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Cain Has No Idea

By John Martin - Posted on 13 October 2011

You got to hand it to that 9-9-9 tax plan. It has sure helped the Hermanator rocket to the top of the polls! The plan is so elegantly simple, it's no wonder it has caught on so well among Republican voters. Under 9-9-9, anyone, from multinational corporation to mom and pop business owner, to modest family of four will be able to dump their accountants, sit down with their smart phone's calculator, and figure out their tax liability in a matter of minutes, saving everyone a big chunk of change and a few headaches along the way. Best yet, with a tax plan so simple, there will be no need for the hated IRS, allowing us to put even more people out of work.

But as the now-frontrunner has said, he has a target on his back. And now so does his increasingly-complex tax plan
Mr. Cain made it clear Wednesday his plan remained a work in progress. Visiting Concord, N.H., he added several new wrinkles. He would preserve the deduction for charitable donations, making the flat income tax not so flat; he would exempt any used goods, including previously owned homes and cars, from the national sales tax; and he would allow businesses to deduct new equipment purchases from their 9% corporate income tax, as long as the goods were U.S.-made.
Asked how that would apply to a computer designed domestically but containing Malaysian components and assembled in China, he replied, "I have no idea."
I know that Herman Cain had no expectation of doing this well, but if you're going to run for president, you should at least do your homework. Now, the man is in a really tough spot-- he can either admit his simple plan is not so simple, or he can abandon it altogether, and admit that he hasn't really thought this "running for president" thing through.

Funny how the polls show Cain surging. Most think his popularity will take a dive in the same way Perry crashed, especially as details of his plan are seen. However, many conservatives/tea party types like him because he seems like a "regular guy", a pretty inspirational speaker, and not a stiff politician (Mitt Romney come to mind?) And if they loved Sarah Palin, do you really think they'll care about his intellect or actual policies and if they will work? I hope he stays strong in the polls and gives Romney a tough time, although it is a scary notion to think Cain could capture the nomination and even have a chance at becoming our president! Not sure if Rush Limbaugh endorsed Cain, but he really dumped on Romney yesterday and said he is NOT a conservative. Don't forget that Rush is the real leader of the GOP so you never know...

Lets just look at the sales tax. No mention is made of any exemptions from this tax, so we may assume that it will apply to food, medical care, rent, home and auto purchases and a wide variety of other expenditures now exempt from state sales taxes. This would increase their cost of living by 9 percent while, at the same time, the poor would pay income taxes.

Let say I go to the store and grab one of those iPhone. Sure the phone is $369 and my state sales tax is 8.5% ($31) and the Cain tax is 9% is $33. That's $64 in taxes for a retail purchase.

There's good reason why Bruce Bartlett called Cain's 999 Plan a 'distributional monstrosity.'

I've gotten into a scary number of arguments with poor and working class people who are convinced that a plan like Cain's would do wonders for the economy, and ultimately lift them out of their misery, despite the fact that it would require them to pay higher taxes. They talk about how it would allow the investor class to put more money back into the economy, thus helping lift all boats. 

Whoever is selling this shit is sure convincing a scary number of people.

Republican debate in New Hampshire on October 11

From transcript:

MS. TUMULTY:  Mr. Cain, who do you turn to for political advice and for economic advice?
MR. CAIN:  My advisers come from the American people.  Now, I will have some experts.  One of my experts that helped me to develop this is a gentleman by the name of Rich Lowry out of Cleveland, Ohio. He is an economist, and he has worked in the business of wealth creation most of his career.  I also have a number of other well- recognized economists that helped me to develop this 9-9-9 plan.  It didn't come off a pizza box, no.  It was well studied and well developed because it will replace the corporate income tax, the personal income tax, the capital gains tax, the death tax, and most importantly the payroll tax.

MS. TUMULTY:  So who are some of these economists?
MR. CAIN:  Rich Lowry out of Cleveland, Texas is one of the economists that I have used.  He's been my lead economists on helping to develop this.

Fact check:

Herman Cain's economic adviser Rich Lowrie is not an economist. He is a wealth manager for a division of Wells Fargo. Keep in mind he is a branch level employee. Lowrie also spent three years on the advisory board of the conservative third-party group Americans For Prosperity.

From Wall Street Journal:

A Rich Lowrie of Gates Mills, Ohio, gave $1,000 to Mr. Cain’s “Hermanator PAC” in May of 2010, and donated $500 to Mr. Cain’s presidential campaign this year, according to During the 2008 cycle, he supported Mitt Romney.

When you break down Cain's Plan in those terms. It sounds like the" poor will get even poorer "after paying this sales tax. The ones that can afford to pay and extra $ 64.00 in retail taxes are not people like me. If I can't afford to buy retail items to support the economy, how is that going to help? Why do the lower and middle class have to continually pay for the " richest Americans to keep their wealth?"

Cain is already talking about potential running mates. He has his sights on Paul Ryan or Jim DeMint. Kiss Medicare and Social Security good-bye. Lord, help us.

Did the 9-9-9 plan come from SimCity? Too funny!

Long before Cain was running for president and getting attention for his 999 plan, the residents of SimCity 4 -- which was released in 2003 -- were living under a system where the default tax rate was 9 percent for commercial taxes, 9 percent for industrial taxes and 9 percent for residential taxes. (That is, of course, if you didn't use the cheat codes to get unlimited money and avoid taxes altogether.)

A screenshot from the game's default settings:

There has been all sorts of speculation about where Cain came up with the idea for his catchy plan -- Unnamed economic advisers? A clever marketing promotion pulled from the pizza industry? -- but beyond a few hardcore gamers in the comments sections of blogs, few have looked to SimCity, the land where there's a "God mode."

Kip Katsarelis, a senior producer for Maxis, the company that created the SimCity series, was excited that politicians may be looking to video games for ideas.

"We encourage politicians to continue to look to innovative games like SimCity for inspiration for social and economic change," said Katsarelis. "While we at Maxis and Electronic Arts do not endorse any political candidates or their platforms, it's interesting to see GOP candidate Herman Cain propose a simplified tax system like one we designed for the video game SimCity 4."

I taught one of my grandchildren how to play SimCity. I guess if it works for the Sims it's ok for real people... What's happening to this country?

I saw this the other day.

I love the HuffPo reader comment,

Hey Cain, I'm a beast at "Gears of War," so can I be your National Security Advisor?

Add to the clueless brigade: Michelle Bachmann.  She boldly states, "I want to adopt the Reagan tax plan."

Psst... Michelle.  Um, taxes were higher under Reagan than they are now. 

If you want a good laugh, go over to FreeRepublic and read the threads where the morons are debating Cain's 999 plan.  LOL!  Those dufuses' discussions of the economic implications of the plan are priceless!

I sometimes wonder if CAIN will really be the nominee.. alot of people pooh-pooh it but stranger things have happened!  I really think even though it will probably be Romney.. the R base REALLY dislikes him.  I just don't see anyone really good enough to challenge O .. although the economy is not the greatest .. I think their strongest figure would be Huntsman.. but the base I think would rather have Cain than Huntsman,, I have been told at my workplace that Huntsman is a liberal for what its worth from conservatives and that Romney while more conservative than Huntsman is not a "true" conservative.. I keep hearing moere Cain love out there.. so who knows..

I agree with you about Huntsman (although he has taken a few "RINO" stances during his time). Also, he still has that whole Mormon thing. At this point, however, it doesn't matter, since he's now broke.

Herman Cain Says Liberals Killed Jesus


Here he goes again, in one of his columns he calls Jesus the "perfect conservative" who was killed by "liberals."

He [Jesus] helped the poor without one government program... He feed the hungry without food stamps... He healed the sick without a government health care system...  He was unemployed, and never collected an unemployment check.

  Cain is a very dangerous clown. I cannot believe anyone considers him a serious candidate for President of the United States.

And now he's calling for an electric fence along the Mexican boarder set up to kill illegals...yep he certainly seems to follow the WWJD? guidance in his life!

Herman Cain: I wasn’t serious about putting electric fence on border

Cain has a sadistic sense of "humor". It's sick, whether it's a "joke" or not. He getting crazier and crazier.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Cain still surging in GOP primary and now a Rasmussen poll (take with a grain of salt, I suppose) shows Cain ahead of President Obama in a general match-up. Part of me hopes he captures the GOP nomination and takes on Obama. Wait until voters catch on to how he wants to end Medicare and SS and tax the poor and middle class at higher levels while giving the rich an even bigger break. I say Democrats should keep quiet and save the criticism. They can hope he survives the primary to give President Obama an easy victory.

The plain-talking pitchman behind the "9-9-9" tax reform plan beats Obama 43% to 41% in the latest head-to-head matchup in Rasmussen Reports' latest national telephone survey.

"Cain now has the chance to make the case for why he should be the challenger to Mitt Romney," says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports.

"Many others have auditioned for the role and fallen flat, and it remains to be seen whether Cain's fate will be similar."

Romney is also in a virtual dead-heat with Obama, the survey found. 


Kelly Thomas  I guess I am wishing for the same thing with Cain going against Obama in the primaries; but  something tells me that the ultra conservatives and disgruntle minorities will push very hard to get Cain elected if he is running against Obama!! Cain is the precise voice of the Ultra Conservatives, he is willing to go thru whatever measures to appease his constituents and he is strictly about elevating his own self interest. I don't even think he  really cares about the GOP as much as he is concerned about developing  a name for himself. Also, I am not sure if he has the solid grassroots support to get into the primaries or to beat Romney. I was looking at some footage of his campaign office and he was not getting hardly any support from the people in his community. I think the GOP is using Cain as a distraction in order to conquer and divide the voters.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of disgruntle minorities against the President because they think he has avoided the devastating issues that affect their communities; therefore, they are wishing for Cain to Challenge the President. As well as, there will be a lot of minorities voting against the President  because of the war in the African and Arabic nations along with the invisibility in the minority communities. As a result, Cain provides that perfect medium for distraction. I don't think that Cain speaks for Minorities at all but he is the Noise that the ultra conservatives need right now in order to blind side the American people. Cain is their sacred cow to help the GOP to push forward their agenda with least resistance ( THEY HOPE!). I am not convinced that Cain will get too far but who knows?? LOL anything is possible now!!  

Although many people are attracted to the simplicity of Herman Cain's Plan for our economy, in my opinion it does seem a little to simple. There are too many unanswered questions in my mind about this 9-9-9 plan. As attractive as it may seem, can a simple tax plan " Really make it a level Playing filed" to a system that is so turned upside down and inside out?

Latrece-I think you asked about Cain's wife. Here's some info: EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO NOVEMBER 8, 2011, 9:21 AM 11024 156 Here’s what we learned from Herman Cain’s appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last night: sexual harassment allegations can be funny and the elusive Mrs. Cain is, in fact, a Democrat. “My wife is a Democrat, but that doesn’t mean that’s how she votes all the time,” Cain told Kimmel. Not much is known about Gloria Cain, the Republican presidential frontrunner’s wife of 43 years. We were supposed to meet her recently, but the Cain campaign abruptly canceled a planned appearance on Fox News. Last week, the Atlanta Journal Constitution profiled Gloria Cain and discovered that not only is she a Democrat, but that she “has voted in Democratic primaries and runoffs numerous times since 2000 — including the 2008 presidential primary that Barack Obama won with 66 percent of the vote, according to local voting records.” Herman Cain confirmed the tale to Kimmel. “She still says she’s a Democrat and I believe that,” Cain said, “but that doesn’t mean that she votes Democrat.” As for Sharon Bialek and the new accusations he faces, Cain again said he has never harassed anyone. His campaign plans a press conference Tuesday afternoon to address Bialek. On Monday night, Cain was happy to joke about the scandal that threatens to derail his candidacy.

Interesting information.  I wonder if this means Mrs. Cain has been "brainwashed" into voting for Democrats?

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