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A Businessman for President?


Herman Cain has an impressive record in the business world. He was a successful vice president at Pillsbury and Burger King, then he turned around the failing Godfather's Pizza.

Is that the kind of person the country needs as president? Cain thinks so.

I spoke with Cain last week.

As a businessman, Cain saw firsthand the harm that government interventions like the minimum-wage inflict. People lose their jobs without even realizing why.

"If the government were to mandate an increase in minimum wage today ... it would simply drive the unemployment rate even higher."

How would he deal with the debt problem?

"We will not default ... . (P)ay the military people and their military families, make sure we pay the interest on debt, pay Medicare bills, and then make sure we pay the Medicaid bills. (E)verything else should be on the table."

Cain says government is not only too big — it's too complex. To change that, he said congressional bills should be no more than three pages. He's taken a ribbing on that from Jon Stewart

"(T)hree pages was a number to exaggerate a point. Make sure bills are short enough and understandable enough for the American people to understand."

On other matters, Cain can be ambiguous — special tax treatment for corn-based ethanol, for example.

"(M)ake sure the farmers who are dependent upon ethanol subsidies have the proper alternative distribution for the product."

How can a defender of free markets say that?

"Once you help the farmers get their products to market all over the world, they won't need those subsidies and the free market principles will perform much better because then we should allow ethanol, methanol and all sources to compete in the marketplace."

He also supported TARP bank bailout.

"I looked at the financial meltdown. That was one of the worst situations that I have ever seen, and we need(ed) to do something drastic. But when the administration started to pick winners and losers, I did not agree with the implementation."

He opposed the bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors.

While Cain says he wants less government, he also supports bans on abortion and gay marriage, and the war on drugs. The failure of the war on drugs is obvious to me. I wondered why he didn't see it.

"First, get serious about restricting the amount of illegal drugs coming into this country. ... I refuse to accept defeat by simply legalizing it."

To me, that wouldn't be accepting defeat. That would be proclaiming individual liberty.

On war and peace, Cain has sounded evasive. When asked about Afghanistan during the first presidential debate, he said: "The experts and their advice and their input would be the basis for me making that decision. I am not privy to a lot of confidential information." On my show, he said, "(S)ince that debate, I have begun to develop some perspective on those issues."

So should we get out or stay?

"(T)he surge was working, but this president decided to start drawing troops home. ... (T)he two worst things that we can do is leave too soon if we can win, if we define winning."

Can we define winning?

"That is why I have to talk to the experts because the United States interest is not clear. ... (U)ntil I have a clear definition of what winning means for the United States of America, I will not shoot from the lip."

The political class mocks Cain for seeking the presidency — despite never having held public office. I say: What's so great about political experience? All that means is that you are skilled at sucking up to people, smiling when you don't mean it and promising everything to everyone.

I would rather have a businessman as president than a career politician, although government must never be compared to a business, because unlike a company, government gets its revenue by force. Let's also remember the real problem is that government intrudes in matters outside its proper sphere. Not even a great businessman could make that work.

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "Give Me a Break" and of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at <a href="" <>></a>. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at




10 Comments | Post Comment
----IF he's a Free Enterprise man ---fine.

----IF he's a franchise slum biz nihilist, Gobalist, bankster---CAP-IT-ALLLL-ist
a la Donald Trump ---see ya' later!
Comment: #1
Posted by: free bee
Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:07 AM
President Nixon was very smart to call it a "war" on drugs. By doing so, ending it would be implying defeat--a point made entirely clear by Mr Cain's comment "I refuse to accept defeat by simply legalizing it."

If we make drugs illegal and send adults to jail to keep drugs out of the hands of children and children still have access to drugs, shouldn't we rethink our strategy? We are putting people in cages for doing something some people claim are unhealthy--and it's not even achieving the result of keeping it out of the hands of children.

In regards to Marijuana specifically, the government has made this a crime and put 20,000,000 Americans in a cage without making a reasonable argument that it presents any public health risk. The burden of proof for this issue rests solely on the legalizers, when if this was a free society that valued liberty, the burden would be on the government to justify spending billions and sacrificing the ideals on which this country was founded--a strong distrust of government power.
Comment: #2
Posted by: SpellCzech
Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:28 AM
Re: SpellCzech - your comment brings up an interesting point in my mind. What would those 20,000,000 people be doing if they weren't arrested for their crimes? Seems to me, we already have millions of deserving, hard-working, yet currently unemployed Americans, we don't need millions more pot-heads thrown into the mix. If anything, jailing these losers is a form of socialism and welfare. We are basically saying: "You are too stupid to give up pot even though you KNOW it is against the law, so we're going to give you 3-square meals a day, a free gym membership, free laundry service, etc..". So I think you're right, get those people out of jail. Make them live out on the street with no income, a foreclosed house, no car, hungry kids to feed. Give the honest people in this society that benefit instead. Imagine if we didn't have to house and feed all those drugged-out losers, we could probably end non-drug-related poverty overnight. Make the crackheads and junkies fend for themselves. Oh but wait, these people are a danger to society. Many already lost their jobs and homes to their habit. They steal and commit other crimes to afford those habits, and simply making the drugs legal probably won't stop that (doesn't stop alcoholics from doing the same things). Hmm... maybe just making it legal isn't the only thing we should be considering.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Nathan H.
Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:45 PM
I think it is unfortunate that we dismiss people like Cain because they have no official political track record. I like his passion and some of his ideas. That used to be what campaigns were about; getting an idea of what the candidate stood for and how passionate he was about getting the job. We've lost that over the years because of the packaging of candidates by "experts" on campaigning.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Douglas4517
Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:09 AM
I'd like to see one candidate out there who realizes he's supposed to be representing the majority regardless of his/her own beliefs. But we'll never get one until the American people pull their heads out of their asses.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Diana
Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:04 AM
But what does that mean? You want people who have no principles? That stand for whatever will get them re-elected? Because that is what you just advocated.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Douglas4517
Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:29 AM
Re: Nathan H.
If you think it's OK for a free-society to imprison people for what they consume, you might not like what the government chooses to throw people in cages for next.
How can you lump "pot heads" in with crack heads or even alcoholics for that matter. You describe pot heads as lazy and unemployed--a stereotype that is ill-founded. 30,000,000 (SAMHSA statistic) Americans enjoy marijuana each year--and about 50% have used in their lifetime. Their behavior is no different than the way many adults consume alcohol. To say that every marijuana user is a lazy stoner is the same as saying that every person that drinks alcohol is overly aggressive, likes to get in fights or beat their spouse. Would you describe Steve Jobs, Carl Sagan, Ted Turner, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush, The Eagles, or Michael Bloomberg as lazy and unemployed? They are all or have been "pot heads" and, as you say, deserve to get their "free gym membership and 3 squares" for being too stupid to know it's against the law.
I ask you this: If you were walking down the street at night with a friend, would you prefer to encounter a group of men who had been drinking or a group of men who had been smoking marijuana? One substnace repeatedly has been shown to: lower inhibitions, increase aggression, violent behavior, reckless behavior, overdose deaths, and kill 35,000-50,000 Americans each year (not including DUI fatalities). The other substance has been shown to calm the user, increase empathy, enhance creativity through hyper-priming & enhaced abstract thought, enhance the physical senses, make the user more talkative, and has no reported deaths. Yet the users of the safer substance are "too stupid" and deserve to be locked in cages? At the very least, members of a free society should have the right to choose the safer, less socially toxic, and less addictive substance.
Comment: #7
Posted by: SpellCzech
Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:33 AM
If Cain is able to win the primary for president,I'll support him. I believe he has all the qualifications to make a great president What is more, he is honest and does not try to fool any one on subjects that he does not have security clearances on. I respect that. It sure would be a departure from our current president who will say one thing today and completely reverse himself the next day.
Comment: #8
Posted by: wally
Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:36 PM
Ron Paul and Michelle B. are the only freedom lovers that i see running in this election. R&M 2012
Comment: #9
Posted by: Jon Olson
Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:34 PM
Re: Nathan H.Nathan is right we should just line up everyone that has ever done drugs up against the wall and shoot them. People need to do what there wise overlords tell them and not just do what they want. And if anyone breaks a rule by a wiseoverlord they should be killed, unless they are a wise overlord, because some people are just more equal then others. Jesus F. Christ said in plain english that people should not take drugs, what is so hard to understand about that. Hopefully Nathan will become a wise overlord and makes sure everyone does what he wants. Heil Nathan!Heil mein Furher!!!
Comment: #10
Posted by: Brian
Sat Oct 1, 2011 6:54 PM
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