Progressive Taxation

Why 9-9-9 Is Even Worse Than Herman Cain's "Fair Tax"

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Click on the Cain 9-9-9 video for the fuzzy math, stay for the blues-infused spiritual on the soundtrack.

If you gave ear to last night's Republican debate and are not sure what all the "nein-nein-nein" business was about, former Godfather's Pizza executive Herman Cain explains it all in the text of a campaign video

Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery 

The I.R.S. has become the overseer of the American people.

In a Herman Cain Administration, April 15th would no longer be a day to be dreaded. 

My 9-9-9 economic growth and jobs plan is a major step towards tearing the chains off the backs of the American people. 

Graphic: 
9%—Corporate Flat Tax 
9%—Personal Flat Tax 
9%—National Sales Tax 

We have got to supercharge the growth of this economy.

Take the current tax code and replace it with a nine-percent tax on corporate profits, a personal flat tax of nine-percent – the tax code goes away; you don't have to fill out all those crazy forms – and a nine-percent national sales tax. 

We will all be able to say, "Free at last! Free at last!" 

We will replace oppression with prosperity. 

Card: 
If 10% is good enough for God, 
then 9% should be just fine for the 
Federal Government.
-Herman Cain-
08/18/2011

Earlier this year, Cain was still describing his plan for a national sales tax as the "Fair Tax." At that time he made no mention of supplementing the Fair Tax (which he then calibrated at 23 percent) with corporate and personal income taxes. 

Earlier this year I gave unenthusiastic assessments of the Fair Tax. I received about 30 emails in addition to hundreds of comments about my assessments of the Fair Tax. The most frequent objections to my view seemed to be: 

1) My complaint that the Fair Tax bill H.R. 25 is more than 100 pages long was superfluous because the 30-word Sixteenth Amendment went on to generate hundreds of thousands of pages of tax code. 

2) I am letting the perfect be the enemy of the good by objecting that neither H.R. 25 nor any other versions of the "Fair Tax" in public actually repeals the Sixteenth Amendment. 

3) Who cares if "prebate" isn't really a word, Prof. Smartyboots?

Cain mercifully eschews talking about the prebate these days, but if 9-9-9 is the current iteration of the Fair Tax, I was too kind in my earlier assessments. Not only has Cain avoided tying his national sales tax to even a vague promise of future repeal of the 16th Amendment (as H.R. 25 does); he doesn't even want to suspend, let alone repeal, the income tax. 

In fact, 9-9-9 is a significant step back from the Flat Tax proposals Republican business candidates used to offer in the Clinton era. In 1996 Steve Forbes got attention for supporting a no-exemptions income tax pegged at 17 percent. That wasn't perfect, but at least it would have reduced the number of distortions the IRS causes in the private economy. 

Now Cain would have you believe that in exchange for a near-halving of a flat tax target that was vaporware when Steve Forbes proposed it, we should agree to give Congress the same power of taxing all business transacted in its jurisdiction that now belongs to your local city hall or governor's mansion? (And yes, Fair Taxers, I know that the Fair Tax proposal is to give the states the taxing authority and make them responsible for kicking up national sales tax revenues to D.C. I say D.C. has the power and I say the hell with it.) 

I know our commenters often feel unappreciated, but I think we have a pretty intelligent group. Please tell me I'm not the only one who sees what can possibly go wrong with this plan. I've tasted Godfather's pies and I already know I wouldn't buy a pizza from Herman Cain. I sure as hell wouldn't buy a national sales tax from him. 

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  1. Sure, Cain’s plan is ridiculously short-sighted (look at the VAT in Europe to see where this would lead), but what is wrong with Godfather’s pizza, Tim? Compared to the alternatives in many places (Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns), it is delicious.

    1. That’s like comparing shit to piss, come, and vomit.

      None of them I would eat, either.

      1. All four are mighty tasty!

        1. I was unaware that gay men shared the epicurean sensibilities of Japanese porn stars.

          1. Not gay men, just Tony.

    2. Really? I think Papa John’s blows Godfather’s out of the water.

      And even better: when the Rangers score 7 or more runs (which they often do; one thing we’ve never lacked is bats), then your entire Papa John’s order is 50% off the next day if you order online and use the discount code “Rangers7”. Not just the pizza, the entire order.

      We’ve eaten a lot of fucking pizza this past year.

  2. Actually, with that mobster outfit of yours, you could be Godfather’s spokesman.

  3. Would the 9% “flat” individual income tax be before personal exemptions? (I’m assuming deductions are definitely out.) If so, you’re going to get the breeders of America’s panties in an enormous wad. If not, it’s not so flat now, is it?

    1. “breeders of America’s panties”?

      Wait – are you referring to the breeding of the fiber source or some sort of GMO, vat-grown, artificial skin panties?

      1. The VAT grows nothing, jasno. ;-P

    2. But their taxes will be lower than it is under the current system with exemptions. I just don’t see people complaining about that. Besides one of the problems pointed out is that all the shit we have now can just be added later by future congresses.

      1. Plenty of people (mostly lower, but even moderate income earners) are net tax receivers when it comes to fed income tax. Thanks to enough dependent exemptions they’re down to zero, then they get a couple thou free via the child tax credit (which would be an obvious thing to axe in any sane tax reform plan of course). And I really can’t see a single making $x and a dude supporting a layabout spouse and some kids making $x paying the same tax without raising a major stink. What about teh childrens and all.

  4. The guy was never a serious candidate. Screw him.

    I just wish Ron Paul was black. That would have been half of Obama’s vote gone, I bet.

    1. I just wish Ron Paul was black.

      RACIST!

    2. If Ron Paul were black, he would have been “Uncle Tom”ed out of office by the Democrats years ago.

      1. Running as a Republican in a Republican-dominated district?

        1. The point is that he wouldn’t stand chance of election not because he’s the “crazy old uncle” but because he’s a lawn jockey who’s left the plantation.

    3. Yeah, because Ron Paul! is a serious candidate…

  5. “Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees what can possibly go wrong with this plan.”

    You’re not the only one who sees what can go wrong with this plan–it’s just that my reference point on this isn’t a Libertopia solution where Congress is about to repeal the income tax.

    I want that world more than anyone, but when that happens, it’s just not gonna happen that way. People will move to more of a sales tax first–and then we’ll get out of the income tax business entirely.

    So, I guess you can put me in the “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” crowd…

    Incidentally, the Shultz Proposal is a lot like the 9-9-9 Proposal–it just has a different rationale behind it. Cain is looking for a transition people in the real world might really support–and the Shultz Proposal just takes that one step further…

    If we want people to support getting rid of the income tax–incrementally or all at once–we’ll more than just fiscal conservatives, supply siders and libertarians to accomplish that. That’s why the Shultz Proposal is so specific about what we should hit with that sales tax–and it’s carbon intensive activity.

    Even if global warming IS a hoax, if that’s what it takes to get rid of the income tax? Then I’ll support hitting carbon emissions with a sales tax to get enough support from environmentalists to put that over the top. IF and only If they’ll get rid of the income tax in exchange.

    9-9-9 is a sensible transition plan. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. …and the current White House alternative to taking a step in the right direction? Is taking more steps in the wrong direction.

    This isn’t a choice between a perfect solution and an inferior solution–it’s a choice between the crap sandwich we’re being force-fed now and something that’s damn near reasonable.

    1. People will move to more of a sales tax first–and then we’ll get out of the income tax business entirely.

      Prediction: Once we have a sales tax (or a carbon tax) and an income tax on the books at the same time, neither will be repealed.

      The reason: We are fast, fast approaching the fiscal wall. The Total State’s hunger for revenue is about to cross over from ravenous to homicidally kleptocratic. A major revenue source will not be taken offstream in that climate.

      1. “The reason: We are fast, fast approaching the fiscal wall.”

        I’d feel a lot better about that if the 10 year note weren’t sitting at 1.83% even as I type.

        Also, I haven’t completely given up on the Laffer Curve–actually, I’m still a believer. Crushing taxation is partially to blame for our tepid growth, and if we had a whole lot more employed consumers with discretionary income? I think the state would have a whole lot more in the way of tax revenue.

        When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally’s pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally’s job each year.”

        —-“Why I’m Not Hiring”, Wall Street Journal

        http://online.wsj.com/article/…..72738.html

        No matter where we are fiscally, effectively charging employers a premium of $30,000 a year to hire someone who’s unemployed? That’s unconscionable when the unemployment rate is at 9%.

        Slashing the income tax slashes the price of hiring unemployed people and paying them their take home pay. Why we wouldn’t slash the cost of hiring unemployed people–who could be taxpayers–when we’ve got unemployment hovering at 9% and we’re teetering on the edge of a double-dip? Is beyond me.

        No matter where we are fiscally.

        Part of the solution to our fiscal problems is belt-tightening, but the other part is growth. We could tolerate a lot more budget stupidity if we had a lot more growth.

        I don’t think the left would support getting rid of the income tax and replacing it with a sales tax just to stimulate growth–they’re ideologically opposed to that fact. However, they would do it if they thought it was being done to save the environment.

        They don’t believe in the Laffer Curve, but I think enough of them would support it to save the freaking polar bears. …and I’m not an Objectivist–I don’t care why they support getting rid of the income tax. I just care that they do.

        1. This actually makes a kind of sense. It’s similar to my theory that the best way to get support for ending the drug war is to convince women voters it is related to abortion rights.

        2. “The Total State’s hunger for revenue is about to cross over from ravenous to homicidally kleptocratic.”

          I’m as fiscally conservative as just about anybody, but if I had an opportunity to borrow as much money as the federal government can–for ten years at 1.83%?

          I want that loan.

          I know that when the world doesn’t want to buy our bonds anymore, it will come suddenly, and the drop will be precipitous. …but if there’s anything worth financing, it’s not spending. It’s pro-growth tax cuts!

          I still think we would find ourselves with more tax revenue if we cut taxes from where they are now–but even if we didn’t, getting unemployment down and the economy growing again is one of the few things I’m willing to finance like that. …if that means cutting taxes and making the economy more efficient, encouraging investment, etc.

          It would be different if the prime rate was 20% like it was in 1981, but even then, who looks back at Reagan’s tax cuts and thinks that was a big mistake?

          The interest rate on the ten year was at 1.83% today. That’s some cheap money for rent.

  6. Cavanaugh Godwinned his own thread.

    1. Ooo – good catch!

  7. I’m with you, Tim. Once you let the camel’s nose into the tent, before you know it, you have a camel crapping all over your floor, and eating all your Doritos, and hitting on your girlfriend.

    If you want a VAT, or a sales tax, or some weird Georgist thing, you won’t get my support unless you also repeal the income tax.

    Period.

    1. What he said, but I am intrigued about the prospect of getting a girlfriend out this scheme.

      1. Revisit the part about camels then.

    2. I agree, we need to make sure we have EITHER a national sales tax OR a national income tax.

      My other worry about a national sales tax is that it will become as lop-sided as our income tax now. Exemptions will be made based on issues like health, environmental friendliness, etc… Moreover, “luxury” items will likely be taxed more in order to go after the rich. Unhealthy foods or leisure items will also be taxed more to promote healthy lifestyles.

      Unfortunately, politics will always lead to tampering with and distorting the tax code, whatever form it takes. But, it’s better to have one scheme (sales tax OR income tax) tampered with than two.

    3. Or, to put it more simply: If by some miracle Cain becomes president and institutes this tax code, it will last exactly as long as he is president. No way it stays 9-9-9 for more than six months after he leaves office. And, it’s a certainty that none of those would go down once they changed.

  8. a nine-percent tax on corporate profits

    To begin with, as long as the government is allowed to define “profit” the people who are compelled to pay the tax will devote a tremendous amount of energy attempting to shield their earnings from classification as profit subject to taxation.

    A SMALL tax on gross receipts (every dollar, from any source) is the only way to stop the economic distortions resulting from social engineering and gaming currently embodied in the tax code. In its effect, this would be indistinguishable from a national sales tax.

    The same can be said about taxing personal income; I would provide for excluding an initial level of earnings, say twenty grand.

    The “Fair Tax” has nothing to recommend it, in my opinion.

    1. Interesting – I hadn’t thought of a tax on gross that way ILO on “profit” (let’s all start defining that!). Hmmmm – I think that’s a good idea – tax on gross, 1st dollar, no exemptions/exclusions.

      1. That would put a lot of restaurants out of business.

        1. Perfect! Then we’d all eat better!

          /Michelle Obama

    2. The problem is some businesses have much higher margins than others – i.e. some legitimately have $90 in costs to get $100 in revenue. This would hurt low margin businesses. I don’t see what the problem is with a consumption tax (assuming repeal of the income tax). Any tax is theft, but the consumption tax is the least bad, IMO.

      1. Right, and you’d also have a situation similar to Europe’s where the distortion of what amounts to a VAT forces vertical consolidation. Companies that grow themselves solely for tax purposes are rarely efficient.

        And, of course, you can also devote an enormous amount of time to fiddling with revenue.

  9. I probably don’t understand the proposal, then, cause I thought the 9% income tax WAS in lieu of the existing income tax, and took away all deductions, etc.

    Re: Dagny’s comment – even as a person with kids, I have to ask why we have ANY exemption. I should subsidize my Roman Catholic best friend with the football team for a family? Singles should have to subsidize me for my 3 kids? Nah – no exemption for anything, including yourself. Just set the income tax rate wherever it needs to be (I’m a 10%’er, myself) and that’s it. No exemptions, no deductions, no runs no drips no errors everyone pays the same percentage.

    And EVERYONE pays something.

    I think better yet is a consumption tax in lieu of income tax, which then would absolutely require abolishing the 16th, etc. etc.

    1. That was my reading of it as well. If I read Cain’s tax plan correctly, the 9-9-9 replaces all current federal taxes. Including Payroll taxes. While it is not my ideal solution (I’m more in favor of a single consumption tax that replaces all existing federal taxes, which would require repealing the 16th) it is a pretty decent plan. And would do far more to shake up the system than the “fiddle around the edges” tax proposals that the other candidates are talking about. It is also the first step to reducing dependence on the income tax and could one day lead to the removal of an income tax.

      Hell as long as we can get some sort of non-progressive tax on the books I would be a happier man.

      1. “non-progressive” – agreed

  10. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure in one of the previous debates, Cain mentioned that he would repeal the 16th Amendment. Regardless, what is your solution, Cavanaugh? What is the “perfect” that is the enemy of the “good”?

    1. The perfect is obvious: abolish the federal government completely. Good, in my view, would be something like a zero corporate tax rate, no sales tax, and a flat 10% income tax with no deductions.

      1. you fucking coproatist. How about zero income tax, no sales tax, a flat 10% coproate tax and a flat 10% tariff so that those fucking coproations don’t shield revenues overseas.

  11. Also, FUCK OFF, SLAVER!

    I thought that was necessary. Thank you. Please carry on.

    1. Thanks for that. I was beginning to feel neglected.

  12. What about the poor working people who don’t want all of the gov’t services? Now those people will really be paying a higher portion of their income if this proposal succeeds. Can we at least have an opt out? How about no federal tax system period.

    1. Now they have an incentive to vote against them and/or the politicians who push for them.

  13. What is Adolf all worked up about?

  14. I wonder if the right approach is to set an absolute ceiling on the total tax burden on any citizen. Local, state, federal, UN, sales, income, property, whatever. Then they can all fight it out.

    I say no more than 20% total.

    1. I’m at 15% total – all taxes. I figure 10% fed, 5% local/state.

      Although then I think “maybe I have that backwards” – 5% for Army! Navy! Air Force! Marines! and 10% for ROADZ!!!11!! and government schools edumacations.

      I don’t know fer sure. What I DO know is it all needs to be less. I literally take any additional income I get and cut it in half and know that’s what I get to keep. Fucking HALF of what I earn. The rest is taxed away. That’s fucking criminal.

      1. I just grabbed a number. Lower is better. Zero is most betterer.

      2. I kind like the idea but I don’t think it is enforcable. Having a federal law that restricts how high states can have their taxes? Doubtful that would pass constitutional muster.

        1. Need an amendment to do this, anyway.

    2. better would be to have all politicians pay the top tax income bracket, no matter what their income. Of course you would have to pass such a law by plebiscite.

  15. According to my back-of-the-envelope calculation, General Electric would, under my 2 percent gross receipts tax, have paid something on the order of 120 million dollars tax instead of paying its legions of “tax compliance officers” who-knows-how-much to pay nothing to the IRS. Not to mention making investment decisions based more on tax considerations than on economic efficiency.

    Some would lose, some would win, but on aggregate, I think we (I hate to use that word, in this context) would be better off. I suspect Exxon Mobil might actually pay less to the IRS, but I’m too lazy to look up their income statement on Google Finance.

    1. But, but… [tax compliance officer] jobs created or saved, PB!

    2. I’ve been saying the same thing for a while. An added benefit is less opportunity for cronyism. I reckon a flat 13% income tax from dollar one, with about $5k personal exemption to spare the truly destitute, could be attractive enough to bleeding hearts to get support. Of course Congress hates this kind of idea because then they don’t have as many favors to reward their friends.

  16. Dear Perfect/Good Folks,

    The choice in front of us is not Perfect vs. Good. It’s Existing vs. Worse.

    Am I taking crazy pills? You guys want to approve a national sales tax and a national income tax at the same time? And in exchange you get an easily revocable promise of an easily revised restriction that is only being proposed because “nine” rhymes with “nine”?

    What am I missing?

    1. You win….

      *hangs head, mopes, walks away*

    2. I think you’re 100% right that we don’t want a national sales tax and a national income tax at the same time. Just look to our neighbors to the north: the fucking GST in Canada is never going away, despite periodic promises to the contrary. Then they blended it with the provincial sales tax to get the HST. Now BC is going back to GST/PST. Boy, is all that flipping fun for businesses and consumers.

    3. As I stated earlier, I think Cain has advocated repealing the 16th amendment. But I’ll take a drastically lower and simpler flat income tax with a sales tax (along with no payroll taxes, which Cain mentioned in the debate) over the current abomination we call a tax code.

      1. That’s a mistake because even if you get a drastically lower and simpler income tax today, tomorrow or a year from now they’ll just raise and/or complicate the income tax. And they’ll be able to raise the sales tax.

        1. The Statists will try to complicate and reverse any reform of the tax code that tries to simplify things. That is not an argument for keeping the status quo or a valid argument against any specific reform.

    4. “What am I missing?”

      That getting enough people to support getting rid of the income tax–without introducing a sales tax–is unrealistic.

      If we didn’t get to where we are overnight, and it will necessarily be an incremental process to get to where we need to be, then there will have to be a transition period.

      The recent budget squabble proves nothing if not that a relatively small critical mass of fiscal conservatives can stand firm in the face of pressure. And I’m not willing to wait for the world to suddenly become reasonable–before I get lower income taxes.

      In other words, it’s like you’re holding onto the rotten situation we’re in now–for fear it will get worse. But the situation we’re in now? Is likewise only limited by what our politicians can get away with.

      The only reason Congress doesn’t jack up income tax rates right now is because they don’t think they can get away with it. That’s not much to hang our hats on, but it’s no different from the way it would be under Cain’s plan.

      The only difference is that under 9-9-9, we’d get some relief–at least for a while.

      1. +1
        I don’t see how the 9-9-9 plan is “worse” than the current crap sandwich.

    5. Am I taking crazy pills?

      Wait a minute. I think I just came up with a solution to our debt problems.

    6. Mr. Cavanaugh, I think you are right. I do not trust the federal government with another tax base that they claim will start out low and reasonable to expand at the first instance of manufactured fiscal crisis. However, I think how to administer the tax code is not the most important conversation to have. The biggest problem is that the limits to the power of federal government have been dismantled in almost any area. Government can intrude in pretty much anything it wants to. Until we find a way to get back to a government of specific, enumerated powers we are hosed.

  17. I haven’t been to a Godfather’s in twenty years, and I don’t remember what their pizza was like (round? I bet it was round), but twenty years ago it was the only pizza chain that had red-pepper-flake shakers out on the tables.

    Now, I doubt Cain had anything to do with that, but it happened on his watch, and I’ll ride the red-pepper-flake-shakers-for-everybody train all the way to hell.
    999 = 666

  18. Oh, and how about the self-employed? Do they get lumped in with the “corporate” 9% on “profit” (as P Brooks astutely noted, we need to define that)? If not, it’s surely not right to tax them a flat 9% of their gross when they pay their own business expenses. But what’s a deductible expense and what’s not? And if an employee pays some of his business expenses out of pocket, can he deduct those even if he’s not self-employed? And here we go down the bunny trail leading right back where we started.

    1. AND that nasty little bitch the SE tax, where they get to pay their and “their (nonexistent) employer’s” portion of FICA? How does that get addressed?

  19. The income tax itself was only suppose to be taxing people’s profits not wages and salaries. The feds will always use the power we grant them to grant themselves even more power. 1 of these taxes on their own would be an improvement. Bundling all 3 together creates a more comprehensive but even more burdensome tax system. But of course a former Fed chair wants to institute economically disastrous policies.

  20. I think the Fair Tax is a reasonable proposal. I’d prefer the ‘prebates’ be exemptions on food and clothing that cost more than $25. Maybe some sort of housing credit.

    Also, it would have to be passed with language that stipulated it could not be enforced until the 16th has already been repealed.

  21. “If 10% is good enough for God,
    then 9% should be just fine for the
    Federal Government”

    Give the man credit, he sure as hell knows how to make a good soundbyte

  22. Nein?
    Nein – Fegelein!
    Fegelein! Fegelein! FEGELEIN!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS-TrmwjVUg

  23. Tax simplification, too–and I mean across the board, corporate and individual–would save many, many billions of dollars a year that we waste on accountants and tax lawyers.

  24. here we go down the bunny trail leading right back where we started.

    Exactly.

    And- a designated National Sales Tax would unleash a maelstrom of debate about what sorts of preferred classes of purchases should be exempted. And pretty soon, you ‘hafta” tax the few remaining categories at some ridiculous rate like thirty per cent.

    1. Don’t ferget the social engineerin’ aspect.

      There will be things too sacred to tax, things that are so dear to the constituents in their district, to even *think* about taxing. And that won’t be fair to the other guy, so we need to give him a subsidy. Which means we need to raise the tax on what’s left off the list.

      And so on.

  25. Here’s my tax and fiscal reform plan:

    (1) A payroll tax that is set each year at the level necessary to fund all federal transfer programs. Costs go up, so does the tax. Costs go down, so does the tax. Also, no “employer” portion.

    And, we can clean up our balance sheet be getting rid of the “special” bonds in the “lockbox.”

    (2) Operations funded by a pretty flat (say, three tiers), no exemptions/deductions personal income tax. No corporate tax.

    The self-employed are the hard part to administer, here. They can pay tax only on their salary, so long as they keep the business’s money in a separate account and spend it only on the business.

    (3) Bonds may not be issued to pay for operations, only for capital acquisitions. The only exception will be for declared wars, and then only for the expenses of warfighting.

    It would require a Constitutional amendment, which would be unique in specifying that any taxpayer could bring suit to enforce the amendment.

    1. Oh, yeah. Supermajorities to raise the income tax rates.

    2. I really hate payroll deductions, which I think have helped to ensheepenfy us. Make us write one big-ass check a year to Uncle Sam, and we might have a few more healthy tax rebellions from time to time.

      1. Yes. And get rid of the underpayment penalty.

      2. I’m no fan of payroll deductions, either.

        I’m trying to come up something that is at the outer edge of evolutionary/incremental change from what we have now, though.

        1. Pure, cleansing flame.

  26. The problem is some businesses have much higher margins than others

    So what? People have always engaged in low margin businesses; would you like the government to mandate margins, now?

    Many of the expenses which drive margins down are driven by tax policy. I’m really fucking tired of hearing people say, I had to buy a new [XXXXXXX] because I made ‘too much money’ this year.”

    1. As a sole proprietor, I have always taken great care to avoid profits in excess of the individual standard deduction. Usually, I hit that mark. Such a life isn’t for everyone, but it works for me.

      1. Unfortunately you still have to pay a self-employment tax of a bit less than 15 percent.

  27. You could get rid of federal taxation power altogether, at least in regards to individuals and organizations. Instead of going to the people for cash, the federal government should have to go to the states.

    1. Isn’t that the way it used to be before the sixteenth amendment was passed? Good luck getting the feds to ever give that up.

  28. Thinking about it, I guess this is pretty similar to the consumption tax (you’re taxing the gross sale for each transaction rather than gross receipts), so I withdraw my objection. It still disadvantages low-margin businesses compared to high-margin businesses, but at least it is simpler and applies to everyone equally.

  29. You sure have a good point, lol, now please buy some crap that I am selling.

  30. I know our commenters often feel unappreciated, but I think we have a pretty intelligent group.

    We’re only smart when it comes to food, drugs, music (some of us), and insults (most of us).

    1. Fuck you and your music, it’s all just a bunch of racket.

      Just exercising my insulting skills.

      1. The best part of you ran down your mother’s leg.

        JUST PRACTICING, Wayne!

        1. Almanian? What the fuck is an Almanian, some sort of leg humping dog?

      2. Death to the false! Give me metal or give me death.

    2. There is an impressive knowledge of beer around these parts also.

  31. Here’s what I really, really hate about Republicans. If they hate taxes as much as they say they do, why do they support raising them for 50+% with stupid plans like flat taxes and national sales taxes?

    I personally find progressive tax structures the most logical because I’d rather a poor person use their limited money to support themselves than take 9-25% of their income for government. If poor people were paying in more, there would be more poverty plus more incentive to get more back from the government. Thus bigger welfare state, more powerful statist policies, etc. I always complain about the Left shooting themselves in the foot with stupid policies, and making the tax code less progressive does the same for conservative/libertarian policies. Libertarians should logically care about solving poverty because poverty has been the easiest justification for increasing statism.

    If you want a superior tax, wipe out the tax code completely and replace it with a national land value tax. This tax will impact the poor the least, and actually benefit the economy the most by punishing unproductive land speculation, driving land prices down and encouraging productive use of land. Land speculators profit off causing scarcity of limited resources in places where productive people cause demand. Disincentivize land speculation and incentivize productive actions like starting a business, a farm, etc. and utility is maximized. Taxes, if they must be taken, should avoid causing deadweight loss and land value tax does this.

    The poor’s burden could be further offset with a citizen’s dividend that could replace the welfare state (similar concept to the rebate on the FairTax for everyone).

    1. I think the poor should pay some taxes too, otherwise they have no skin in the game, which is precisely the situation we have now. Other than that, I see your point.

      1. Proposals like flat taxes and sales taxes actually make the poor put MORE skin in the game than a rich person. This is because a poor person’s basic non-discretionary needs (food, housing, electricity bills, etc.) makes a bigger percentage of their limited incomes than they do for wealthy people. If you cut into the cost of them providing those items for themselves to pay for government, guess who they will ask to provide those things for them? It’s self-defeating for an economic conservative/libertarian to tax the poor.

        Assuming there needs to be a government and a tax system (which I do since I’m not an anarchist), it needs to be based on doing the least harm. Creating more poverty and inequality and thus more class warfare causes more harm.

        1. This is because a poor person’s basic non-discretionary needs (food, housing, electricity bills, etc.) makes a bigger percentage of their limited incomes than they do for wealthy people.

          Pretty much this.

          I’m for making people suffer equally (or give up equal amounts of utility, or employing price discrimination for a person’s one vote, or however one wants to put it) in paying taxes. The problems in our tax system don’t have much to do with it being progressive vs flat, but rather with its complexity, the extreme influence deductions have, and the overall level of taxation.

  32. The main problem with a 9,9,9 rule (or any rule, just look at the AMT for an example) is that you can’t trust politicians.

    Pretty soon it will be a .999 rule: we get to keep .001 of our earnings and the pols will spend the other .999.

  33. insults (most of us).

    Like Nazis, only worse.

  34. If the Fair Tax is good enough for Gary Johnson, then it’s good enough for me. The system we’re using now costs a few hundred billion a year to administer. The states would collect the Fed’s sales taxes for a pittance.

    1. If we’re letting the states collect the taxes, why do we need a federal tax policy? Congress can just send each state a bill (proportional to electoral college representation) and let the state worry about the most social responsible and economically prudent way to pay it. May as well shrink Congress’s tax power down to borrowing and billing the states while you’re at it.

  35. That compliance number was so big I had to go back and check my work. I was a little off, but 265 billion ain’t chicken feed.
    http://www.theneweditor.com/in…..llion.html

  36. Tim, shouldn’t you be calling out Gary Johnson for supporting the Fairtax too?

    1. I think the point was that the FairTax does wipe out all other kinds of taxes, whereas Cain’s proposal is to add a new national sales tax (with no rebate) and keep the personal and corporate tax infrastructure. It will be simplified, but that doesn’t make it better – in fact it will be worse if you not only increase personal tax rates on the poor but you add an inherently regressive sales tax. FairTax at least offsets the natural regressiveness of a sales tax with the rebate.

  37. If you want a superior tax, wipe out the tax code completely and replace it with a national land value tax. This tax will impact the poor the least, and actually benefit the economy the most by punishing unproductive land speculation, driving land prices down and encouraging productive use of land. Land speculators profit off causing scarcity of limited resources in places where productive people cause demand. Disincentivize land speculation and incentivize productive actions like starting a business, a farm, etc. and utility is maximized.

    This argument goes nowhere with me. All I get out of it is you want to “punish” people for decisions you disapprove of.

    As for the general notion of wealth taxes, it’s none of your goddam business how I invest my after-tax income. First and foremost, I want any tax to be based on a real number (that is, what somebody will actually PAY) not estimates by some IRS assessor.

    1. It’s the force, I think, which clouds the issue.

      Most businesses employ uniform price structures; it doesn’t much matter who you are, or what you make, the price is the same. However, it need not be so; they could decide to charge according to each customer’s ability to pay, and was that strategy able to keep them in business, I say more power to them.

      Likewise then, for a government which would swear off the use of force in making its collections. It could choose any fee structure it saw fit. That is to say, we only arrive at the concept of justice in taxation when that taxation is accomplished through the use of force.

      So it is a bit like the fifth of five nerds being extorted by the schoolyard bully; being resigned to the idea that he will be expropriated, he shifts his moral sentiments from the absolute to the relative: unfair is now defined as either more or less being taken from him than was taken from the others.

    2. This argument goes nowhere with me. All I get out of it is you want to “punish” people for decisions you disapprove of.

      All tax structures will punish somebody disproportionately. Not only that, but most tax structures cause deadweight loss on the economy because they punish productive activities. Land was not created by labor, and unproductively hoarding land while other people around you drive up the resale value of that land through being productive may be a great investment, but causes severe market inefficiencies and increases cost of living for everyone else.

      It’s not about whether I approve it or not so much as any tax system has winners and losers, so it’s better to structure that system to tax unproductive activities that harm others and decrease economic productivity than to tax productive activities like labor, consumption and property that increase economic value. Assuming there needs to be a basic tax system and government, feel free to propose a better system that harms the economy less, because I haven’t been able to find one.

      1. Optional taxation based on assets.

        * minimizes distortion (anything could be taxed)
        * tends to maximize productivity (those who would make the most productive use of a given asset would be most able to pay a given price for that asset)
        * achieve optionality by saying that not paying the tax means that the government is under no obligation to protect your ownership of the asset or mediate disputes involving that asset (those two being, of course, the two main functions of a minarchist government: national defense and protection of your physical person from assault could presumably be paid for with profits from the insurance/mediation services). Didn’t pay the tax on that Honus Wagner card? Don’t call the cops if someone steals it from you (and if you’ve invested in a good safe and feel that the odds of it being stolen are low enough to make paying the tax not worth it, then don’t declare/pay it, no biggie). Declared that card as having a value of $1? The punishment for the thief is based on the declared value: expect the judge to say “thief is ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1 plus a suitably punitive rate of interest (maybe 100% per annum continuously compounded?)”. Contractual arrangements would, of course, be counted as assets. If a bank wants to be assured of being able to use the coercive power of the state to enforce a loan, it had better be willing to pay for it (of course, if the borrower is judged a good credit risk and to have a moral aversion to defaulting, the bank could decide not to pay tax on the loan, and that’s perfectly fine).

  38. We should go back to apportionment for direct taxes (the income tax is supposedly an indirect tax). Sales taxes for the rest.

    Let us see people smugly say one should pay their taxes when taxes are collected in a constitutional manner with direct taxes apportioned by population.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

  39. I like the debate, but I’d have to agree with someone way up-thread that it’s far too late. The government’s fiscal picture is too grim for any sort of major tax cut to happen. In California, we just barely escaped hikes in income and sales taxes, in the face of 12% unemployment, in the spring. And just as narrowly escaped Jerry Brown’s plan to offset tax cuts on CA businesses with $1B in tax hikes on out-of-state employers. Message: they’re not seriously considering the possibility of letting us keep more of our money, and they don’t really care about the economy.

    1. “The government’s fiscal picture is too grim for any sort of major tax cut to happen.”

      I don’t understand that logic at all.

      If taxes are crippling the economy while we’re teetering on the edge of a double-dip–how can there be a better time to cut taxes than that?!

      Once again–the ten year note is at around 1.8% right now. Gold dropped by over $100 an ounce today…

      Anybody who’s worried about inflation right now is off their fucking rocker!

      If taxation is crippling the economy, what should we do–raise tax rates until the economy improves?

      The beatings will continue until morale improves!

      You know why the deficit is a big problem right now? Because it makes entrepreneurs think the government will take a bigger share of their profits in the future.

      There is no better time to cut taxes than when they economy is struggling. How could there be a better time?

      1. I don’t argue with anything you’re saying here. But you’re not thinking about it like a bureaucrat or a politician. They think that their programs and plans are more important than the private economy.

        I don’t agree with that, but I recognize that many, many people in government these days believe that the only thing wrong with our country is that taxes and spending are much too low.

        1. That’s absolutely correct.

          They’ll defend their positions and their spending ’til the end.

          And popping their silly bubbles is what reasonable people should be all about.

          It drives me nuts that we have a president who thinks government largess will make the economy grow. I’d like to think Obama was just a sinister Machiavellian liar–but I think that’s being too kind!

          In his heart, he truly believes that government largess is what makes the economy grow. And it kills me to see that so many people believe him.

          Drives me nuts. …that our suffering is so pointless.

  40. Disaster socialism!

    “With FEMA expected to run out of disaster funding as soon as Monday, the only path to getting assistance into the hands of American families immediately is for the Senate to approve the House bill,” Mr. Boehner said. “This is no time for delay.”

    As the spending bill stalled, a spokesman for President Obama expressed alarm at the inability of Congress to reach a deal.

    “The members of Congress work for the American people,” said the spokesman, Jay Carney, in a briefing with reporters. “They work for the constituents who sent them here, in their districts and states. We are absolutely confident that the vast majority of those constituents are not asking very much when they insist that Congress perform the basic functions that they were sent here to perform, and that they do not let politics get in the way of what should be a relatively straightforward exercise of funding the government.”

    Moar taxes, plz!

  41. Land was not created by labor, and unproductively hoarding land while other people around you drive up the resale value of that land through being productive may be a great investment, but causes severe market inefficiencies and increases cost of living for everyone else.

    Ow, my head.

    Daniel Goldstein is a wrecker; is that about it?

    1. Land value taxes have nothing to do with eminent domain abuse. And the improvements built on that land is not subject to taxation nor available to government or private entities for seizure except as payment for excessive debts. Thus Ratner could offer market price for the land, but couldn’t build Atlantic Yards without paying whatever price Goldstein demands for his actual property.

      Also the rate would not be arbitrary and the value would be based upon market valuations and thus could not be used as a tool for forcing specific people off of their land without forcing everybody off their land – which no city would have incentive to do.

      1. The nuance you’re missing is that the utilitarian arguments in favor of taxing land does not mean that property rights in general are superseded by utilitarian economic ends. Merely that if some form of taxation is required, taxes on land are the least unjust (because land was not created by labor) and most efficient (by not creating drag on the economy).

        The fact that I might use my land I live on less productively than Ratner would does not matter as long as I get enough utility out of my land to merit paying the rate of taxes on its unimproved value. Land speculation (where essentially the only utility you get out of holding the land is the future potential resale profits or prime construction location) would continue, but it would not have the same profit margin and would have quicker resale as market conditions change. A pure speculator would be more willing to resell the land to someone who will use it more productively before the total land taxes paid exceed the value of the land. Or maybe they would decide to invest in building on that land to get profits with which to pay the taxes. Since all other taxes are removed, and all the other productive activities like construction aren’t disincentivized, the market would naturally operate at superior efficiency. That’s a utilitarian argument but it isn’t the only argument for land value taxes either.

  42. I’m perfectly fine with any kind of citizen’s dividend, or “prebate” scheme, regardless of the tax plan in place, as long as we also get rid of every single government program that supposedly “serves” the public.

    In other words, make sure every family has at least X$ to spend and let them spend how they will. And the government is not longer in the game of creating bureaucracies, all it does is shift a little money to the poor. Even that can be considered somewhat objectionable but definitely creates a cheaper and less invasive government.

  43. If 10% is good enough for God,
    then 9% should be just fine for the
    Federal Government.

    But if you’re paying 9% of everything you earn, and 9% of everything you spend, the government is taking close to 18%.

  44. Honest? Honest as the day is long!

    To be fair, there is argument about the extent to which government policy was responsible for the spectacular disparity in income growth. What we know for sure, however, is that policy has consistently tilted to the advantage of the wealthy as opposed to the middle class.

    ——–

    According to new estimates by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, one-fourth of those with incomes of more than $1 million a year pay income and payroll tax of 12.6 percent of their income or less, putting their tax burden below that of many in the middle class.

    We could talk about how government policies have affected wealth distribution, but that might fuck up my narrative. “Warren Buffett pays less tax than his secretary! And that’s not fair!”

  45. First of all, the current system is pretty darn bad. 999 has it’s faults that aren’t as thought out as the FairTax, but dang near anything is better than what we have now.
    Having said that, the fairtax has it’s length (fraction of current code) for a reason. Politicians can’t be trusted. I was out on the probate until it was explained to me and it can’t be enacted until a year after the 16th is repealed.
    Until we all stop dogging the better solutions and get on board with a better solution like the FairTax (or even 999) we will all just have to suffer with what we have.

    1. 9-9-9 is debatably worse than the current system. I don’t see any good coming out of increasing income taxes on the bottom 60% and adding a new regressive sales tax with no rebate to offset its regressive nature. The expansion of wealth for the poor via trickle-down economics would have to more than make up for the damage the new taxes would cause. I think that’s debatable.

      1. Actually I’m wrong now that I think about it. As Cain points out, this would replace payroll taxes which the lower class also pay at flat rates with the wealthy that are higher than 9%. Also, I’d say that replacing 25% corporate income taxes would end up reducing prices enough to make up for the sales tax increase. Still – I don’t like keeping all three even if it is a major simplification.

  46. Land value taxes have nothing to do with eminent domain abuse.

    But one holdout, irrationally “hoarding” his property in the face of an alternative and more “socially desirable” usage is jamming a stick in the spokes of economic progress. That’s unmutual!

    If this supposedly not-arbitrary valuation is based on the market value of the property, the tax will obviously rise, until the point is reached where the holdout is driven from his land in order to bring it into more productive usage.

    How do you value a family farm on the edge of a metropolitan area like Indianapolis or Columbus? Is it based on the revenue stream from ongoing farming activities, or should it be based on the subdivided residential or commercial sales potential?

    1. “How do you value a family farm on the edge of a metropolitan area like Indianapolis or Columbus? Is it based on the revenue stream from ongoing farming activities, or should it be based on the subdivided residential or commercial sales potential?”

      Farms are inherently productive activities. If you read about the Physiocrats or read Thomas Paine’s “Agrarian Justice” or Henry George’s “Progress and Poverty”, land value taxes encourage farming as it derives productivity from the land – and taxes monopolists who drive up the price of land that could be used more efficiently for farming. As long as the family farm is making enough profits to merit or at least derives enough utility from the increased land value taxes of living next to a city (and indeed the proximity should improve profits), there’s no problem with them using the land less efficiently than a residential subdivision builder would. The nature of the free market might incentivize the family farm to relocate to lower cost land anyway, however.

      So yes, the crossover in the exurbs would cause some change, and yes the land value taxes would likely accelerate this change, but in general farmers would benefit greatly out of the reduced cost and increased supply of available rural land, and urban developers (and the urban poor) would benefit greatly when vacant lots and abandoned property in urban and suburban areas can be purchased at lower costs (before it gets driven up tenfold by scarcity) and turned into productive real estate.

    2. From a practical perspective, modern states define themselves by the land they govern and declare sovereignty over. That means that your sovereign is effectively asserting superior property rights on your land, even if it’s one he rarely exercises aside of a tax levy.

      Aside from completely reworking the concept of states (e.g., based around membership rather than territory) or getting rid of them, I don’t see what can be done about it.

  47. If the nine-nine-nine is such a great plan, why won’t any of the “prominent economists” who helped Cain devise it want to step forward and wallow in the accolades of a grateful taxpaying public?

  48. if some form of taxation is required, taxes on land are the least unjust (because land was not created by labor)

    Sorry, but this sounds like some sort of eighteenth century gibberish to me.

    And your “utilitarian” argument is nothing more than a MNG-style “forcible theft for the greater good”. You put a pretty dress on it, but that is what it boils down to.

    1. I guess Adam Smith or Thomas Paine hold no worthwhile merit when talking about modern ethics? I’m assuming from your comment that you either are an anarchist, or you know of a superior tax system that will hurt the economy less and will violate rights less?

      If the former, then it’s probably pointless to debate any tax policy with you since all taxation is forcible theft. From an ethical standpoint, I’m arguing that taxing land is a less egregious theft because it was not created with our labor. Essentially, I’m paying for the government-protected right to exclude others from something neither I nor anybody else created.

      If the latter, please name the superior system. It’s very easy to point out problems – any tax system has them. My argument is if something must be taxed to fund basic government that land value taxes are not only the least unethical, but they burden the market the least of all systems (in fact would have the net utilitarian benefits, and would reduce poverty by increasing productive investment and lowering the cost of living.) Do you disagree with this point?

  49. Hey, Mr. Strawman, what they are complaining about on number 2 is not that, “I am letting the perfect be the enemy of the good by objecting that neither H.R. 25 nor any other versions of the “Fair Tax” in public actually repeals the Sixteenth Amendment.”

    What they are complaining about is that you (I think intentionally) omit the fact that the bill would require the 16th Amendment to be repealed, or the FairTax would be ended itself.

    See the text of the bill:

    TITLE IV–SUNSET OF SALES TAX IF SIXTEENTH AMENDMENT NOT REPEALED

    SEC. 401. ELIMINATION OF SALES TAX IF SIXTEENTH AMENDMENT NOT REPEALED.

    If the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is not repealed before the end of the 7-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, then all provisions of, and amendments made by, this Act shall not apply to any use or consumption in any year beginning after December 31 of the calendar year in which or with which such period ends, except that the Sales Tax Bureau of the Department of the Treasury shall not be terminated until 6 months after such December 31.

    So…if the 16th amendment is not repealed in 7 years, the FairTax ends.

    In other words, if 7 years after passage of the FairTax, the 16th amendment has not been repealed, the FairTax automatically ends.

    This means that the 16th amendment must be repealed within 7 years of FairTax passage, or the FairTax ends.

    Therefore, if 7 years into the FairTax, the 16th amendment has not been repealed, then the FairTax would end.

    The 9-9-9 thing doesn’t work for me, and I would like some changes to the FairTax bill, but you are just playing the strawman game with your dishonest bullet points.

    1. You know that laws can be changed, right?

    2. Repeal of the 16th would require how many votes? And how many would changing the 9-9-9 scheme require?

    3. If you could get the public to buy in on the Fair Tax, no way that same public allows any changes to it or would allow politicians to change the system back to the current system. All of this is totally dependent on the voters becoming more educated and more involved in the process.

    4. If you follow the links you’ll see that I do in fact talk about the sunset provision. If you can look at the history of the USA PATRIOT Act and other sunset-enabled laws and still put your trust in that provision you are a fool. The fact that you are a fool does not make me dishonest, though I can understand how a fool would reach that conclusion.

      1. So Tim, how do we get rid of the 16th and get a better tax system? Am I crazy or are you just a critic with no idea of your own? Instead of a sunset clause would a “sunrise” clause be better? Meaning the new tax can’t begin until the 16th is gone?

  50. the 16th amendment must be repealed within 7 years of FairTax passage, or the FairTax ends.

    And, if you clap loud enough, you’ll save Tinkerbell.

  51. “2) I am letting the perfect be the enemy of the good by objecting that neither H.R. 25 nor any other versions of the “Fair Tax” in public actually repeals the Sixteenth Amendment.”

    That isn’t letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, that’s letting the worse be the enemy of the bad.

  52. I’m arguing that taxing land is a less egregious theft because it was not created with our labor.

    Preposterous hogwash; the land I own was not created by my labor, but it was purchased with the proceeds of my labor. So I quite honestly don’t see what you’re driving at. Perhaps it made sense in in some largely imaginary eighteenth century England, carpeted, as it was, with vast lordly estates.

    As I have stated many times, if I am to be taxed, that tax should be based on a real dollar amount (buying and selling goods and services, for example), not some assessment conjured from thin air by a government functionary.

  53. Our country desperately needs the Fair Tax. If you do not like it, you do not understand it! Part of the code is to abolish the existing federal and state income tax. The Fair Tax would not work if we did not get rid of income tax first.

    1. Carol,

      Abolishing the 16th amendment and the IRS is going to be tough work. Cain has said “once they understand it, they will demand it”, and once people see the benefits of 999, they would demand that phase II of the plan be implemented. Phase II according to Cain is the Fair Tax.

  54. How is it preposterous hogwash? You purchased it with your labor, but neither you nor anyone else put labor inputs into its creation. You have sole dominion over the land, but you didn’t create it’s value. That’s very different from most other kinds of “property” where the rough product had to be harvested, improved/altered, combined with other products, transported, repackaged, etc. – i.e. requiring actual labor inputs.

    It’s strange that you seem to think taxes on land not created by labor is “forceable theft for the public good” yet basing taxes on the sale of goods and services isn’t? Land sales would still be hit in a blanket consumption tax, but you’d also be taxing productive activities that were actually created with labor and causing deadweight loss.

    To tack in a different direction, if the government is an administration that covers a land mass, it’s logical they would derive their tax system off the value of that land to fund government. Let’s say I’m a trillionaire and purchase 10% of America’s land value. Now let’s say a theoretical invasion occurs that effects the entire country in a perfectly proportional fashion (i.e. that somehow all land in the U.S. is equally attacked), and the U.S. military will defend land in perfect proportion to value. They will spend disproportionately more resources defending my land than they will other people who own less land. Since miniarchists agree national defense is one of the only valid functions of government, it is logical that your tax rate should be equivalent to the percentage of American land value you hold.

    I’m not stuck in the 18th century any more than Milton Friedman, Albert Jay Nock or Friedrich Hayek were when they agreed with Adam Smith, Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson’s basic conclusions about the comparative efficiency of taxing land.

  55. neither you nor anyone else put labor inputs into its creation.

    Say goodnight, Karl.

    1. Ooh. That’s an extremely clever comeback. But Marx saw Henry George’s vision of single land value taxes as anathema to communism because they maximized capitalism by leaving all other forms of wealth creation unviolated at maximum efficiency and would greatly reduce poverty, and thus reduce the class tensions Marxism requires to overthrow capitalism altogether.

      Alas, using the value of mixing labor and resources as an ethical baseline for definitions of property is rooted in classical liberalism. The fact that Marx co-opted and distorted the theory for his own ends does not diminish the logic of the ethical basis.

      Taxing labor and the products of that labor is little different than slavery. Taxing land is less unjustified — you might call it theft if you hold land to be a form of property in the first place, but you can’t call it slavery.

  56. Herman Cain double majored in Math & Physics as an undergraduate and earned a M.S. in Computer Science. Cain`s business accomplishments are unquestionable and show that he understands how to maximize capital both human and monetary. I trust his education and intelligence regarding the complexities of the tax code. He has said from the very beginning that 999 is a combination of a flat tax and fair tax considering that the rates are flat and the comsumption tax is solely for New goods and services. 999 is supposed to be a bridge to the fair tax. He is on record at least 4 times on that including when he discussed the plan at the Palmetto Freedom Forum a month ago.

    1. I still wouldn’t give him a minimum wage job making a pizza or pushing a mop, nevermind the Presidency.

      1. I hate me some niggahs

    2. I’d like to see Cain take office at a lower level than US president so we have some track record on which to base a decision. I’m glad he’s a smart, successful guy but I don’t think we know enough about how he’ll react in political situations. I know he was part of the Federal Reserve but that’s not a directly political position and I’m not really sure it’s a net positive at all.

  57. Sigh. Your still wrong on the FairTax, but I’m glad you’ve read the comments. For the record, Hermain Cain does not own the FairTax.
    And no, his 9-9-9 plan doesn’t sound good, but d**n if I’m not glad that a canidate actully proposes to do something rather than simply shrieking about the top talking points of the day.
    Johnson- Paul, though, I bet even Cain would endorse.

  58. Not only has Cain avoided tying his national sales tax to even a vague promise of future repeal of the 16th Amendment (as H.R. 25 does); he doesn’t even want to suspend, let alone repeal, the income tax? Guess you don’t get out much these days, let alone take your dog hunting?

  59. Looks like Cain just won the Florida straw pole. Amazing. I have no idea how anyone could want to put this guy on the presidential ballot having no political record at all.

    1. Uppity nigger!

      1. What exactly do you find racist about my comment?

  60. Is Cain practicing for the world-record group Thriller dance?

  61. Either income or sales. Not both. On top of this we will still have to pay 9% State sales tax.

    9% Fed income + 9% Fed sales + 9% State sales + 9% State income = 36%. Too much!

    I too prefer a sales tax only at 9% or less.

    As far as the low profit margin businesses go, don’t worry about them, either way, they can just jack up their prices to compensate for the higher tax. We the consumer will end up paying for it anyway like we always have. Cain lost my vote on the duel income/federal sales tax. Sadly we all know that both taxes will increase. When has a tax percentage ever stayed the same or decreased?

  62. It must be arrogantly easy to sit back without a quality idea of your own, and criticize another’s idea…especially without any understanding. If I were a Democrat, I would call you a racist. However, I know better; you don’t understand the world of ideas.

    Cain’s idea may not stick, but it might provoke though from others equipped with more intelligence than you. Start the discussion, educate the people, negotiate a solution.

    It thoroughly disgusts me that Tim Cavanaugh writes because he is like Harry Reid. Vote down every idea from the non-Democrat camp, criticize the authors of those ideas as being obstructionists, and don’t come up with any ideas of your own…much less any interest in discussion.

    And all of the zerObama apologists will continue to reach to new depths to try and save a presidency that was doomed to failure from the outset.

    May America never elect an unqualified person again…no matter how much it wants to prove that it isn’t “racist”. God help us!

  63. It must be arrogantly easy to sit back without a quality idea of your own, and criticize another’s idea…especially without any understanding. If I were a Democrat, I would call you a racist. However, I know better; you don’t understand the world of ideas.

    Cain’s idea may not stick, but it might provoke though from others equipped with more intelligence than you. Start the discussion, educate the people, negotiate a solution.

    It thoroughly disgusts me that Tim Cavanaugh writes because he is like Harry Reid. Vote down every idea from the non-Democrat camp, criticize the authors of those ideas as being obstructionists, and don’t come up with any ideas of your own…much less any interest in discussion.

    And all of the zerObama apologists will continue to reach to new depths to try and save a presidency that was doomed to failure from the outset.

    May America never elect an unqualified person again…no matter how much it wants to prove that it isn’t “racist”. God help us!

  64. what starts as flat does not end up as flat. in particular, legislative extensions to the sales tax side will make it far easier for congress critters to use tax rates to discourage consumption of what they feel are ‘bad things’. If you don’t see this future, you are hopelessly naive.

  65. This blog is entitled, ‘Why 9-9-9 is even worse than Herman Cain’s Fair Tax’…compares Cain’s use of the word nine to Hitler’s nein (a tact that has been used ad nauseum at this point)…then sums it all up with the phrase, ‘please tell me I’m not the only one who sees what can possibly go wrong with this plan’ while never actually addressing WHY Cain’s plan allegedly stinks.

    ~ a complete waste of the last few minutes of my life on a stupid Progressive blog…figures!

  66. Well, forget about the 16th amenadment bit and look at some of the positives in the 999 plan and it doesn’t seem *that* bad.
    1) Everyone pays, one way or another, thus everyone has skin in the game.
    2) One the first major government cuts in budgets will be huge. The IRS will have need for less than half it’s personnel. Good riddance.
    3) Same for the ATF, booze and tobacco will presumably have only one tax, sales tax. Cut their personnel by 2/3rds, Buh bye!
    4) Only ‘new’ items are taxed. Kills the rich guy buying the new Mercedes, not so much on the guy buying a Ford Focus.
    5) No penalty for repatriating profits generated overseas, which open a floodgate of dollars coming home to roost.

    The little that I have seen in figuring out what it would generate in total revenue has an absurdly low rate for the corporate ‘9’ of something like 270 bil, I think it will generate far more than that.
    Overall, it’s somewhat attractive, and at the least far more simpler to process, simple to understand and frankly, I’d love to see the tax lawyers, accountants and tax preparers out on ‘their’ ass for once in my lifetime.

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