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Caucus candidate Herman Cain chats economy on train to Kinnick

BY MARY KATE KNORR | OCTOBER 24, 2011 7:20 AM

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Clad in a red, white, and blue Hawkeye sweatshirt, one Republican presidential caucus candidate said his economic plans would benefit college students.

Georgia businessman Herman Cain said his plan would help expand the job market and increase wages for job-seeking students following graduation.

"The part [of my campaign] that should be most appealing to college students is my economic growth and jobs plan," Cain told The Daily Iowan. "If you've got 14 million people out of a job… when [students] get out of college, they're not going to have a job."

The former CEO of Godfather's pizza visited with Hawkeye tailgaters before the Oct. 22 football game.

 

Earlier this month, Cain unveiled his 9-9-9 plan, which aims to level out taxes with a flat 9 percent business tax, a flat 9 percent individual tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. The plan eliminates the current tax code and replaces it with a simpler system, according to Cain's campaign.

"If we don't boost this economy, people coming out of college are going to be in a world of hurt," Cain said. "Look at [my] economic growth and jobs plan because that represents your economic future opportunities."

But some doubt whether the 9-9-9 will be as effective as Cain claims. Patrick Barron, a University of Iowa adjunct lecturer in economics, said Cain's policy fails to address a more important issue.

"I'm not that impressed with it because it really doesn't address spending," he said. "I'm not saying [the plan is] bad, but has he thought the whole thing through?"

Cathy Grawe, a volunteer on Cain's Iowa campaign committee said his plan should especially appeal to students.

"His policies will help getting back a little prosperity so these kids can get jobs when they do get out of college," Grawe said.

And Cain's financial experience as CEOof Godfather's Pizza proves he can deal with tough economic situations, said Lisa Lockwood, communications director for Cain's Iowa campaign.

"Our federal government is hemorrhaging money, [and] if it were an organization, it would already be bankrupt," Lockwood said. "I would love to see him take his skills and abilities that he has used in the real world and apply them to our government."

With the 9-9-9 plan, Cain would be able to "expand GDP by $2 trillion, create 6 million new jobs, increase business investment by one third, and increase wages by 10 percent," said former Reagan Treasury official Gary Robbins on Cain's website.

But Barron said although the 9 percent income tax is appealing, Americans' taxes could actually increase over time.

'This is how all taxes begin," Barron said about the low rates. "But they all go up."


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