And not just because he wants loyalty oaths from Muslims and swore to protect the endangered zygote. He's an asshole because he passes himself off as the voice of economic and business experience in the Republican field.
Even so, or maybe because of that, he's now the "it" clown in the car and we all should know a little more about him and his plan, the 9-9-9 plan that is the talk of the tea-town.
Herman Cain is known as the "GodFather's Pizza Guy" by the MSM. They rarely mention that he was also president of the National Restaurant Association which played a key roll in killing the Clinton Health Reform. Or that he was also the chief economic advisor to the Dole campaign in 1996. Or that he was also the former chairman of the Tax Leadership Council, a fair/flat tax group. Or that he was also a longtime AM radio talk show and Fox news host.
Herman Cain is connected.
The guy's been securing his position at the nexus of corporate and crazy in Republican circles since the early 1990's. He's no newcomer and he is well known to both the "Get out of my pocket" and "Give me back my Tinfoil Hat" wings of his party so he has both a lot of money and a lot of ground support.
And now he has his 9 9 9 plan and it's bringing shivers of anticipation and delight to those who vote their boss's pocketbook.
9-9-9. It's pithy and perfect for a picket sign. It has numbers in it so it's got to be solid economics, right?
So I read it -- as best I could, anyway. It seems the Cain team, along with having only the slightest notions about basic economics, has only a passing acquaintance with basic English grammar, construction, and diction so it's quite hard to make real sense of it. But I read it and to save the rest of you the pain and frustration, here's a primer:
- Production Drives Growth (this is a rationale for abolishing government regulations and corporate taxes)
- Risk Taking Drives Growth (this is a rationale for abolishing capital gains taxes)
- Measurements must be dependable. (this is code for a return to the Gold standard)
Phase I (there is a Phase II, too, but it only tells us that once the economy is booming from Phase I, we will have a "Fair Tax" plan. He doesn't tell us what it is but assures us that we will no longer need the IRS):
- End Repatriation Taxes (taxes on corporate earnings from outside US)
- End Capital Gains Tax
- Create a 9% tax bracket that all earners must pay (he would also end the payroll tax on both sides, though he does not explain how he would pay for social security, implying that he would end it).
- Create a 9% sales national sales tax
- Create a 9% corporate tax rate for all corporations
- End the inheritance tax
- End Excise taxes
Yes. 9% on all earnings. No bottom limit.
So here's the tax breakdown in real terms. (Warning, current terms are oversimplified and based on loose averages):
A family of four with a net pre-tax income of $22,000, which is poverty level, would pay $1,980 in federal taxes, nothing in state taxes, and a 19% (combined federal, state and local sales taxes) premium on their purchases, leaving them with $16,216 in purchasing power.
Poverty Tax Rate (state, federal, and sales): 28% (19% increase from current)
A family of 4 that has a net pre-tax income of $42,000 would pay $3,780 in federal taxes. They would also pay, here in California, $2,100 in state taxes. If that family lived here in Los Angeles, they would pay an additional 19% tax premium on every purchase. Cain makes no exemptions for unprepared food. The actual purchasing power available for their $42,000 would be $29,257 after all taxes.
Actual Middle Class Tax Rate (state, federal and sales): 32% (approximately the same as now)
An individual who earns $1,000,000,000 each year in salary would pay $90,000 in federal taxes and $111,000 in state taxes (minus deductions). They would also pay a 19% premium on purchases for another $190,000, leaving them with $609,000 in purchasing power after taxes.
Actual Upper Income Tax Rate (state, federal, and sales) 39% (A 15% reduction from current)
An individual who earned $1,000,000,000 in investments would pay nothing beyond sales tax.
A corporation that earns $1,000,000,000.00 will be taxed at 9%, too. 9% after deducting the cost of all investments, all purchases from other businesses and all dividends. A smart corporation would be able to avoid taxation altogether as there are no repatriation, capital gains, or excise taxes.
Actual Corporate Tax Rate for a publicly traded corporation: 0% (17.2% drop from current)
Hermain Cain's plan is simple: Make the poor pay. Let the rich skate.
Herman Cain is an asshole.
So is anybody who thinks that 9-9-9 isn't stupid, insane, immoral, and just plain wrong.