The Truth About 9-9-9

Due to Herman Cain's surging popularity, there has been pitifully little deep-dish analysis of his catchy '9-9-9' Pizza Tax Plan, but the following links fix that. It consolidates most of the research in one place. Look it over.

WaPo Fact Check

Another Useful Compendium

If the numbers 9-9-9 are rattling around in your brain like a commercial jingle, then Herman Cain's fast food credentials have paid off.

In my opinion, the '9-9-9' plan is directly out of a pizza promotion playbook. (For instance:"5 toppings for just $5! That's right! 5 toppings for just $5! $9 for 9 breadsticks and a small pizza before 9 pm!!") It's shameless... and brilliant.

Given the public's growing impatience over the complication, obfuscation and gridlock in Congress over the deficit and taxes in recent years, the 9-9-9 campaign's success is understandable. But travel beyond the campaign, and into the plan itself, and you find deceptively complex and inadvisable scheme, one that expert research reveals will have unforseen consequences, not just for the poor, but for the rich.

In a nutshell, 9-9-9 grabs the consumer with its single digit promise and ends up delivering a bill of goods with a three part scheme that amounts to double digit taxation and lots of hidden surprises along the way that, to even work with a modicum of ineffectiveness, need to upend the tax code thrice over, a political impossibility.

Additionally the history and viability of flax tax plans like Cain's need to be understood better, even in these exhausting, confusing times, so that we aren't trading out an admittedly broken code for a bait-and-switch that makes things even worse.

Let me put things in perspective: critics of Cain's 9-9-9 scheme include most of his Republican Rivals, Bruce Bartlett (policy advisor under Reagan and George W. Bush), and none other than Grover Norquist. I'm not even including the numerous policy analysts and economists all along the political spectrum who have provided ample evidence in the numerous links provided above.

Go look for yourself, and get back to me about whether 9-9-9 is really as hot and tasty as it sounds. I'm betting no.


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