U.S. Senate candidate Herman Cain says he wants to "shake things up" in Washington D.C.
"One of the great things about this country is it's ability to change," Cain said during a Saturday morning speech to the Columbia County Republican Party at Dye's Southern Grill.
Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and associate minister of an Atlanta Baptist church, is one of the Republican candidates vying for the seat Sen. Zell Miller is vacating.
Cain said that some of the changes he would like to see is the elimination of income taxes, a restructuring of Social Security and less bureaucratic control of Medicare.
He proposed a national sales tax in place of the current tax code, which he said would result in a 30 percent savings in American workers' paychecks.
"The sales base is much bigger than the income base," he said.
In addition to instituting a national sales tax, Cain wants to allow people to invest in personalized retirement accounts.
"The money we're putting into Social Security is offering the greatest negative return in history," he said.
Blaming politicians for allowing Social Security to deteriorate to its current state, Cain said he believes there is still time to save it.
"We've seen this coming and we've done nothing," he said. "Social Security is a bad deal for everybody. It's got to stop."
Medicare is in better shape than Social Security, he said.
However, "Doctors are not allowed to do what all they can do for a patient while under Medicare," he said.
Too much bureaucracy has inflated the Medicare budget, making it ineffective, Cain said.
"Medicare is $440 billion industry," he said. "One-third of that budget, $140 billion, is administrative costs.
"Doctors are being dictated to by bureaucrats what procedures they can perform."
Cain will debate his ideas in a June 12 senatorial debate at 8 p.m. in the Imperial Theater, 745 Broad Street, at 8 p.m.
U.S. Reps. Mac Collins, R-Jackson, and Johnny Isackson, R-East Cobb, who also are running for Miller's seat, have been invited to attend.
Columbia County Republican Party Chairman Lee Muns said the debate will be aired live on WRDW-TV (Channel 12).
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