Over the weekend, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain officially threw his hat into the ring for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, telling a crowd in his hometown of Atlanta, “I’m running for president of the United States, and I’m not running for second.” Just one day into his official campaign, Cain was flummoxed on Fox News Sunday when asked about Middle East policy, as Faiz Shakir noted.
But it is economic policy with which Cain is hoping to really make his mark. He has already endorsed the cockamamie FairTax proposal (which was highly promoted by Mike Huckabee in 2008), wants to eliminate the capital gains tax, and has backed a possible return to the gold standard. Also, as the Colorado Independent noted, Cain has called for repealing the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, passed in order to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis:
We must repeal financial regulatory ‘deform.’ We must enact real reforms that protect the roots of our economic system. We must not compromise them with excessive regulation and the federal government’s ‘pay-to-play’ politics.
Earlier this month, Cain said of the financial reform law, “I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.” Like many other Republicans, including House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Cain takes particular exception to Dodd-Frank granting the government the ability to designate certain firms as systemically risky and thus subject them to higher regulation.
In addition to removing that important new ability for regulating mega-banks, repealing the financial reform law would also get rid of several protections and tools that are key to rebuilding a stable financial system. These include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the ability of the government to dismantle failing financial institutions without resorting to ad hoc bailouts, and a new regime for regulating derivatives.
But Cain is far from alone amongst the GOP 2012 hopefuls in wanting to send the financial system back to 2007. Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) has opened the door to repealing the Dodd-Frank law, while former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), who will be officially launching his presidential bid today, has repeated false GOP talking points about the law perpetuating bailouts.