Sunday, October 16, 2011

'Honestly Vetting Herman Cain'

Herman Cain and TARP:

Examining Herman Cain's record leaves serious questions about which type of problem-solver he is.  In a column published October 20, 2008, Cain blamed conservatives' "economic illiteracy" for their opposition to the freshly passed Trouble Assets Relief Program.

"Wake up people!" admonished Cain with typical candor.  "Owning a part of the major banks in America is not a bad thing. We could make a profit while solving a problem."  Cain goes on to defend Treasury's decision to post-legislatively change TARP to buy preferred stock in banks rather than toxic mortgages.  "You got a problem with that?" asks Cain.  Apparently he didn't.

Cain reassures "free market purists" that the Treasury's stock purchase is "not nationalization because that would require government to own at least 51% of the entity for an indefinite period of time."  (This is a relief, because some of us thought that government would use this foot in the door to force mergers, control salaries, and set lending rules.  Oh, wait...)

The issue isn't that one mistake disqualifies a candidate from office, but rather the rationale Cain uses to justify TARP.  Is there no limit to government power so long as it's a "win-win for the tax-payer"1?  Does the Executive Branch have the authority to decide what constitutes a win-win?  If, as Cain concludes, "unprecedented problems require unprecedented solutions," then does that include unconstitutional solutions?
The more you go beyond Herman Cain's rhetoric and begin to examine exactly what he stands for,he looks the same as Mitt Romney,Rick Perry,and all the rest,they are for Big Government when it suits their purposes.

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