. We must not compromise them with excessive regulation and the federal government’s ‘pay-to-play’ politics.”

Government Regulation — “We pay for regulations with every bite of food we eat, with every drop of gasoline we put in our cars and with every good or service we obtain. … Alleviating the burdens of cumbersome regulations would be an immediate boost for our weakened economy. It would signal to businesses and investors that the government intends to improve conditions that allow for them to thrive, not to bog them down with additional costs they must inevitably pass on to consumers.”

Education — “A critical component of improving education in our country is to decentralize the federal government’s control over it. … Another way we can put kids first is to offer school choice as a real option for educational competition. This means expanding school vouchers and charter schools.”

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