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The Numbers Racket

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Herman Cain got a real boost thanks to his simple (and simplistic) 9-9-9 tax plan. Then came the media attention to the plan, forcing him to jiggle the numbers. Under his new formulation low-income Americans will fall under his alternative 9-0-9 plan.
 
I do believe that this marks numerology's first foray into politics. Maybe it will catch on and grow into a kind of national political game of Sudoku. The winner gets to sleep in the White House for four years. (Shhhhhhhh. Please don't wake current occupant!)
 
While Cain plans to fix the tax system with his 9-9-9/9-0-9 plan, he also has a number-plan for dealing with illegal immigration, 20-220-1 ; a 20-foot high metal fence with 220-volts running through it and a sign warning, "This fence can kill you." (in Spanish, I assume - then again, maybe not.)
 
Rick Perry has the crime issue down to raw numbers as well; 500-1500-500. Five hundred IV needles, 1500 milliliters of paralytic barbiturate, and five hundred executions. Amazing how numbers are so efficient at all this, isn't it? None of those pesky "nuance" things liberals cling to and clog up the wheels of progress - or justice..
 
Mitt Romney has adopted a flexible binary system for his campaign. You know, like your computer uses to think. Romney's numbers are 1-0-1-0-1 ...on infinitum. Every national issue is assigned one zero and a one as well. Romney decides which number is appropriate based on the place, date, phase of the moon, audience or recent shift in public opinion.
 
Ron Paul is a born numbers guy. Paul can reel off numbers faster than The Count on Sesame Street. But his core numbers, the ones he runs on, are bare-bones numbers: 0-0-0. Unlike Romney, he doesn't slip in any ones along the way, even if it makes sense to do so. Paul wants zero government interference in business, zero healthcare for those without insurance and just plain zero (as in an empty lot)where the Federal Reserve now stands. Paul's critics say his numbers just don't add up. Paul responds that 0's are much more efficient and natural than "all those other numbers the government uses." Zeros, Paul points out, are self-staining, infinite loops, the next best thing to a perpetual motion machine that goes on forever. He blames Federal Reserve chief, Bernanke, of "fueling number-inflation feeding our $14.7 trillion national debt." He says when he becomes President he will assign "a big beautiful, fat (gold) zero to the national debt." As for Romney's plan of mixing 1's with 0's, Paul reminds us that "one is the loneliest number."
 
Rick Santorum's number, just happens to be, One. Well, actually it's 3-in-1 since, as an evangelical Christian he believes in The Trinity...unlike Romney, the Mormon, who does not believe in celestial division or fractions. Santorum, as the GOP's goody-est of the race's goody-two-shoers, is hanging his hopes on The One. So far he's retained his first place status in that regard since no cute little numbers have popped up, as they so often do when one of these goody-two-shoers runs for public office. No "Monkey Business," or "Hiking the Appalachian Trail to Argentina," or "I have a wide stance," for Santorum. Either he's really as boring as he appears or any illicit partners are too embarrassed to squeal.
 
I'd like to be able to tell you what numbers Michelle Bachmann is using, but her doctor cited HIPPA privacy laws prohibiting him from disclosing exactly what psycho-active medication she's on or dosage levels. He would only say that they are continuing to adjust those levels but expressed some frustration. "Nothing seems to get through. I'm afraid if I give her any more I'll end up sharing a cell with Dr. Conrad Murray."
 
Newt Gingrich's numbersof choice - so far - is 3-52-3. He's on his third wife, his waist size is 52, and he stands at 3% in the polls. He was going to present a new Contract With America at the last debate, but a cute little intern caught his eye while waiting in the green room, and he used the contract to slip her the most important number -- the number of his private inside line.
 
The only GOP candidate without a numbers plan is Jon Huntsman. He's another Mormon but no one seems to care. Asked what his numbers-plan is Huntsman looks puzzled. " A numbers-plan? What are you talking about?" When it was explained to him, Huntsman just shook his head. "That's the craziest thing I ever heard," he said. "What kind of morons think you can reduce the critical problems facing this nation to a set of simplistic numbers or slogans?" Ah, Jon, your opponents... and apparently the GOP's Tea Party base. But hey, you do have a number, nonetheless. It's a fraction of 1%, which is where you stand in the polls.
 
The bottom line here folks is that, even at the dawn of the 21st Century it's the oldest numbers game on the planet. Call it the 1-7 plan; there's one born every minute and seven more to take them to the cleaners.
 

 

Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a (more...)
 

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which of course would never gain any acceptance - ... by Doc McCoy on Saturday, Oct 22, 2011 at 10:35:20 PM

 

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