- The Washington Times - Friday, November 4, 2011

The first 100 days of the Cain administration will usher in implementation of bold solutions to boost our economy and put Americans back to work. President Obama has had more than enough time to pull the right levers to turn around the fundamentals of this economy, but rather than unleash the entrepreneurial spirit, he has bottled it.

As a proven business leader with chief-executive experience in the corporate world, I will chart a different course.

We will put forth our economic vision for growth - the 9-9-9 Plan - which will throw out the existing, broken tax code and make a fresh start. It will boost corporations and small businesses in order to create wealth - meaning jobs, jobs, jobs. I will not simply throw more taxpayer money at solving problems. That approach simply doesn’t work - just ask Greece.

My administration will establish opportunity zones in poverty-stricken areas to promote empowerment, not entitlement - done through implementation of broadened tax incentives. I will unite America in dismantling an unpopular and complex tax code that unfairly burdens businesses and families. Investors and businessmen will have certainty, and low business tax rates will help American businesses better compete in the international arena.

My administration will move quickly to repeal and replace Obamacare with new legislation that increases real wages, lowers health care costs, expands choice and strengthens the doctor-patient relationship. In the spirit of creating jobs, my administration will move to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill.

From its beginning, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has changed our environment for the better in some ways, but it has grown bloated and is desperately in need of an attitude adjustment. Meanwhile, Americans get stuck with significantly higher energy costs. I would appoint an EPA administrator who understands the economic cost of overregulation. Our energy security plan will harness production of domestic energy, thus cutting dependence on foreign oil and putting Americans to work - another common-sense solution.

Similarly, in the arena of foreign policy and national security, my administration will chart a different course from that of the Obama administration.

Championing my fellow citizens who have grown tired of Mr. Obama’s world tours of apology and bowing down to foreign leaders, I am proud that we are the world’s superpower - and intend to keep it that way. We need to strengthen our military, not weaken it.

I would start by listening to our military commanders on the ground in places like Iraq and Afghanistan - something Mr. Obama seems reluctant to do. Instead of withdrawing our troops on a politically driven timeline, leaving power vacuums for our enemies to fill, I will look to keep a U.S. military footprint in place. And I certainly wouldn’t send the enemy a press release about our withdrawal plans - that just encourages them to wait us out. Simply put, that does just not make sense.

In my first 100 days, I will put the USA ahead of the whims of international institutions that do not have our best interests at heart. A Cain administration will conduct a comprehensive review of all our relationships with international organizations such as the United Nations and undertake a fresh, country-by-country analysis. We clearly will identify our friends from our enemies. I will let the world know who our friends are - and stand by them. I would start with Israel, ensuring that our relations get back on the right track - and clean up the damage Mr. Obama has caused.

We also must not take our own backyard for granted. In addition to securing our border and enforcing our laws on immigration, we must build North America as a globally competitive strategic system with 600 million people - encompassing the United States, Canada and Mexico. Adding Central America and the Caribbean, the region is vital to our economic growth and national security - yet is often overlooked. Collectively, the area is our top source of energy and our largest market. I will pursue a growth-oriented strategy that builds on this region’s compatibilities - geography, demography, competitiveness, energy, culture and security - in order to promote mutual prosperity, opportunity and freedom.

My first 100 days in the White House can be summarized as a new beginning for the United States of America. The people of our country have waited long enough. It’s time we let America thrive again.

Herman Cain is a Republican candidate for president of the United States.

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