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You Should Know: Five Facts About Herman Cain

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Another day, another set of facts to set the record straight. Our blog series about the Republican 2012ers continues today with a look at a corporate executive with a stunning record of job loss and a man whose previous foray into elected politics was a 30-point disaster. But if you ask some observers of the first Republican debate, this candidate is the front runner. Meet Herman Cain.

Herman Cain is a current talk radio host, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, and national Tea Party favorite. He wants to end Medicare as we know it, pay off China before issuing Social Security benefits, and enact a new lopsided tax that would hit middle-class families the hardest.

He's surging in the GOP primary—and just came in second in a recent Iowa poll.We’re not sure, however, that voters will be as welcoming once they learn his platform.

Here are five things you should know about Herman Cain:

1) Herman Cain supervised the firing of thousands of Iowa workers as a member of the Whirlpool Board of Directors. In 2006, under the direction of a board of directorsthat included Herman Cain, Whirlpool bought Maytag and promptly shut down its plant in Newton, Iowa—1,600 workers were laid off, and those who kept their jobs made less than before. Now an empty factory looms over the struggling town. (New York Times, 8/26/2007)

2) Herman Cain supports the Ryan Republican budget that would end Medicare as we know it. This bill would turn Medicare into a voucher system and double out-of-pocket health care costs to seniors. Nevertheless, Cain said, "I support Ryan’s plan 100 percent. We don’t need to come up with another plan." (FOX News, Fox & Friends, 5/26/2011)

3) Herman Cain wants to repeal and replace health care reform, despite the fact that it would increase the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that repealing health reform would increase the deficit by roughly $145 billion between 2012 and 2019, and $230 billion through 2021 (Congressional Budget Office, 1/6/2011). Herman Cain ignores the facts, however, and believes that it’s time to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, free market reforms.” (HermanCain.com, accessed 6/10/2011)

4) Herman Cain opposes raising the debt ceiling, and says we should pay Chinese creditors first before issuing seniors their Social Security and Medicare benefits. Cain's idea of paying for the deficit is to pay seniors their Social Security benefits only if there's money left after paying China, agreeing with a reporter who told him, "That's going to mean a lot of serious cuts for people while we're paying the Chinese creditors first." (American Spectator, 5/23/2011)

5) Herman Cain supports implementing the "fair tax" for everyone, which would hit middle-class families hard. In an interview with Fox News, Cain said, "The ultimate answer, in my opinion, is the fair tax, which is a fair tax for everybody, because as long as we still have this messed-up tax code, the politicians are going to use it to reward winners and losers." (FOX Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4/18/2011) But the Wall Street Journal editorial board said the fair tax is "the most radical reform imaginable," and one that would "hit hard the young, middle-income families" and "tax medical services and home prices." (Wall Street Journal,12/5/2007)

Herman Cain is new to the political process,and most people are still learning about him—but we need to do our part to make sure people know the truth about his views. Helpspread the facts by sharing this with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.

If you're using Twitter, use the hashtag #youshouldknow.