Herman Cain: 'Replace the Tax Code'

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": Well, on this tax day, forget how many are paying them. Look at how many are not paying them, nearly half of all U.S. households. It's true. My next guest says that has got to change first. Herman Cain is a potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate, joins me right now.

It is a staggering statistic, Herman. And a lot of folks say, oh, you're just making it up, you're just making it up. But how did it get that way?

HERMAN CAIN, CEO, THE NEW VOICE: It got that way, Neil, because of all of the pandering on the part of the liberals, primarily the Democrats, over the years always wanting to provide another tax favor to someone.    Secondly, it got that way because taxes in general are too high. And so, when the politicians, some of them, want to get reelected, they make some promises. And, number three, the tax code is so complex, that it is used by the people in Washington to reward winners and losers. And that's why we have had tax...


CAVUTO: Yes, but a lot of these folks, Herman, are getting money back from the government. They get refunds.


CAIN: I know they are, yes. I know they are.

CAVUTO: So, what is the answer, then? Because I think that for people to get involved in the game, they've got to have skin in the game.  If you don't, then you'll like the system the way it is, right?

CAIN: Exactly. The answer is -- first of all, let me tell you what the answer is not. The answer is not to continue to talk about, as President Obama is talking about, raising taxes on the rich. The answer is not let's end the Bush era tax cuts.

First of all, they are not Bush era tax cuts. They are the Bush tax rates. They have been around for 10 years. Give me a break. Why do you keep wanting to put Bush's name on them? And now we still have this uncertainty of two more years before we know what is going to happen.

It got that way, Neil. The answer, Neil, is we need to lower tax rates for everybody, starting with the top corporate tax rate. We need to simplify the tax code. The ultimate answer, in my opinion, is the fair tax, which is a fair tax for everybody, because as long as we still have this messed-up tax code, the politicians are going to use it to reward winners and losers. That's the biggest problem, is the tax code itself.

CAVUTO: And you are going for something that would hit people at point of purchase, rather than income, per se, right?

CAIN: Yes, because there are a lot of problems with the current tax code.  The first is the government decides what somebody pays in taxes. And it's like a crapshoot every time they want to change the tax code. And they'll use the same old pandering rhetoric: Well, the rich ought to pay more.

Well, look, the numbers that you used at the beginning of the show says the rich are already paying an inordinate share. I think that taxes would be fair if we first get rid of the tax code. This is the ultimate solution, not to just say we're going to trim around the edges, not to say that we will try to simplify a little of this and a little of that.

The problem is, replace the tax code, so we can establish tax fairness for everybody. And, no, it is not regressive on the poor, like the liberals try to demagogue the whole idea of moving toward a fair tax, which is a single-rate retail consumption tax.

CAVUTO: All right. We can get into whether that slows spending down, whether that -- which it doesn't -- we have indicated that it doesn't.

But I do want to get your quick take on Donald Trump. He has quickly moved to the top of the GOP field in these polls. And many have tried to portray him as a nut and he's a grenade thrower.

What do you think of him?

CAIN: Donald Trump is a very well-known businessman. And based upon all reports that I'm familiar with, he is a very successful businessman.

But, Neil, here's how I see it. Your colleagues in the media, not you, not -- not the people at Fox News, in all honesty, they are looking to create a story, because they're having a tough time continuing to report on some of the other things out there.

Secondly, because none of the potential Republican primary candidates have declared their candidacy yet -- some of us have declared -- declared exploratory, but nobody has declared their candidacy yet.

CAVUTO: Right.

CAIN: And I am one of the ones who has declared formally a presidential exploratory committee.

Some people in the media, Neil, are looking for a story, so they're trying to help create a story by sensationalizing Mr. Trump.

CAVUTO: Well, they're certainly doing that. OK.

CAIN: And they are doing a great job of it.

But let me tell you something that I know from the boots on the ground...

CAVUTO: Very quick. Very quick.

CAIN: ... and the people that are coming -- coming to Tea Parties.  They don't have anything against Mr. Trump, but he's not their favorite.


Herman Cain, great seeing you, my friend.   We'll have more right after this.

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