Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lucky 9, Cloud 9, Love Potion Number 9

As gathered in the barbershops, the political issues are really economic concerns:
1.    Over 9% (9.1%) Unemployment Rate;
2.    Over 9% full reduction of household income (3.2% + 6.7% = 9.9%) from start of recession  (12/2007) to 6/2011;
3.    Over 9% (9.2% income reduction) for Blacks since the official end of the recession on June 2009  to June 2011.

This is based on a New York Times report and an article written by John F. Coder and Gordon W. Green, Jr. who concluded that it was  “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.”

It is no wonder that Job Creation has been the focus of the Republican Presidential Candidates. Until the withdrawal of former Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota, there were 9 of them who were considered serious.
Herman Cain (photo by Washington Times)
 Herman Cain, the only Black Republican Presidential candidate and former Chairman and CEO of Godfather Pizza, recently rose from being in the lowest to the top tier of candidates. This was after winning by a big margin the straw poll in Florida and by introducing his so-called 9-9-9 plan.

Basically, Cain proposes a 9% Individual Income Tax Rate; 9% for Corporate, and 9% for a National Sales Tax. He also projects a 9% Recovery Rate and eliminating Federal Debt in 9 years. That’s actually 5 - 9s! In short, it’s 9-9-9 = 9 and 9.

Temporarily, he and his supporters are in “Cloud 9”. Whether the sudden surge of his candidacy would continue as a Lucky 9 streak, we will certainly monitor.  They are currently shouting, “Yes, we Cain!”

The other candidates and critics have started putting cloud into his numbers. It is supposed to be revenue neutral but some computations show that it would bring substantially lower Federal revenues.

It would also add a national sales tax on top of the current state sales taxes. Regardless, it is attractive because it is simple and easier to understand.

Mitt Romney
Governor Mitt Romney remains the front-runner.  Compared to Cain’s 5 9s, Romney has 59 proposals discussed in a 161-page plan. Noticing the numbers 5 and 9, his points actually equal more than 6 9s (54). 

Romney plans to reduce the unemployment rate from the current 9.1% to 5.9%.

The 9 most important points of Romney’s plan are the following:
  1. Sanction China as currency manipulator and an unfair-trade practitioner;
  2.  Reduce corporate taxes from 35% to 25%;
  3. Implement stalled free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea;
  4. Survey of energy reserves for domestic production and job creation. Streamline process to create new oil and gas drilling;
  5.  Make states responsible for retraining;
  6. Cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, a move that will reduce the federal budget by $20 billion;
  7. Repeal Obama’s Healthcare;
  8. Reverse pro-union orders issued by Obama; and
  9. Eliminate or repeal any Obama-era regulations that have a negative effect on job creation and economic growth. 
Romney said, “President Obama’s strategy is a pay phone strategy and we’re in a smart phone world.”

We see concreteness in Romney and Cain’s platforms. Probably because of their successful and fruitful experiences in the private sector, they cannot be accused of being “out of touch 9 times over”.

Many Americans are feeling “down in the dumps” as opposed to being on  “Cloud 9”. President Obama himself is calling it an “Emergency”.  It reminds me of then President Carter’s characterization of the situation in the 1980s as a “malaise”.

For America to avoid reaching the “10th level of Hell” or its economic situation going “6 feet under”, President Obama came up with the American Jobs Bill. 
President Obama
 The 9 significant points include:
1.    Tax Cut – payroll;
2.    Expanding small business loan limits;
3.    Extending 100% business expensing into 2012;
4.    Cutting red tape;
5.    Reforming patent system;
6.    Tax Credit for hiring unemployed, hiring back teachers, etc.;
7.    Infrastructure – schools, roads, bridges, railways, airports;
8.    Expanding Wireless Internet; and
9.    All to be paid for partly by taxing those earning  $999,999.99 or more.

People are skeptic about the passage of the bill because President Obama proposes it. The Republicans are not about to give him a “win”. This is despite the fact that according to the latest survey, 63% of Americans support it. That's 7 9s!

But the proposals of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness led by a Republican and composed of 27 (3-9s) current and former CEOs, academics and industry leaders might have a chance. The average annual income of the CEOs is $9M.

Their proposals involve the following 9 areas:
  1. Attract Foreign Capital;
  2. Energy – more aggressive in domestic production;
  3. Infrastructure- fix and/or build airports, railways and electricity grids;
  4. Immigration – speedier visa decisions,  green card for foreigners earning U.S. degrees in science, engineering and math;
  5. Drug Approvals - streamline
  6. Red Tape – reduction
  7. Taxation -  lower corporate taxes for new companies in their first three years; reduced capital gains rate for investors buying equity in young firms and other measures to encourage people to launch start-up companies;  tax reforms to make it more competitive for companies to locate in the U.S.;
  8. Education – change student loan payment rules; and
  9. Broadband Networks
As mentioned above, the concerns are in the 9 ranges. The proposed solutions are likewise in the 9s.  Hearing the Beatles sing, “what you need is Love Potion Number 9” might give us some tips.

In our Universe of 9 Planets where Earth revolves around the Sun, the Beatles could have coincidentally given the answer as people started and remain occupying Wall Street and the like: People Power “Revolution 9”.

How about Steve Jobs revolutionizing the computer industry and naming his creations starting with the 9th letter of the alphabet “I” as in IPAD, IPHONE, IPOD, IBOOKS, ICLOUD, etc.?

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