I figure if some blogs can draw a correlation between Obama’s policies and Hitler’s genocide, then I can draw a correlation between Cain’s tax plan and the Number of the Beast, right? I mean, all you have to do is turn the 9’s upside-down. That’s only one step. The number of degrees of separation from Obama’s policies and killing six million people, or any of the incoherent ramblings on these blogs and reality is incalculable.
What is the 9-9-9 Plan?
One sentence: Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan will get rid of current taxes and replace them with a 9% flat tax on income, a 9% flat corporate tax and a 9% national sales tax. I will give some credit where credit is due. At least this tax plan keeps taxes in place, whereas some GOP candidates have pledged to eliminate taxes on certain groups altogether.
The 9-9-9 plan sums up GOP policies very well. They are so simple to understand. The most uneducated, uninformed voter can look at this and understand it.
When you understand something, it is easier to trust it and think it is fair
Even if you actually don’t understand a topic, their policies let you support something.
A conservative friend of mine made this point very well when he criticized the Wall Street protesters as protesting something they do not understand in the slightest. We could argue all day about which is more difficult to understand: the economy or taxes; but let’s just agree that they both fall into the complicated category.
Since these are complicated issues, I find elementary solutions to cheat the system, dupe the voter, and politicize creating smart public policy to be wrong.
Is It Revenue Neutral?
The plan posted on the his website does not outline specific details of the plan. If the sales tax included all types of consumption, then it could possibly match current tax collections, but it is likely to add to the deficit. One economist states: “It is theoretically possible it could be revenue neutral, if you literally taxed all of consumption.”
Other experts doubt Cain’s proposal would be able to raise as much revenue as the current system, even with the addition of the sales tax. There would be a significantly huge loss of revenue from the rates on income and corporations, but this sales tax increase would also be massive and could at least come close.
How Would It Affect Me?
From the Tax Policy Center: “For the bottom end it’s certain to be a tax rise of substantial proportion.” he said. The experts say that what is clear is that the wealthy will pay much less, and the burden will be shifted to the poor. Almost a quarter of taxpayers earn such a small salary, that they do not qualify to pay federal taxes ($16,400 is the joint exemption).
By adding a 9% income tax burden on top of 9% sales tax, it could possibly plunge more people into either the government welfare system or homelessness. I would guess the latter if conservatives have a monopoly on power.
Who Would Benefit?
A 9% income tax would cut the tax rate in half for the Top 1%, and cut it by two-thirds for the Top 10%. Furthermore, while families in poverty spend over half of their income on essentials that are not subject to sales tax, the top tax brackets spend a fraction of their income on these essentials. A sales tax on everything would not be noticed by the top bracket; it would barely be felt by families like mine.
How Does It Create Economic Growth?
Cain is banking on the same trickle-down economic theory that you see in every conservative economic policy. The Cain campaign states that lower corporate taxes would lead to business to cut prices to stay competitive, not pocket the money. However, the evidence shows that they do pocket the money. With $1.7 trillion added to the deficit over the last decade, had the theory worked in practice we would not be here. Jobs were not created. Wealth was not shared. It was pocketed. Which is why we’ve seen the rich get richer, by pocketing the money.
Conclusion: Theory vs. Practice
In theory, the flat tax and trickle-down economics can work and has worked in other systems. However, time and again, the rich business owners in this country have proved their greed, their lust for more and more profit, more and more income. In practice, these ideas have simply never worked in the United States.
This is why we still need a progressive tax and government programs because businesses in this country do not want to protect their own workers, pay them a fair market income, or compete in a free market that does not include manipulation and corruption.
My dirty secret is that I would like to try a system like this. But I have no reason to believe history won’t repeat itself.
For what it’s worth, I wrote and finished this post, as I waited for the debate to begin. Realizing that the 9-9-9 plan would be the topic du jour, I thought I’d do some research and get ahead of the curve.
Then Bachmann made her comment.
After cursing her out, refusing to change my post title, and scraping my whole idea for a post-debate post, I realized how perfect this works out. The whole idea was a play on Republican labeling. I just didn’t think it would be that obvious, or that it would be done by my Congressional representative.
I’m sure some of you will think I’m making this all up and just stealing her comment. But if you think that, then you don’t know me at all, because linking myself to Bachmann — even in mockery — is the last thing I’d ever want to do.