Interviews

Exclusive: Herman Cain Unveils Job Creation Plan

Exclusive: 2012 candidate on his job creation plan

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 30, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: In our special "Help Wanted" series, the candidate who came out of nowhere and still raises more passion among die-hard Republican conservative voters anyway. I'm talking former pizza titan Herman Cain, who says he knows a thing or two about growing the pie, and tonight unveiling, first here, his jobs plan to expand that pie.

Herman, it's always a pleasure. Good to have you.

HERMAN CAIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Neil, happy to be with you.

And about that opening about President Obama, the American people are saying -- this is what I'm hearing -- you cannot buy a second term. It's going to take more than money in order to buy a second term.

CAVUTO: But he is having no trouble raising cash.

CAIN: Amazing.

CAVUTO: And when all is said and done, the talk is, he's going to be the billion-dollar man.

Whether you are the nominee or not, that is going to put whoever is at a distinct disadvantage, wouldn't it?

CAIN: Yes.

This is why the candidate that the Republican Party puts up has to have real, commonsense solutions, which is what I have developed and I continue to develop.

Secondly, it is going to have be to a candidate that has proven problem-solving experience. The American people, Neil, are sick and tired of excuses. They are sick and tired of the blame game. And they're sick and tired of the deception coming from this president and this administration.

This is why I believe that I am doing so well in the polls. I don't have more money. I won't have more money than any of the candidates, even the Republican candidates. We know that already. But we are building this campaign team like I would build a business. And that is, we are building it so far with no debt.

We have been raising -- we have raised some money. I have had to put a little bit of money in, in order to prime the pump. But the American people are responding to my message.

CAVUTO: Well, how much is a little bit of money? Because I know you are rich, but you're not Mitt Romney rich, right?

CAIN: I'm not rich, Neil.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: You are well-off, but you're not, you know, I can't forget the rest of my life off, right?

(LAUGHTER)

CAIN: But people are responding, Neil, to my common sense-solutions message and my clear problem-solving track record.

Whether you were talking about Pillsbury, Burger King, Godfather's, the National Restaurant Association, in each one of those situations, I had a daunting problem that I had to solve. And I used the same business principles to approach the problem and, more importantly, solve the problem in every one of the situations.

And that is what is resonating with the voters as I make my case on this campaign journey.

CAVUTO: OK.

And, guys, I do want to get to those resolutions, but just hold off here. I'm glad you got a hot trigger finger in graphics here, but please hold off.

But I do want to ask you very quickly...

CAIN: Yes.

CAVUTO: ... you do have a lot of good ideas. You do engender a great deal of passion within the Republican Party, Herman.

And a lot of your voters, those who want to vote for you, say, we really like him, we feel strongly about him, but we just don't feel that -- not all of them -- but that we don't feel he has a chance, because the mainstream media says you don't have a chance.

And even Republican money brokers say...

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: ... they are very impressed with you, but, because you don't come from the familiar petri dish of having been either a senator, a congressman, or a governor, they just write you off.

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: How do you break through?

CAIN: The way I break through is to continue to do the things that I am doing. And that is, take my message to the American people.

When they hear me and they like it, they don't necessarily look for the mainstream legacy media in order to be able to confirm what they believe. So, I continue to take my message to the people. It is resonating.

And here is something that the establishment is underestimating, Neil -- the social media. My presence in the social media and on the Internet is much bigger than many of the other candidates, including Mitt Romney.

So, when you take the social media and you take the Tea Party citizens movement, you have a combination there that, quite frankly, 10 years ago, I wouldn't have had a chance. And this is what is being discounted by members of the establishment media and some members of the Republican Party. But the people are hearing me.

CAVUTO: No, well, Herman, I would agree with that. And I hear -- I am not just saying this as a friend and an admirer, but I always...

CAIN: Yes.

CAVUTO: ... tell people, you know, when they say, well, he doesn't have the experience, I say, well, when it comes to the issues that matters, like jobs and creating them, actually, he is the only one who does have the experience. But that is neither here nor there.

I do want to now start touching on how you would create those jobs.

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: We were kind of rifling through a couple of the examples, but let's get right to it, Herman.

CAIN: OK.

CAVUTO: You are debuting that on this show. And we're flattered about that.

But let's go one by one. The president is having a devil of a time getting those jobs. What would Herman Cain do to start creating them like now?

CAIN: Herman Cain has an economic vision, which means you start with some guiding economic principles. If you don't have any guiding economic principles, then the specifics aren't going to make any sense.

CAVUTO: OK, such as?

CAIN: Here's my -- such as, number one, the business sector is the engine to drive this economy. You must produce before you consume. What that means is, all of the programs coming from this administration have loaded up the caboose. They have not put anything in the engine, which is the business sector.

This is why I would propose a 25 percent max tax for corporations and individuals. And I would also propose suspending taxes on repatriated profits. Thirdly, I would then make sure that these tax rates are permanent. Uncertainty is killing this economy.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: We should just stop there, because you're an encyclopedia.

But just so people know, the top corporate tax rate now around 35 percent.

CAIN: Thirty-five percent. Yes, it's 35 percent.

CAVUTO: And you would cut it to 25 percent and keep it there.

All right, continue.

CAIN: Yes. Yes.

The second economic principle is, risk-taking drives economic growth. The biggest -- one of the biggest barriers to driving economic growth is the capital gains tax rate. I propose taking it to zero.

I liken it to a wall. The capital gains tax, Neil, is a wall between people with money and people with ideas. New ideas and new businesses spur most of our new job growth. So, relative to that principle, capital gains tax rate, take it to zero is the primary driver, if you buy off on the principle -- and I know you do and many of your viewers do -- that risk- taking drives economic growth.

And then the third and final economic principle that drives this vision is that measurements must be dependable, namely, the dollar. When we are boosting this economy at, at least a five percent to six percent growth rate, which I believe these tax changes would do, and, at the same time, we are serious about restructuring those programs that are driving us off of this cliff of bankruptcy, then we will have revenues going in the right direction, up, we will have spending going in the right direction, down, and, Neil, the value of the dollar will regain a lot of the respect that it is losing in the world.

CAVUTO: Well, if you get five percent or six percent growth, the value of the dollar will go up.

Now, the president might take issue on the zero percent capital gains rate, because...

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: ... he will say that a lot millionaires and billionaires pay that rate -- if they pay any taxes at all, that is the one they pay -- right now at 15 percent.

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: He says it's a bargain. You would drive it to zero percent.

So, particularly on this area, under a Cain administration, the argument would go, well, millionaires and billionaires get off paying nothing, nothing.

What do you say?

CAIN: That is not true. And here's why. Most medium to small businesses are incorporated as Subchapter S corporations.

That means that if that restaurant makes any cash and makes a profit, the owner has to run it through his personal income tax return. And if he decides to put it back into the business, he has got to take a haircut on taxes first. If he decides to invest it and hope he can get some gain on his capital, well, guess what? That's double taxation.

So, the majority of the jobs that are going to be created are going to be created by medium and small businesses. And the capital gains tax is one of the biggest penalties against encouraging the risk-taking, OK?

CAVUTO: Fair enough. Fair enough.

Then let me get to the repatriation part, the couple of trillion that is invested abroad that...

CAIN: Yes.

CAVUTO: ... if it came back home, we would be off to the races, presumably.

There is talk on Capitol Hill where there would be a carrot-and-stick approach. We will let you take that money back home at a very low tax rate.

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: But you have got to, let's say, commit -- I think the latest figure is a quarter of it to creating jobs.

Would Herman Cain be OK with that kind of a pact? In other words, sure, businesses get the tax cut. Bring the money home. But they have to commit to hiring folks.

CAIN: I would be OK with the 25 percent requirement that you keep it home, or you invest it here, or you buy equipment for your operations here.

I could live with that. And here's why. I believe that most businesses are going to do that anyway. So I could support that. But I would still...

CAVUTO: Well, they don't always. They don't always.

CAIN: They don't always.

CAVUTO: In the early 1990s, when they had a similar situation, although the numbers were far different...

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: ... most of them just gave it back either in higher dividends or bought more stock. They didn't hire a heck of a lot more people.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: So that's why some people are a little jaded...

CAIN: Right.

CAVUTO: ... that these companies you're placing some faith in might not deliver.

CAIN: Right.

See, the thing is, Neil, we have got to get over what didn't work in the past, because not everything that didn't work in the past is an indication that we can't make it work in the future. So I said I could live with that, but...

CAVUTO: OK.

CAIN: ... not to reduce the tax on repatriated profits. We need to take it to zero.

This economy is in drastic shape. So we need to take big steps to put fuel in the engine that is driving this economy.

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