Entries in 9-9-9 Plan (14)


The Cain Train Gains A New Icon: Joe the Plumber

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's a match made in tax reform heaven. The diehard promoter of tax code simplicity has teamed up with the Main Street icon of small-business tax plans to promote what is perhaps the most well-known tax reform plan in history: 9-9-9.

Herman Cain announced Tuesday that he's partnered with Joe Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber" of 2008 election campaign fame, who is now running for the U.S. House in Ohio, to continue the fight for a tax code based on a 9-percent personal income tax, 9-percent corporate income tax and a 9-percent national sales tax.

"Joe the Plumber agrees that 'blowing up' the current federal tax code is paramount to the success of this nation," Cain said in a statement. "And we have seen firsthand he's not afraid to tell the president so."

Wurzelbacher reached national notoriety during the 2008 general election for asking then-candidate Obama during a campaign sweep through Ohio whether he would have to pay more taxes if he bought a plumbing business that made $250,000 to $280,000 a year.

Obama's general election rival John McCain seized the moment and often cited "Joe the Plumber" as an everyday American who would be adversely affected by his opponent's tax plan, even though analysts offered varying opinions as to whether Wurzelbacher would have received a tax increase or a tax cut under Obama's plan.

Four years and a heavy dose of frustration with elected officials later, Wurzelbacher is taking matters into his own hands and pledging to promote Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan if elected to Congress.

Wurzelbacher is hopping on the Cain Train, or rather the "Cain Revolution" bus, for a three-event swing through Ohio this week. The two will appear together at two rallies and a Lincoln Day dinner.

"Joe is an unconventional candidate, just like I was," Cain said. "He shows a true workingman's appreciation for what it is to be a good steward of the hard-earned money the government takes from us in the form of taxes."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Sends '9-9-9' Newt’s Way

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The “9-9-9" plan isn’t dead. In fact, it may just get a second life with Newt Gingrich.

Herman Cain, the former pizza magnate and presidential candidate behind the catchphrase/tax plan, told ABC News in an interview Monday that Gingrich is seriously considering adopting the 9-9-9 platform as his own.

“9-9-9 will be a major consideration,” Cain said. “That is why he asked me to co-chair his jobs, work, and tax advisory council.”

The proposal calls for personal income tax, corporate income tax and a national sales tax to each be set at 9 percent.

Gingrich confirmed to ABC News in an interview that he promised to consider the plan, though he said he’s unlikely to take it on fully. The candidate pointed out that he already has a fairly comprehensive tax plan of his own.

Cain has endorsed Gingrich, and the former candidate said the ex-speaker’s pledge to “take it at serious consideration” was a factor in his decision. Gingrich didn’t promise to adopt it, Cain said.

In an interview with ABC News’ Nightline, Cain said Gingrich has called him “several times” in the past few weeks, and he called Gingrich “the only candidate with a commitment for fundamental reform of our tax system.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gingrich to ABC: Romney Has 'Profound Character Problem'

ABC/Donna Svennevik(TAMPA, Fla.) -- In interview with ABC News on the tarmac at the Tampa airport, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that Mitt Romney has "a profound character problem" and that his campaign is "just getting started."

"Why isn't he honest?" Gingrich asked, citing what he said was Romney's dishonesty in his television ads, in his financial disclosure forms and in the debates.  Romney, he added, is, "trying to buy the election" with money from Wall Street.

In the interview, Gingrich attacked the former Massachusetts governor, saying that part of the issue is character and part of the issue is ideology.

"He governed as a liberal who was pro-abortion, pro-gun rights, pro-tax increases and pro-gay rights. Appointed liberal judges, passed Romneycare," said Gingrich.  

Gingrich said he is particularly concerned about the Wall Street money, especially from Goldman Sachs, that is going to the Romney campaign. He said that in the last campaign, Goldman Sachs was the top contributor to Obama -- in this one they are the top contributor to Romney.

"Goldman Sachs took billions of dollars from taxpayers in the bailout. Now for the second time they want to pick a presidential candidate," Gingrich said. "They got Obama last time and this time they want Romney. I don't think most Republicans will think that's a very good idea."

Gingrich said his campaign is "just getting started."

As for Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan, Gingrich confirmed that while he has promised to consider 9-9-9, he is unlikely to adopt the entire plan. After all, Gingrich pointed out, he already has a fairly comprehensive tax plan of his own.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain's Latest Video: '9-9-9 The Movie'

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In an attempt to get his campaign back on track, and back to its original economic-based message, the Herman Cain campaign released a new video Monday morning called: “9-9-9 The Movie - Slaying the Tax Monster.”

In a style reminiscent of the documentary Inside Job, the video uses cartoon graphics and simple language to try to deconstruct the 9-9-9 economic plan.

“We would add two trillion dollars to GDP, and create six million jobs,” the ad says. “Business investment would increase by a third. Wages would go up 10 percent, at the same time federal revenues would go up 15 percent.”

And then there’s this defense of the implementation of a 9 percent national sales tax.

“Anyone nervous about introducing a national sales tax should realize we’re essentially paying one right now. It just isn’t visible. Once these taxes are out in the open it incentivizes savings,” according to the ad.

But this explanation does little to address the fact that if you are in a state that currently has a sales tax, you will be taxed twice.

The non-partisan political fact-check website wrote earlier this fall that “the national sales tax, which would help fund the federal government, would be on top of state and local sales taxes, which fund state and local government. In Florida, that would create a hypothetical tax rate of 15 percent in most parts of the state.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Calls Perry’s Economic Plan ‘Flat Tax Lite’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- At a private fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas Wednesday night hosted by the Nueces County Republican Women, Cain told the group how his ’9-9-9′ plan measured up against Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent ‘Cut, Balance, and Grow’ plan.

Cain said, “Bottom line, Gov. Perry’s flat tax lite is no competition for 9-9-9.”

“Every interview that I do now till the end of the week, they’re going to want to compare it to the 9-9-9 plan,” said Cain, who elaborated on the many differences between his plan and Perry’s plan.

“It’s not a true flat tax.  It’s flat tax lite.  The reason it's flat tax lite is because he still retains some favorite deductions -- which means the lobbyists are still going to work hard to get their favorite deduction put back in.  So that defeats the purpose," he said.  "Secondly, it doesn’t take out embedded taxes.  The embedded taxes are still there.  Why?  Because the 20 percent flat personal tax and the 20 percent flat tax on businesses still causes business to pass those taxes onto consumers.  So he didn’t remove embedded taxes.”

Cain joked about the popularity of his 9-9-9 plan saying, “When I’m walking through airports, TSA agents say hello Mr. Cain, 9-9-9!  It’s my new last name.”

Cain then faulted Perry’s plan for not eliminating loopholes inherent in the current tax code.

“He just basically collapsed all of the tax brackets into one.  That’s all it is.  That’s why I call it flat tax lite,” he said.

“Here’s the other big difference.  It doesn’t expand the base.  As long as you’re only taxing income, the only way to raise revenue is to raise taxes.  The reason he ends up with a 20 percent rate versus a 9 percent rate is because with 9-9-9 we expanded the base.  We have income tax and we expanded the base by adding the national sales tax.  And when you expand the base you can get the lowest rate possible for everybody,” Cain said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


While Undergoing Cancer Treatment, Herman Cain Hit by Tax Lien

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican frontrunner Herman Cain, who has built his support among party activists with his anti-tax message and controversial 9-9-9 tax plan, has called the IRS an "overseer" and compared taxation to slavery.

"Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery," says Cain in a recent campaign video. "In a Herman Cain administration, April 15 will no longer be a day to be dreaded."

Perhaps some of Cain's anti-tax fervor can be traced to his own past encounters with the taxman. According to documents obtained by ABC News, in February 2008, the Georgia Department of Revenue hit Cain and his wife Gloria with a lien for $8558.46 in unpaid personal income taxes from 2006.


Cain's campaign was quick to point out to ABC News that Cain was undergoing treatment for Stage 4 cancer in 2006. A Cain spokesman said that due to his illness, Cain had requested -- and was granted -- a six-month extension of his federal taxes and had requested the same from the state, which Georgia allows. Nevertheless, the state sent a delinquency notice to Cain in late 2007 and filed the lien in early 2008. Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said Cain's accountant had protested the delinquency to no avail.

"Mr. Cain responded in a timely manner to the delinquency notice sent by the Georgia Department of Revenue but was unable to stop the process that ultimately led to the filing of the tax lien," said Gordon. Documents show the lien was removed in November 2008.

The Cain campaign didn't resist an opportunity Wednesday to use the candidate's personal tax struggles to reinforce his anti-tax credentials.

"The experience serves as an example of how broken our federal and state bureaucracies are with respect to the collection of revenue," Gordon told ABC News. "The entire process is driven by automated letters generated in response to deadlines."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Flat Tax Outpaces 9-9-9 in Poll, Notably Among Conservatives

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A flat tax like the one proposed Tuesday by Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry engenders a split decision in public opinion -- if not the warmest reception, a better one than the public’s broader disapproval of his rival Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan.

While a flat tax divides the nation overall, it resonates most strongly in a group of particular interest to Perry -- “very conservative” Americans, a key GOP voting group. They hold favorable views of a flat tax by a broad 68-28 percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll, suggesting a strategic rationale for Perry’s initiative.

More broadly, there’s greater division: Americans overall split by 47-48 percent on the notion of a flat tax -- that is, removing most income tax deductions and charging all taxpayers the same tax rate, instead of charging higher rates on higher incomes. That’s almost identical to the 48-48 percent split on a flat tax in a different ABC/Post question back in August 1996.

Views are more lopsided on Cain’s idea of setting the federal income tax, business tax and a national sales tax at nine percent each. Americans by a 20-point margin, 56-36 percent, hold an unfavorable opinion of the 9-9-9 plan. And intensity runs against the idea: it’s seen as “strongly” unfavorable rather than strongly favorable by a 3-1 margin, 35 percent vs. 12 percent.

While partisan and ideological divisions mark these views, so do other factors in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. In both cases, for example, the new tax approaches are significantly more popular among better-off adults, those in $100,000-plus households, vs. those with annual incomes of $50,000 or less.

In the better-off category, 58 percent favor a flat tax system; that drops to 44 percent among people with incomes less than $50,000. And while fewer than half of wealthier adults, 49 percent, like 9-9-9, that falls to 33 percent in the lower-income group.

Politically, favorable views of a flat tax peak at 56 percent among Republicans, but subside to 46 percent among independents and four in 10 Democrats. The 9-9-9 plan, for its part, doesn’t win majority backing in any of these groups. It’s seen unfavorably by 50 percent of Republicans, rising to about six in 10 Democrats and independents alike.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cain’s Plan Not as Simple as 9-9-9?

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- What’s the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of Herman Cain? For 42 percent of Americans, it’s “9-9-9,” according to a Pew Research Center poll.

Since the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO introduced his catchy economic plan, his popularity has skyrocketed from a second-tier candidate polling in fourth place to a GOP presidential front-runner challenging Mitt Romney for the No. 1 spot.

But the plan that Cain praises for being “simple” and “fair” is shaping up to be a bit more complicated and a bit less egalitarian.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Detroit on Friday, Cain added another layer, which he calls “Opportunity Zones,” to his original plan for a 9 percent personal income tax, 9 percent corporate income tax and 9 percent national sales tax.

Under the Opportunity Zone aspect of his plan, which Cain said has “been in the analysis all along,” businesses in “economically depressed” cities such as Detroit would qualify for “special deductions,” although the GOP candidate did not specify the kinds or size of those deductions.

Cain said his plan allows all businesses, not just those within the zones, to deduct net exports and capital investments.

Cain also added a provision to protect the low-income workers that, under the current tax code, pay no federal income tax. Cain’s provision allows families or individuals whose incomes put them at or below the poverty level, which for 2011 is $10,890 for a single person or $22,350 for a family of four, to pay zero income tax.

“If you are at or below the poverty level,” Cain said, “your plan isn’t 9-9-9, it’s 9-zero-9.”

Dan Mitchell, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, said Thursday that Cain would get “hammered” politically if he did not add the low-income family exemption, especially with his GOP rival Gov. Rick Perry set to introduce a flat tax, which excludes those at the bottom end of the income scale from the federal income tax rolls.

“The poor don’t pay tax now and the poor don’t pay tax under flat tax,” Mitchell said. “If the poor start paying tax under 9-9-9, it will be a big problem politically.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan Gets Grilled at Nevada GOP Debate

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- GOP frontrunner Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan took a beating at Tuesday night’s debate in Las Vegas.  His fellow contenders took his proposal to the mat, using the first 20 minutes of the debate to zero in on the businessman’s so called “economic vision for growth and renewal”.

Since climbing to the top of the polls, Cain’s plan has come under attack across the board, from former Ronald Reagan economic advisors to Grover Norquist, president of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform.  But on Tuesday night, it was the job of those vying for the Republican nomination to try and expose the plan that has helped catapult Cain forward.

Following the debate, Cain told reporters, “The higher up you are in the polls, the more they’re gonna target you and come after you.”

“I believe that the attacks I got tonight shows that they still don’t have a plan so their only strategy is to attack mine.  All of the attacks that were made were erroneous.  I’m not worried about it,” he said.

Michele Bachmann, a former tax lawyer, derided Cain’s plan for being a tax plan and not a jobs plan.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said, “Herman’s well-meaning, and I love his boldness, and it’s great.  But the fact of the matter is, I mean, reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan.  That’s the analysis.”

A recent study from the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, said that Cain’s 9-9-9 plan would raise taxes on 84 percent of American households -- something Herman Cain denied on his bus tour across Tennessee.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also took a soft approach saying, “Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something, you don’t need to have a big analysis to figure this thing out.  Go to New Hampshire, where they don’t have a sales tax, and you’re fixing to give them one."

“... [R]ight here in Nevada you’ve got 8-plus percent.  You want nine cents on top of that, and nine cents on a new home -- or 9 percent on a new home, 9 percent on your Social Security, 9 percent more?  I don’t think so, Herman.  It’s not going to fly,” Perry added.

Cain has addressed this claim on the trail saying that his tax is a replacement tax not an added tax, saying his fellow candidates were mixing apples and oranges, something he reiterated at the debate over and over again.

“This is an example of mixing apples and oranges.  The state tax is an apple.  We are replacing the current tax code with oranges.  So it’s not correct to mix apples and oranges,” said Cain.  “What the 9 percent does is that we take out those five invisible taxes and replace it with one visible 9 percent.”

When Mitt Romney, went after the plan, Cain responded “Whether you throw out the existing code and you put in our plan, you’re still going to pay that.  That’s apples and oranges.”

Romney responded, “Fine.  And I’m going to be getting a bushel basket that has apples and oranges in it because I’ve got to pay both taxes and the people in Nevada don’t want to pay both taxes.”

Cain stood his ground under the intense scrutiny of his plan: “Once again, unfortunately, none of my distinguished colleagues who have attacked me up here tonight understand the plan.  They’re wrong about it being a value-added tax.  We simply remove the hidden taxes that are in goods and services with our plan and replace it with a single rate 9 percent.  I invite every family to do your own calculations with that arithmetic.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Brutalized' over Faith? Perry Defends Wife's Remark

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rick Perry agreed with his wife’s comments that his campaign has been “brutalized” because of his Christianity and, speaking to ABC News on Friday, the Texas governor came out of the gates attacking Herman Cain’s now famous 9-9-9 plan.

“I’ll stand by my wife. I think she’s right on both cases. My understanding is that she said I’m the most conservative candidate in the race and ‘he’s a Christian.’ So I haven’t got anything I can add to that and she’s hit me on my mark both times there,” Perry said on ABC’s Good Morning America.

While campaigning for her husband in South Carolina Anita Perry said, “We are being brutalized by our opponents and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him because of his faith. He’s the only true conservative. Well, there are some conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons.”

But while the Perrys claim unfair treatment because of religion, their opponents argue that’s exactly what Perry supporter Robert Jeffress has done. Shortly after endorsing the Texas Governor, Pastor Jeffress’ told reporters that Mormonism is a “cult.”

“I have a lot of people that endorse me but I don’t endorse what they say or what they believe for that matter and that’s the case on this one. I can’t control those individuals who go out and say something who may be for me in a race,” he said.

“Look, I’m not going to say that he can’t say what he wants to say. The issue is, are we going to tell people what they can say and I’m not going to be one of those. This is a country where we truly have freedom of expression. And they are going to be people who say things about me, probably going to be people that say things about President Obama that are offensive to him and his family,” he said. “But those folks who say those things are going to be the ones that you need to be asking the questions to.”

Perry, who has dropped significantly in the polls, is to release the first part of his economic plan on Friday. He’ll argue that if we tap into our own resources such as “opening up those federal lands and water,” cutting back on regulations and rebuilding the Environmental Protection Agency, we can create 1.2 million new jobs.

His economic plan will go up against Mitt Romney’s 59 point proposal and Herman Cain’s now famous “9-9-9” plan. But Perry, who has been close to mum on Cain’s plan, criticized his opponent on Friday.

Anita Perry said 9-9-9 made her want to “call 911” -- and the governor said that’s “pretty close to hitting the spot.”

“That other nine is a nine percent increase on our senior citizens, on their social security tax. Once this really gets looked at, sounds pretty cool to just say 9-9-9, but at the end of the day it is a big tax increase on some people out there that vote, that care, and I think it’s going to be tough sledding for 9-9-9,” he said.

Perry said Americans are looking for a president who “really knows how to create jobs, not somebody who has a catchy slogan.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio