Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, who has surged in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination in recent weeks partly on the strength of his so-called 9-9-9 tax plan now says his proposal would allow businesses that invest in “opportunity zones” in urban areas to earn tax exemptions.
He also said that families living below the poverty line would be subject to a different tax bracket. His new plan is called 9-0-9.”
Cain’s amended tax plan follows attacks by his rivals for the GOP nomination who saw his proposal to replace the federal tax code with a 9 percent corporate tax, 9 percent personal income tax and a 9 percent national sales tax is unfair. The Washington-based, non-partisan Tax Policy Center also concludes Cain’s plan would raise taxes on more than 80 percent of American households, despite his claim that U.S. households would see their taxes cut.
An analysis of the plan found it would lower after-tax incomes of the working poor (incomes under $30,000) by 16 percent to 20 percent, while increasing the incomes of wealthier households (incomes above 200,000) by 5 percent to 22 percent. More than 95 percent of those earning more than a million would average an annual tax cut of $487,300.
“First and foremost, the plan levies two taxes on consumption: The sales tax (which would of course be imposed on top of local and state sales taxes) and a value-added tax, which is essentially what the business tax is,” an editorial in The Panama City (Fla.) News Herald said last week. “There are advantages and disadvantages to either, but please, pick one. Don’t go with both. That would significantly increase the price of goods and services.”
Tell us what you think. Do you think Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is fair to all taxpayers? Send your comments to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, telephone number and address for verification. We will print your responses on the Opinion pages in the coming weeks.
You also can go to www.johnsoncitypress.com to cast a vote in the online poll. Results of the poll and comments from readers will appear on this page Nov. 15.