You’re not gonna believe this, but pizza baron and “presidential candidate” Herman Cain’s much-ballyhooed 9-9-9 tax plan is an utter joke!
I know what you’re thinking: when you can’t trust a pizza CEO-turned-radio host who’s never held elective office and admits he knows almost nothing about the world outside the U.S., who can you trust?
And this will really wow you: apparently, simply agitating a few conservatives into jumping you to the top of the weakest pack of Republican presidential contenders in modern history is totally a valid way to become an economist! And then you can debut you’re hilarious 9-9-9 plan and get the media to talk about it as if it’s not the most regressive, unserious suggestion in a campaign season focused like a laser on regressive, unserious policy proposals!
A 9% corporate tax, a 9% flat tax on all income, and a 9% sales tax–what could possibly go wrong?
Here’s the shocking news that I absolutely cannot believe and in no way anticipated: that idea sucks!
I know: no way, right?
According to the Tax Policy Center, Cain’s genius idea amounts to a 25% consumption tax, which will slam down on the fingers of all but the richest Americans. Under Cain’s half-baked, in-no-way workable, plausible or even understandable “idea” a household making between $64,000 and $110,000 a year would pay an extra $4,300 in taxes, lowering its after-tax income by 6%. Meanwhile, a household in the top 0.1% (the people all those Wall Street protesters are rightfully targeting while the Tea Party faithful flock to wealthy jerks like Cain, who are demonstrably and very boldly sticking up for other wealthy jerks), making more than $2.7 million per year would raise its after-tax income by 27%!
That the average Cain voter (although, in the end, I doubt there will be many of them) probably makes less than $2.7 million a year, apparently does not phase their enthusiasm. Such is the strange way of the world, I suppose, but when your plan is for people making less than $18,000 a year to pay a larger share of their income than those who make $2.7 million or more, does anybody want to say, “Wait a minute: that is stupid. I am a stupid person if I think that is a good idea.”
Even if Cain got savaged at the last Republican debate, it’s important to remember that the economic policy of everyone from Mitt Romney to Michelle Bachmann to Rick Santorum effectively entails “widening the tax base” and cutting corporate taxes. Every Republican candidate insists the way back to prosperity is raising taxes on poor people (“Even if it’s only a dollar!” said Bachmann) and not just maintaining the lowest tax rates on the wealthy in our history but lowering them further.
Genius! Where do I stuff mailboxes?