Entries in 9-9-9 Plan (14)


As Herman Cain Catches Fire, He and His 9-9-9 Plan Take Heat

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Since Herman Cain's stunning victory in the Florida straw poll three weeks ago, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza has captured the attention of the Republican Party, his opponents and even his opponents’ wives.

“When I hear 9-9-9, I want to call 9-1-1,” said Anita Perry, wife of Gov. Rick Perry, referring to Cain’s now-famous economic plan, ”because it will raise the taxes.”

The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Cain leading the field, effectively tied with Mitt Romney.

As Cain assumed his new position among the top-tier candidates at Tuesday night’s debate, his opponents seized upon the moment to assault him and his 9-9-9 plan from nearly every angle.  Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., at one point quipped that ”the devil is in the details,” if 9-9-9 is examined and turned over.

Others in the Republican Party, however, are praising Cain’s plan.  House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, for example, said he loves Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan.  And Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour predicted Cain would sweep the South against Obama.

Cain is catching fire in the private sector, as well.  In a sure sign of the times, Spirit Airlines, in nod to Cain, has launched its own “9-9-9″ advertising campaign.

For all the buzz around Cain, there are real questions about whether he can turn all the momentum into a winning campaign.  Recently, Cain has been largely absent from early primary states.

ABC News dropped by Cain’s Iowa headquarters Thursday and found the place nearly deserted.  The GOP hopeful hasn’t even been to the first caucus state since the Ames Straw Poll back in mid-August.

“We’re trying hard to get Mr. Cain here in October, and hopefully we’ll be able to achieve that,” Larry Tuel, Iowa director of the Cain Campaign, told ABC News.

Despite his non-traditional campaign strategy, Cain continues to rise and said his surge won’t be short-lived.

“There is a difference between flavor of the week and Haagen Dazs black walnut, because it tastes good all the time,” Cain said.  “Call me Haagen Dazs black walnut.”

That black walnut ice cream may indeed be tasty, but Cain may be disappointed the next time he goes out for ice cream: Haagan Dazs stopped selling black walnut two years ago.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Dismisses Mitt Romney’s ‘So-Called’ Economic Plan

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- On the campaign trail Wednesday, Herman Cain did not miss an opportunity to contrast himself with the candidate he is now challenging for the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination -- Mitt Romney.

When asked what he thought of Romney’s suggestion at Tuesday night’s debate that Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan was too simplistic, the businessman turned presidential hopeful called it a “put down.”

“A plan can be simple without being simple-minded,” Cain said.  “Someone once said, ‘simplicity is genius.’  I believe that’s why I was attacked so much.”

“I think that’s what’s driving a lot of people crazy.  They keep saying it’s too simple,” Cain said of his economic proposal.  “It’s simple, it’s transparent, it’s efficient, it’s fair and it’s neutral.  They’re having trouble with that.”

Cain went on to recall the moment when, at the debate, he challenged Romney to name the 59 points of his economic plan.

“His only response had to be, ‘well, you know not everything can be solved simplistically’ -- yes it can,” Cain told reporters at the Ninety Nine Restaurant in Concord.

“I used to run places like this,” said Cain, whose career includes stints as the CEO of Godfather’s pizza and as the head of the National Restaurant Association.  “I’ve had to count the inventory and balance out the cash register receipts at night.  I’ve had to be the last one in the restaurant to clean it up...I’ve been a hands-on businessman.”

And when it came to Romney’s solutions to getting the economy back on track, Cain continued to extol the virtues of simplicity.

“His so-called economic plan throws a lot of stuff in there that he’s trying to address.  The biggest thing that he doesn’t do is throw out the current tax code.  I throw out the tax code right away.”

Cain added, “You start throwing all this stuff in there, you’re going to end up with another 2,700 page bill...they’re not going to read it.  So, give them specific, clear solutions for the major issues that we face.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Gets Economics Lesson from New Hampshire Voter

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Presidential candidate Herman Cain, whose signature 9-9-9 tax plan would include a 9 percent national sales tax, found himself on the receiving end of an economics lesson from a New Hampshire voter on Wednesday.

“I can tell you in New Hampshire people don’t like sales tax,” a diner eating lunch in a Concord restaurant told the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO.

“Don’t confuse the New Hampshire sales tax with this because you’re going to have to pay that anyway,” Cain said.

But the man quickly corrected the presidential candidate: “New Hampshire doesn’t have a sales tax.”

“Don’t mix the two,” Cain insisted.  “Some people say, well we don’t want a sales tax.  It’s not a state sales tax.”

The man informed Cain he was a supporter of a flat tax.

“People get nervous because of the sales tax piece,” Cain said.  “But the way I respond to that is, are you happy with the current tax code?  Do we know what’s in it?  At least we know what’s in this.”

The conversation came during an unscheduled stop at the Ninety Nine Restaurant in Concord.  Campaign aides chose the venue for numerical reasons -- the menu features “9 Real Size Entrees for Only $9.99.”

But Cain, who said he would be making more frequent visits to this important early primary state, appeared unaware that New Hampshire does not have a sales tax even though at a news conference earlier in the day a reporter who asked Cain about the 9-9-9 plan told the candidate, “New Hampshire, as you know, doesn’t have a sales tax.”

“Don’t make that mistake,” Cain told the reporter.  “The state taxes aren’t in this at all.  You’re going to pay the state taxes no matter what structure we have.  You’re going to pay the state taxes under the old structure or you’re not going to pay state taxes, whatever the case may be, with or without it.”

“That only clouds the conversation,” he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


9-9-9 Plan Would Almost Double Taxes on Middle Class

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Herman Cain is running on three numbers: 9-9-9.

“Nine percent corporate business flat tax, nine percent income flat tax and a nine percent national sales tax,” he said, explaining the plan once again during Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate.

The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO’s campaign is surging, partly thanks to 9-9-9, and one sure sign that his candidacy has taken off is that during the debate other candidates spent most of their time attacking his tax plan.

“When you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil is in the details,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

“I think it’s a catchy phrase,” said Jon Huntsman. “In fact, I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it.”

The first part of Cain’s plan completely scraps the current tax system. Social Security taxes would be eliminated, as well as estate taxes and capital gains taxes. Deductions and corporate loopholes would be gone too.

The old system would be replaced by the nines:

-- A flat nine percent income tax for everyone -- no more, no less.
-- A nine percent tax on corporations.
-- A nine percent national sales tax.

Cain developed the plan with the help of a little known accountant from Cleveland named Rich Lowrie. And there are other financial experts who like it.

“Relative to the current system, it is a big improvement,” William McBride, an economist with the Tax Foundation, told ABC News. “9-9-9 is fundamentally scrapping the tax code and starting over, and there is very good reason to do that.”

However, a much longer list of economists say Cain’s plan would be a tax hike for the lower middle class and a tax windfall for the wealthy.

If you have a family of four with an income of just under $50,000, they would pay more under the Cain plan. Currently, they are taxed at just less than seven percent and pay $3,400 in income tax. Under Cain’s plan, they would be taxed at nine percent or pay $4,500 -- that's $1,100 more.

Although the family would save almost $4,000 in Social Security taxes, it would have to give up the child tax credit of $4,000. Furthermore, it would pay an additional national sales tax of nine percent on everything purchased, including groceries and clothes, which totals about $2,000.

That means under the Cain plan that family would be almost doubling its taxes, going from $3,400 to $6,500.

“It’s going to raise the price of just about everything by about nine percent,” said former George W. Bush economic policy adviser Bruce Bartlett. “We know from experience and analysis that that tends to hurt people with low incomes.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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