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Herman Cain’s tax proposal, labelled ‘9-9-9’, is the latest in a long line of GOP gimmicks designed to appeal to tax hating middle Americans. The ‘plan’ would be to cut corporate taxes from 40% to 9%, Federal income tax from 35% to 9%, and introduce a national sales tax of 9% on top local state taxes.
It might sound great in principle (less taxes for everyone!), but upon further inspection, the plan is about the most insane piece of nonsense produced by a prominent Republican in a primary election. The Daily Beast reports:
Bruce Bartlett, an adviser in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, says that 9-9-9 is unfair to working taxpayers. “It’s the most upside-down tax plan that’s been put forward to tax the poor and the middle class,” he says. “It’s rather insane it’s gotten as much attention as it has. It’s a waste of my time to attack it.” What’s more, Bartlett says of what Cain has made public, “there is not nearly enough information on which to do a serious analysis.” The Cain campaign wasn’t answering questions about it on Wednesday.
Slashing corporate and federal taxes whilst raising sales taxes would overwhelmingly favor the rich and punish the poor. The rich have the most to gain from corporate tax cuts as most Americans do not own their own companies, and the poor would suffer from a sales tax hike because most of their income is spent on buying necessities rather than investing in stocks and shares etc. According to Michael Ettlinger of the Center for American Progress, the plan would impose “the biggest shift from the wealthy to the middle class in the history of taxation, ever, anywhere.”
Cain is unashamedly pandering to the rich while playing up his middle American credentials with Tea Party-esque rhetoric. His plan is so unserious though that even his own party thinks it is a joke.
One would hope that this would spell the end of his fanciful run at the White House, but gimmicks seem to carry a lot of weight with GOP voters.
It does provide for much entertainment though, and I’m sure Cain has other brilliantly crafted gibberish to unleash over the next few months.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.