Businessman: US Must Reform Entitlement Programs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain told hundreds of conservative activists that the nation won’t solve its financial woes until policymakers reform entitlement programs.

Cain says the conservative movement is gaining strength and will help Republicans take back the government from what he called radical socialism. Without naming any specific government programs, Cain says the country has “an entitlement spending crisis” that must be addressed.

Cain was among several potential GOP presidential candidates to speak Saturday at a conference in Des Moines sponsored by conservative Iowa Congressman Steve King. King says he wants to allow conservatives to shape the debate as Republicans begin seeking an opponent for President Barack Obama.

Cain spoke to the crowd after Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • WE can do it

    I am not an affiliate of either political party and I don’t claim to be perfect or have all the answers. I agree that radical changes are needed in a lot of the “entitlement” programs. Such as, instead of able bodied people simply collecting a check each month from their County, how about they do some work for the County? I don’t encompass everyone in this, some people are simply not able to work and still need our help. However, the multi-million dollar businesses and their very well paid CEO’s need to give up their tax breaks and bonuses as well, and public unions need to give up a little too–like permanent job security just because you’re in a union. There is no easy solution and everybody has to suck it up–EVERYBODY.

    • jimmy

      In 1980 the top 1% took 9% of the total earned income, in 2007 they took 23%. That 14% difference that used to be earned by the middle class no longer pays into SS. You want to fix entitlements fix that.

  • Victim Du Jour

    John Stossel is a great reporter, I caught the tail end of a report, and he shows how Jon Bon Jovi can afford to put solar panels on his home, and he pays very little in property taxes because he has a bee farm.

    He also showed how Bruce Springstien pays hardly any taxes on very large property because he pays someone to use it for an organic farm.

    While their middle class neighbors with small property’s pay up the Kazoo.

    • WE can do it

      Excellent points Victim Du Jour!! Both claim to be out there for the working people and then turn around and stiff them. I wonder if they are even aware of what’s going on or do their “people” have it all under control…

    • The Olive Branch

      Bon Jovi and Springsteen are not your typical Liberals but they are Liberals. They are taking advantage of tax laws because they exist and they have the money to do it. I suppose that’s my point in replying to Victim Du Jour is because most middle class people don’t have the money to take advantage of tax laws.

      Do we have an entitlement problem? When we talk about entitlement programs, we usually hear about welfare, food stamps, etc. but there are many forms of entitlement where the “rest of the people” are paying for a few.

      60 Minutes … reported on companies setting up tax havens in Ireland and Switzerland paying as little a 3 to 16% taxes on their income (GE, Cisco, Google, etc.) vs. 35% that they would pay in the US. At first I was angry … these companies were forcing the rest of the people to pay for a few. Something like $1.5 Trillion of income is not being taxed in the US because of these loopholes. But it opened my eyes to something.

      First, I still feel corporations are the ones benefiting and the rest of us are paying, but we do need to level the playing field. If corporations are sincere about bringing back their income, investing in our economy, and keeping our jobs in the US … then I’m open to helping them level the playing field.

      Second, you can’t have it both ways. Middle class people can not be blamed for the way things are in the US. We “also” just want things to be fair. We are willing to pay our fair share. We need to find a middle ground … Actually we need to define a new way.

      Let’s get corporations and unions out of politics because it divides everyone.

      A) We need to eliminate tax write offs for all campaign contributions and lobbyists.

      B) We need to eliminate “career politicians” and set term limits. We also need to eliminate “political entitlements” … like health benefits and pensions.

      C) We need a “balance budget” at all levels of government. We need to pay for the laws of the land and not burden our children with debt we incur.

      D) The tax code needs to be fair. Why are we subsidizing big oil companies or Bon Jovi’s bee farm? I can see when we need to develop new technology like renewable energy or encourage individuals to invest in retirement.

      E) Let’s balance the playing field so corporations invest in the US. If the tax code is fair to all, we can lower the corporate tax to compete with other countries. A 15% tax rate on $1.5 Trillion of income solves a huge budget problem.

      F) Corporations would bring back our jobs if they weren’t unfairly burdened with our tax code. Jobs would also spur the economy.

      Victim Du Jour … Let’s find this middle ground. Let’s make the US the envy of the world again. Let’s focus our frustrations and bring resolution. IF … you and I can work together, so can the rest of the people.

  • Mike

    We need to get rid of the corporate entitlement that allows GE to receive billions of dollars from taxpayers when they pay zero taxes themselves.

    • philip

      what an exageration! Zero taxes, come on. More drama from another liberal.

      • ignatz

        Apparently you don’t get out much, or read the real news. GE paid no taxes and got billions back in tax credits besides. This is not a liberal or conservative issue, merely bought off politicians of both parties that put in tax breaks for GE and others who lobbied and contributed. Here is some reading for you. This story was on all news sources, including Fox.

    • Victim Du Jour

      I wonder why SNL never makes fun of Obama?

      Isn’t it Fascism? And then you pay attention to all the things they push with the cop and lawyer shows.

      They made a few Meredith Baxter Victim movies too.

      • Zeke

        learn what Fascism is. Then remember the Patriot act and you will know who the fascists are.. Did you fail 7th grade history twice?

        • Victim Du Jour

          The Democrats Ku Klux Klan was a fascist movement.

          The 1924 Democratic Convention was the largest Ku Klux Klan rally in US History.

          And they hated Jews before Nazis even existed.

    • Mark

      $5.1 billion tax-free.

  • truth hurts

    Why does an oil company need entitlement? Why does a sport team owner need a stadium entitlement? It goes on and on and on…

    Why does a pizza company get an entitlement for the price on the flour of the crust? Sorry to say it…we are living in corporate socialism.

    Herman Cain has no problem with his entitlement but when it comes to someone of the lower class all hell breaks out. He probably bellieves in the biggest entitlement of all inheritance. I haven’t even touched on the lower rate of capitol gains tax; yet another entitlement program.

  • Kally

    Same old..yes but not in my back yard..yes but not my entitlement, yes but not my government pension on and on. We are trapped. Face the facts people. We will NEVER cut spending due to the …but not in my back yard. I too have a back yard. So now that we have faced that we will never cut the debt and it will only grow we should start facing what will happen when the interest on debt can no longer be paid. What is our plan?

  • Jon

    All politicians are bought and paid for! Big oil, Wallstreet, big banks etc. Maybe middle America needs to start raising H#LL on Washington and corporate America, Enough already! It’s got to be right and left, we cannot stop this going in divided.

  • Absurdity

    Don’t be fooled by the men behind the curtain. They are not out to save the country but to get your money. Don’t be so dumb…they’ve already taken a huge amount with their bailouts.

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