Bachmann on Cain’s 9-9-9 plan: Turn those numbers upside down

posted at 10:02 pm on October 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via Breitbart TV, the soundbite of the day from tonight’s debate. Is she right? According to Josh Barro (via our pal Karl), maybe so:

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan includes a personal income tax, a business tax, and a sales tax, all at flat rates of nine percent. Bruce Bartlett critiques the plan in the New York Times today, and he flags a fact about the business tax that I hadn’t been aware of:

“The business tax in the Cain plan bears no resemblance to the present corporate income tax. The tax would apply to gross sales less dividends paid and all purchases from other companies, including investment goods. Thus, there would be no deduction for wages.”

This is far more similar to a value-added tax than to a corporate income tax. And indeed, the description on Cain’s website matches Bartlett’s, saying the business tax would apply to “Gross income less all investments, all purchases from other businesses and all dividends paid to shareholders.” One question is what Cain means by “gross income,” but I think he has to mean something like gross revenue–anything that looks like a profits concept would already exclude “purchases from other businesses” and so they would not be there to deduct.

In other words, in effect he’s proposing both a sales tax and a de facto VAT that’ll operate as a second sales tax on top of it. I’m not sure Bachmann realizes that or else she would have nailed him on it right here. Bad enough that Congress gets to play with one new “invisible” tax on consumers, but two?

Lots more scrutiny of 9-9-9 to come tomorrow, no doubt. Welcome to the top tier, Mr. C! Exit question: Did he actually pat Alan Greenspan on the back tonight? So much for the tea-party vote.

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You’re not actually a libertarian if you think reducing taxes constitutes a subsidy. It’s a tax advantage, and if you want to argue against that, go ahead.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Really. You’re going to stand by that?

That the contribution of others are affording you a tax break because of your special circumstances?

The true libertarian position would be to get rid of your special privilege altogether.

John the Libertarian on October 11, 2011 at 11:05 PM

The true libertarian position would be to get rid of your special privilege altogether.

John the Libertarian on October 11, 2011 at 11:05 PM

Uh…wouldn’t the “true libertarian position” be to shrink the size of government so that everyone paid less in taxes?

cynccook on October 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Sometimes Republicans forget that any well meaning program or tax you propose will eventually be in the hands of Democrats. I’ve even thought that you could let the government control a small portion of the economy, such as nuclear energy and ports, and raise revenue that way instead of through taxes. Such an idea is really unthinkable as long as Democrats/Marxists exist.

Buddahpundit on October 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

If it seems that important, phase it out gradually. But it’s not that important. It is not the case and has never been the case that the federal budget isn’t balanced because of the homeowners’ deductions. The federal budget isn’t balanced because of spending and regulation.

ted c and angryed are usually good troop, so believe that I’m not picking on you when I say that you’re 180-out on this one. You don’t change the rules, in a way a lot of people can’t afford, in the middle of their mortgage amortizations. My case is common and illustrative, not special.

I’d be willing to phase out the deduction, IF the whole basis of taxation were to be shifted at the same time back to taxing consumption, and taxing on the basis of what the government needs to spend as opposed to percentages of income. That’s what we did before the federal income tax, and I’d be thrilled to go back to it.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Fair enough. But

No matter what you do, someone will complain. Your argument is basically “I’m all for cutting spending, just don’t cut spending on my stuff”. Cue 72 year old in line “I’m all for cutting spending, just don’t touch SS”. Cue military contractor “I’m all for cutting spending, just don’t touch defence”. And so on. This is the whole point of the exercise. Everyone will have to give up something. Be it mortgage or child deduction or electric car rebate or one of the other 18,000 tax laws out there.

I’d be fine with a phased elimination of the deduction. Something like anyone 0-5 years into a mortgage gets 5 more years of deduction. Anyone 10+ years into a mortgage gets 3 more years. Anyone 15+ years also gets no more deductions since by the 15th year you’re not paying all that much interest anyway and you’ve already had 15 years worth of the goodies, enough’s enough. Any new mortgages are no longer deductible at all.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:01 PM

I moved to California in 2000, when I moved there I saw some houses in the area going for about $120K, so I worked a bunch of over time and saved up about $18k for a down payment. Nope, lowest house on the market by then was $145,000 and about 2/3 the yard and square footage of the ones that were selling for $120k just 14 months earlier. I figured, its a fluke, got my savings up to $25k and went looking again, $160,000 … By 2005 I went looking one last time, the lowest price houses on the market were about $230k, I went to go look at one. It was on a narrow lot, the house was put together in three sections which were all built at different times and the floor sloped at about 4 degrees for the last third of the length of the house. I went to look at another one. Most of the board siding was warped and falling off, it was built in two installments.

You know, I laughed at the guy who bought his 600 square foot condo for $140k when I first moved there, he sold it for $275,000 cash in 2006, because if you climbed to the roof, you could see the ocean!

astonerii on October 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

No, I have a modest California home with a California-size mortgage and the California property taxes to go with it. Although the property tax rate is low here, the nominal property values are such that the taxes are still a hefty chunk of change.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:01 PM

New York. California, same thing, just a different coast. Property values higher in California, tax rates higher in NY.

Dreadnought on October 11, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Can we get a post about Mitt Romney expressing solidarity with “the 99%”?

Lawdawg86 on October 11, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Sometimes Republicans forget that any well meaning program or tax you propose will eventually be in the hands of Democrats.

Buddahpundit on October 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM

And how is that different from the current system exactly?

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:10 PM

I actually agree with Bachmann, but she’s gotta know she’s playing into the caricature of her, right?

besser tot als rot on October 11, 2011 at 11:10 PM

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canopfor on October 11, 2011 at 11:11 PM

No, I have a modest California home with a California-size mortgage and the California property taxes to go with it. Although the property tax rate is low here, the nominal property values are such that the taxes are still a hefty chunk of change.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:01 PM

So move. Why should I, resident of low tax state, subsidize you in a high cost state? You wanna live in CA? Fine. But I don’t see why I should pay for a portion of your choice.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:11 PM

So move. Why should I, resident of low tax state, subsidize you in a high cost state? You wanna live in CA? Fine. But I don’t see why I should pay for a portion of your choice.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:11 PM

The question you should be asking is why are you being penalized, not why are others being favored. Let’s remember who the bad guys are here.

cynccook on October 11, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Say you have a choice of living in state A or state B.

A taxes are $10,000 but you can deduct them from federal taxes so it’s only $7000.

B taxes are $5000. Deduct them from federal and it’s only $3500.

The difference isn’t as pronounced once the local tax deduction comes into play. This gives A the incentive to keep taxes higher, knowing that people won’t move to B.

But now no more local tax deduction. The difference between A and B is much more pronounced. So what happens is lots of people from A start moving to B. And eventually A has to lower taxes to compete with B.

What the deduction does is allow NY, CA, MA etc to keep taxes high knowing that the rest of the country will subsidize the residents of NY, CA, MA via the tax code.

So if you want lower state taxes, you want to get rid of the deduction.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:17 PM

KingGold on October 11, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Now I get it, the reason for 999 is more to make it so convoluted that you really have no clue how much your paying in taxes, allowing the politicians to repeat the last 100 years.

I get it.

astonerii on October 11, 2011 at 11:17 PM

I agree with her point about revenue streams; I made the same to a Cain fan friend a few days ago. But, on the facts, she’s over a century off.

calbear on October 11, 2011 at 11:18 PM

he question you should be asking is why are you being penalized, not why are others being favored. Let’s remember who the bad guys are here.

cynccook on October 11, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Not sure I get your point. I am penalized because I have to not only pay my taxes, I also have to chip in and pay part of Jon’s taxes in California. And quite frankly, I don’t like doing that.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:18 PM

All this tax talk is making me hungry. Time for a late dinner. Night all.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:20 PM

You’re going to stand by that?

John the Libertarian on October 11, 2011 at 11:05

Of course. A tax advantage is not a subsidy. Notice I didn’t say a tax advantage is a good idea. I said it’s not a subsidy.

It is anti-libertarian to think you are subsidizing someone else when that person or entity is given a tax advantage. You haven’t contributed a penny to that other person. It’s very possible you haven’t even sent more to the government than that other person.

You’re not “covering” for others who use tax advantages. A whole lot of people who use them are still paying more than you do in federal taxes. Would your taxes be less if they didn’t take the mortgage deduction? Would your taxes be less if oil companies didn’t get tax advantaged drilling leases? No. You’d still pay whatever percent of your income you’re paying, along with the SS/Medicare contributions.

With respect, you’re looking at the whole thing the way leftists do. Again, I’m not arguing in favor of tax advantages, but I am pointing out that if you see any reduction in tax load as a subsidy, you have bought into the idea that our economic actions all take place in an environment in which the community, represented by government, has first dibs on the product of our labor.

That’s not a libertarian position. The true libertarian view is that everything produced and earned belongs to the individuals who produce and earn it; there there is no such thing as a collective that has a prior economic claim on us, or in which we participate in any zero-sum contribution dynamics; that government is a necessary expense but not a clearinghouse for economic fairness; and that government should tax as little as possible.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:21 PM

Not sure I get your point. I am penalized because I have to not only pay my taxes, I also have to chip in and pay part of Jon’s taxes in California. And quite frankly, I don’t like doing that.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:18 PM

My point is that everyone is paying too much in taxes to a wasteful, arrogant federal government who pisses more money away in a month than most civilized countries will see as GDP in a year. You pay too much, John pays too much, my husband and I pay too much.

cynccook on October 11, 2011 at 11:24 PM

OK One more…. J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:21 PM

The govt needs $10K. We each pay $5K in tax. Then all of a sudden the govt get lobbied by the home building industry and comes up with a plan. $1K savings if you buy a house. JE jumps at that. His tax is now $4K. But the govt still needs that $1K.

Guess who pays the $1K you just saved? That’s right, I do. So now I pay 6, you pay 4. I am subsidizing your $1K by paying an extra $1K because the govt decided to incentivize you to take a certain action (buy a house).

Now I see your awesome deal and I say, ME TOO GOVT!! I want in on the deal. So I pay $4K as well. Govt still needs $10K, so they borrow the $2K from China. Then next year govt is lobbied by industry XYZ. New govt plan, $1K off taxes for buying an XYZ. We both do it. Our taxes are now $3K each. YEAY!! No problem, govt borrows $4K from China.

And that kids is why crap like mortgage deductions don’t do anyone any good in the long run. They make people do stupid things only to save on their taxes.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:28 PM

I am penalized because I have to not only pay my taxes, I also have to chip in and pay part of Jon’s taxes in California. And quite frankly, I don’t like doing that.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:18 PM

You’re not doing any such thing. You are paying a tax rate, which has nothing to do with what anyone else is or isn’t paying.

As long as taxes are assessed based on a rate of any kind, you can’t be “penalized” in the manner you posit. You’re going to pay the rate applicable to your taxable income, period.

You pay too much, John pays too much, my husband and I pay too much.

cynccook on October 11, 2011 at 11:24 PM

I’m not so sure about John, whoever that is, but I agree on the rest. We all pay too much.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Guess who pays the $1K you just saved? That’s right, I do. So now I pay 6, you pay 4.

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 11:28 PM

No, you don’t pay $6K. You pay the $5K you were originally paying. Your rate hasn’t changed.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:32 PM

One more note on angryed’s example. It starts out:

The govt needs $10K.

And that’s the original error. That used to be the basis for taxing Americans, 100 years ago when there was no federal income tax. The government had expenses that had to be covered. Consumption taxes (and occasionally property taxes) were imposed to raise specific amounts to cover those expenses.

That is not the basis for taxing us anymore. It’s hasn’t been since the 16th amendment was adopted. Our basis for taxation now starts with this sentence:

“Taxpayer A has earned/produced X amount of income or revenue.”

The next sentence is:

“The govt will tax y percentage of that income or revenue.”

Not a single syllable has been uttered about what government needs to spend. We are taxed, on a rate and “fairness” basis, independently of what government needs or plans to spend. That is the very heart of our problem with fiscal incontinence.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:39 PM

I actually agree with Bachmann, but she’s gotta know she’s playing into the caricature of her, right?

besser tot als rot on October 11, 2011 at 11:10 PM

Isn’t the fact she’s comfortable in her own skin actually an attribute? I always thought so.

FloatingRock on October 11, 2011 at 11:41 PM

cyncook,

My point is that everyone is paying too much in taxes to a wasteful, arrogant federal government who pisses more money away in a month than most civilized countries will see as GDP in a year. You pay too much, John pays too much, my husband and I pay too much.

A large part of the reason that we have such a wasteful and arrogant federal government is because 52% of the population pay no federal income taxes. For the most part, it isn’t their money that is being p*ssed away so why should they care? The money comes from nameless and faceless plutocrats who only acquired their fortunes by winning life’s lottery, let them pay a more “fair share”.

Can’t have a system more ripe for corruption and abuse than our current “progressive” tax system.

The 9-9-9 plan at least puts pressure on Washington to keep its fiscal house in order. Good luck to any politician seeking reelection on a platform of raising personal income taxes and sales taxes in such a system.

Mike Honcho on October 11, 2011 at 11:42 PM

You’re not doing any such thing. You are paying a tax rate, which has nothing to do with what anyone else is or isn’t paying.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM

Hold on just a sec. If your effective rates are lowered by a deduction, but others’ are not, they’re effectively subsidizing you for that amount. Only by lowering tax rates – that is, effective tax rates for all – is it not in some way a subsidy.

Consider the marriage penalty. Two middle-income people who shack up together pay a higher effective tax rate the very day they tie the knot. How is that not a disincentive penalty on married people, who subsidize unmarried people of similar incomes?

KingGold on October 11, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Thank you, Michele, for the ridicule I will be subject to tomorrow. I would like to make serious conservative arguments and you come along and make rational discussion impossible. Thank you, so much!

thuja on October 11, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I was wrong about what Bachmann said. I responded merely based on my stereotypes about her. She actually makes a good point. It’s sad that what she said can be so twisted here at Hotair. Yet, the MSM is going to do such twisting no matter what happens here.

Should I argue that I Hotair be more fair to Bachmann? Well, no, her ideas on social issues are lunatic. Yet, I want Hotair to be more fair to Bachmann. There are no easy answers. If it’s not clear, I am flailing here.

thuja on October 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

PappyD61 on October 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Great platform. Second look at PappyD61!!!

mrsmwp on October 11, 2011 at 10:36 PM

Second the motion. You’re nominated, PappyD61!

Or, at the very least we could print that list and send it to the RNC with our signatures.

listens2glenn on October 12, 2011 at 12:07 AM

No, I have a modest California home with a California-size mortgage and the California property taxes to go with it. Although the property tax rate is low here, the nominal property values are such that the taxes are still a hefty chunk of change.

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:01 PM

New York. California, same thing, just a different coast. Property values higher in California, tax rates higher in NY.

Dreadnought on October 11, 2011 at 11:09 PM

So, I guess you guys don’t know anyone who lives in NJ, especially northern NJ. lol

NJ may be the highest property taxes in the nation. And we have income taxes and sales taxes and miscellaneous auto taxes. And we have a lottery and Atlantic City gambling which was supposed to pay for education and we have toll roads with tolls going up soon to cover other state spending.

And our property values are almost as high as they are in California, even though they’ve come down nationwide and around here.

NJ is very expensive. Higher wages pay for the high cost of living, but we get taxed State and Federal on them. Unless you are out of work like alot of NJ is right now. Very high unemployment.

Don’t get me started. lol

Elisa on October 12, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Saw some discussion on mortgage interest.

The Standard deduction for 2011 is $11,600 for a married couple. Most people don’t have enough to deduct medical and miscellaneous taxes. The big deductions are real estate taxes, state taxes, mortgage interest and contributions. 999 keeps the contributions. If you really look at what you get over and above the Standard deduction right now, for most people who are partly into their mortgage already and most of the interest is in the early years (not to mention those with no mortgage) there isn’t that much of a tax benefit right now anyway for interest deductions.

And don’t forget, this is a deduction from income, not a tax credit. It’s not as big a deal as you might think, considering Federal payroll taxes would be gone and a new tax plan would have other benefits to young couples.

Elisa on October 12, 2011 at 12:27 AM

thuja on October 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

Is Bachmann really so bad on social issues? Regardless, with a RINO House and Senate she won’t be able to make much headway on anything too controversial, so I don’t think there’s much to worry about. Also, Bachmann has been a small-government stalwart who I hope will take a more federalist approach; maybe some red states will ban abortion but some blue states might legalize MJ without federal interference. That way be might avoid a civil war or breakup of the union.

I don’t have a problem with devoutly religious Americans that support the Constitution and believe in small, limited government. It’s the progressive ones that I have a problem with, like Huckabee.

FloatingRock on October 12, 2011 at 12:30 AM

I said this once before when someone else brought up 666.

999 is the opposite of 666, so that would mean 999 is our savior.

Just sayin.

Elisa on October 12, 2011 at 12:39 AM

Herman Cain reminds me of Mike the TV on the animated TV show called ReBoot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d43r6iVgsc

FloatingRock on October 12, 2011 at 12:46 AM

I hope people watch the video because it prophecies where Cain’s 9.9.9 plan will lead.

FloatingRock on October 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM

It is a joke anyways. Why are there three taxes? To make it look low. But in reality it is a 27% tax rate on everything. That is if it remains as it is, which is unlikely. We need a single tax, a national sales tax, every other tax should be unconstitutional. It should be flat and apply to any new goods or services with absolutely no refunds ever. It should be made to require a 50%+1 vote to lower the tax rate and 66%+1 to raise the rate, with those numbers written in the constitution as binding on congress.

astonerii on October 11, 2011 at 10:52 PM

999 is transitional into a full Fair tax alone with no income or business tax, just as you are calling for. It is a way to transition the country and economy to a simple Fair tax alone over a few years.

During those years on the 999 and after the Fair tax alone is set, Cain’s plan does call for the initial legislation to have 2/3 of the Senate necessary to raise the tax rate, just as you propose.

It is also only on new goods, just as you said, not used goods.

You should love Cain’s plan, it’s what you seem to want.

Elisa on October 12, 2011 at 1:00 AM

This needs to get bumped to the second page:

“Gross income less all investments, all purchases from other businesses and all dividends paid to shareholders.” One question is what Cain means by “gross income,” but I think he has to mean something like gross revenue–anything that looks like a profits concept would already exclude “purchases from other businesses” and so they would not be there to deduct.

Nope, not quite accurate.

Most businesses use “accrual accounting”, which means that you don’t subtract purchases from sales to arrive at gross profit, you subtract the cost of materials actually used (or sold) (remember, you can buy a bunch of stuff on December 31, not sell it or otherwise dispose of it before January 1, and those purchases would not generally be deductible from revenue in the calculation of profit in the year of purchase. Those purchases would have to be carried on the balance sheet as assets. This is what causes the “rich-$250,000-of-income” small business owners heartburn: if they buy inventory, the inventory they bought gets counted in their income, and so they have to pay tax on it, even though they don’t have the cash, which they invested in inventory).

In the case of Cain’s 999 plan, I would suspect his “gross income” more likely means “gross profit”, which is sales minus the cost of what went into producing only the products that were sold (including labor). Stuff that stays on the shelf waiting to be manufactured or sold does not factor into the calculation of “gross profit”.

So Cain seems to be proposing that you can, for tax purposes deduct the cost of purchases, whether or not used. This, however, is still a little wobbly conceptually, as that leaves open the question of the accounting treatment when you do use those purchases in producing profit. Do you reverse your previous deduction? Perhaps what he means by “purchases from other business” is stuff that would not otherwise be deemed as “cost of goods sold”. So perhaps he’s proposing 100% depreciation on capital purchases, which would really speed up economic activity.

mr.blacksheep on October 11, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Elisa on October 12, 2011 at 1:02 AM

The true libertarian view is that everything produced and earned belongs to the individuals who produce and earn it

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:21 PM

No. The true libertarian view is that the federal government should not be tinkering in the housing market. Period.

The true libertarian view is that government is akin to a business entity hired by the taxpayer to adequately “govern” the nation with proper policy. Let’s make the case that government has laid out a set of the bare minimum financial obligations that it must collect for. You are paying less into that pool because of some social experiment that says your owning a house is “better” than my not owning one. So, in effect, I am subsidizing your ownership.

John the Libertarian on October 12, 2011 at 1:24 AM

The 9-9-9 sales tax portion doesn’t apply to food. Thanks for spreading the RINO/Libtard lies.

Wolftech on October 11, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Someone I talk to daily heard Cain say it does indeed apply to food on Fox News.

You’re the first Cain supporter (?) I’ve heard say it doesn’t, and I’ve talked to several about that very concern.

capitalist piglet on October 12, 2011 at 1:31 AM

Gross income and Gross revenue are not the same at all. Gross Revenue is just about the same as Gross Sales or Gross Cash Flow.

purpleslog on October 12, 2011 at 1:35 AM

I should say…Cain should be asked to clarify what he means.

purpleslog on October 12, 2011 at 1:35 AM

The 9-9-9 sales tax portion doesn’t apply to food. Thanks for spreading the RINO/Libtard lies.

Wolftech on October 11, 2011 at 10:50 PM

I guess we could always buy *used* food and medicine like Herman suggests to avoid being soaked by his crippling new taxes.

Thanks Turd Cain for making a new national sales tax fashionable.

Punchenko on October 12, 2011 at 3:13 AM

999 is 666 upside down – Oh how clever she is! Grade school teavangelical snark at its finest.

First we had vaccinegate, now this nonsense. Go home, and don’t come back until you’ve grown up.

Yet another great example why children should be seen and not heard.

JFS61 on October 12, 2011 at 4:12 AM

Bachmom needs to go home and make samiches for the kids!

sonnyspats1 on October 12, 2011 at 4:20 AM

999 is 666 upside down – Oh how clever she is! Grade school teavangelical snark at its finest.

I thought pretty much the same. Really, this is the best you can do Bachmann? Just go home.

gdonovan on October 12, 2011 at 5:02 AM

Kristen Wiig will be so glad she has a part in the SNL cold opening this week! I anticipate the whole 6-6-6 thing, front and center.

di butler on October 12, 2011 at 5:15 AM

And the stupidest thing said at the debate goes to …

kregg on October 12, 2011 at 6:02 AM

999 might not be perfect, but it’s a start. And it’s better than anything that’s been proposed as an alternative. Maybe some of those candidate now past their sell by date, can propose something better.

We’re at the end of the line. Our tax system must, first and foremost, get rid of all the special privileges afforded those who deliver votes. 9% of net revenues? Eh, I’d prefer xx% of GAAP income, but it’s better than the hodgepodge that is our current tax system.

MNHawk on October 12, 2011 at 6:10 AM

Bachmann’s done – she gets an opportunity to have a substantive discussion, but acts like she’s on the steps at the Capitol in front of the tea party. She can rally a crowd, but we don’t need a cheerleader-in-chief. So, she’s done, Huntsman is just taking up space at the table, Santorum, as a two term incumbent couldn’t even win his Senate seat, got bitchslapped, actually, by Bob Casey, so he’s taking up space, too. Rick Perry jumped the shark over immigration, but I liked how he kept trying to bring energy independence (our only way out of our financial mess) into the discussion, but nobody wanted to engage…just wanted to harp on Obamacare and 999. I guess that’s to be expected – since the race will come down to Romney vs. Cain. I can live with either of them, but they might need Newt (ugh) to work with them on foreign policy and the way congress works (or doesn’t). Ron Paul – the whining by someone who’s never had a major accomplishment in 30 years in congress – I’m just sick of hearing him.

tmedlin on October 12, 2011 at 6:36 AM

Bachmann is a tax lawyer…one who has worked for the IRS. I doubt that she would like any new tax plan that didn’t include the IRS. My understanding of the 999 plan is that it leads to the Fair Tax plan.

Cain is at least actually pushing for a tax change…the rest are just providing lip service and ‘jokes’. To cut down gov’t size, the IRS is a good place to start, though most republicans love the IRS.

Karmi on October 12, 2011 at 6:55 AM

Herman Cain is listening to the people. He’s probably not reading discussion boards. :-)

DanaSmiles on October 12, 2011 at 7:02 AM

Uh…wouldn’t the “true libertarian position” be to shrink the size of government so that everyone paid less in taxes?

cynccook on October 11, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Yes.

Browncoatone on October 12, 2011 at 7:02 AM

No sales tax, no business profits tax. Both are unnecessary, complicated, prone to corruption, and have nasty unintended consequences.
Just stick to an income tax, and deffer taxing investment income until it is removed from investment accounts.

Count to 10 on October 11, 2011 at 10:33 PM

The more I look at our tax options the more I come to the idea that we should just repeal all (domestic) federal taxes entirely and just devalue the currency by an amount equal to the annual federal budget. I mean they’re devaluing our currency anyways, might as well make it a feature rather than leave it as a bug. If the federal government just printed money for all it’s spending we’d save the cost of enforcing and administrating the various taxes we currently use to collect revenue and there would be absolutely no way to hide from this round about tax. Wouldn’t matter how you made your money you’d be “taxed” the same rate as everyone else: the artificially high inflation rate.

Browncoatone on October 12, 2011 at 7:15 AM

I like Cain and the huge simplifications introduced by the 999 plan.

However, look at ANY European country who have had VAT tax over several decades and you will find that it started of low and steadily crept up whenever politicians couldn’t stomach balancing their budget.

A point here, half a point there and the immediate problems (for politicians) are ‘solved’. Judging by the European countries VAT slide…expect around 20 % VAT after a couple of decades.

NORUK on October 12, 2011 at 7:22 AM

Thank you, Michele, for the ridicule I will be subject to tomorrow. I would like to make serious conservative arguments and you come along and make rational discussion impossible. Thank you, so much!

thuja on October 11, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I was wrong. I read the headline and other people’s comments. I didn’t listen to what Bachmann said myself. She wasn’t crazy. She was amusing. We should be fairer in quoting people. It annoys me that Al Gore–as contemptible as I hold him to be–is remembered more for something that he didn’t say: a claim to have invented the internet. I plead for more honesty and understanding of even what our friends and even our enemies say.

thuja on October 12, 2011 at 7:28 AM

I plead for more honesty and understanding of even what our friends and even our enemies say.

thuja on October 12, 2011 at 7:28 AM

Amen to that – one of the reasons I despise liberals is for their lies and misrepresentations.

Also, Allahpundit takes such glee in proclaiming each conservative candidate, one after the other, as having lost the tea Party vote.

Makes you wonder.

disa on October 12, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Anyone who still doesn’t see that Bachmann is Mitt’s little attack doggie? Pretty darn obvious by now that she is putting her own ambition ahead of her principles. She’s lost all credibility with me.

kg598301 on October 12, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Here is what you can do with the “TITLE” that Cain and Crazy Eyes are running for.

1. Nominate SCOTUS justices that can impact your Presidency by decades. They can change the course of America until they die. Think Roe v. Wade, Think Dred Scott, Think Brown v BOE, Eminent Domain, just to name a few.

2. They have the opportunity to use a GLOBAL BULLY PULPIT for freedom and democracy. Tens of millions can be enslaved or freed based on the decisions of the person in the Oval Office (think Carter and his loss of Afghanistan and Iran, and Reagan and his strength that helped free Russian states and all of Eastern Europe).

3. Budgets, livelihoods, personal futures all affected by the person with the title.

4. A chance to educate from the stage of the Presidency to preach Conservative values. A chance to change the course of generations of Americans.

5. The opportunity to SECURE AMERICA by actually sealing the border, by standing up to dictators like Chavez and Admininutjob.

6. To lead America to be that SHINING CITY ON A HILL. Something that this President will never ever be able to do. He wants to shut down the power plant that helps keep the lights on in that city.

I applaud all of the GOP Candidates for taking the risk, willing to sacrifice and engage in the fight.

Hopefully one of them will become that CONSISTENT FEARLESS CONSERVATIVE in 2012 that we need someone UNAFRAID to take on the TITLE of 45th President of the United States.

PappyD61 on October 12, 2011 at 8:51 AM

sorry about the bold…..stinking phone. Grrrrr. :-)

PappyD61 on October 12, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Bachmann made a stupid comment…when a joke goes bad, it was just bad taste.
As was Huntsman, I thought it was a pizza, childish remarks, but the best they can do.
Attack the plan on specifics, but no, they have to insult first.

And what’s with the kissy, kissy, cuddly little question from Mitt to Michelle, are they dating now?

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Anyone who still doesn’t see that Bachmann is Mitt’s little attack doggie? Pretty darn obvious by now that she is putting her own ambition ahead of her principles. She’s lost all credibility with me.

kg598301 on October 12, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Angling for VP?

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I just don’t understand why Bachman can’t seem to refrain from snarking at her rivals. She was making terrific points about Cain’s 9-9-9 plan and why it’s not smart to allow Congress a new revenue strea; she was looking smart, Ryanesque even, in her easy access to facts… then she goes for the cheap shot. I don’t know why she does it. It makes her look petty, desperate, and impulsive.

Cain was already hurting himself. By the end, he was coming off like “the rent is too damn high” guy, repetitive and silly. After she’d done such a good job reminding us how smart she really is, all she had to do is stand back let Cain implode. But for some reason, she just can’t holster her urge to brawl.

Murf76 on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

And what’s with the kissy, kissy, cuddly little question from Mitt to Michelle, are they dating now?

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Yeah, I saw that too. It was a dead giveaway that she is Mitt’s stalking horse for Cain/Tea Party.

fossten on October 12, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Another plan from another politician (or wannabe) who did not
complete their homework/research on how this 9-9-9 (or 6-6-6 -
I actually thought that was “funny”) would affect the taxpayers
whether they be individual or corporate.

It would have been funny if after mentioning Cain the next
candidate mentioned 8-8-8, the next 7-7-7 and so on. And
THEN MB could mention 6-6-6!

Sorry, too much caffeine!

I think these debates are hilighting all the weakness
of our candidate pool, not their strengths. Newt is the only
one that makes continuous sense; not just good on 1 or 2 topics.

Since Newt has had too many wives and sit downs with Nancy,
perhaps we could elect a president that would be willing to be led
and let Newt be like the guy on Wizard of Oz, pulling the strings
behind the scenes.

None of these people impress me and the bar is so low with Obama,
I find it difficult to believe I can’t come up with someone to
like.

Amjean on October 12, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Wow, did Mitt blow the European question or what?
What was that all about? I don’t deal in “hypothetical”, when Greece is on the verge of collapse…from a guy who made his living doing 5/10 year plans for companies based on “projections”…do we merge, close a plant, move a plant…all “hypothetical”…I was stunned how weak that answer was…

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Angling for VP?

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 8:58 AM

I think it’s beyond that, looks to me like they’ve already made a deal.

kg598301 on October 12, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Bachmann’s comment about “turning 999 upside down” and the “devil is in the details” WAS rather snarky, but she did point out that candidates (not only Cain, but also Romney and Perry) need to work through the details (and unintended consequences thereof) of their plans before someone from the MSM catches on and nails them to the wall.

If Herman Cain wants the 9% “business tax” part of his plan to be equivalent to the current corporate tax but at a lower rate, he needs to be specific. Does it exclude wages? Does it exclude purchased unsold inventory? Is there a deduction for depreciation? Or could he put all these questions to bed by simply saying that the corporate tax in its current form will simply have the rate changed from 35% to 9%? But what about so-called loopholes?

The devil IS in the details, of any tax plan (including Obama’s). So let’s look at the details and compare them with what we have now. If a President presents a tax plan to Congress, Congress will undoubtedly tinker with the details–that should be their job. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is just a proposal for now, and he can always adjust a few details to make a good plan better, BEFORE the election.

Steve Z on October 12, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Cain should’ve responded, “That’s a double tardasil comment right there.”

lorien1973 on October 12, 2011 at 10:10 AM

I thought pretty much the same. Really, this is the best you can do Bachmann?

gdonovan on October 12, 2011 at 5:02 AM

Pretty much.

mankai on October 12, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Browncoatone on October 12, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Paying for government by printing money taxes those who hold actual money and subsidizes those who are in debt. We can’t keep going as we are with our deficits, let alone do it more.

Count to 10 on October 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Anybody who thinks Bachmann is still in it to win it is dreaming. Notice how she was the only candidate to attack Perry when she was allowed to ask a question, and how Mitt’s question was designed to get her to talk herself up. It was a brilliant, if slimy, strategic move by Romney to eat into Perry’s and Cain’s votes without attacking them directly. At this point she is colluding with Romney to split the conservative vote. Most likely she is auditioning for his VP.

I am absolutely livid at her. She’s a traitor to the tea party, because all she’s doing at this point is helping Mitt, and I find it hard to believe it’s not intentional after her last debate performance.

Caiwyn on October 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

She totally stole that from me as I was the firt to comment on that. I want a position on your team, Mrs. Bachmann (when you become a member of Mitt’s Cabinet, of course).

SouthernGent on October 11, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Turning 999 upside down does not get the result the devilish Michelle was looking for. That requires either a horizontal reflection followed by a vertical one or a 180 degree rotation. As usual Mrs, Bachmann’s reasoning was backwards.

Annar on October 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Turning 999 upside down does not get the result the devilish Michelle was looking for. That requires either a horizontal reflection followed by a vertical one or a 180 degree rotation. As usual Mrs, Bachmann’s reasoning was backwards.

Annar on October 12, 2011 at 10:57 AM

If you have to stand on your head to make a point…the point is useless.

right2bright on October 12, 2011 at 11:01 AM

turn those numbers upside down


5 little words – she shouldn’t have spoken have everyone calling her everything but a child of God – thus striking her out of the race as childish and bat-sh*t crazy. The devil is in the details – which is actually from German origins – not Biblical is a truism, most especially in American politics right now.

Dismiss Cain for clinging to a tax plan – Where exactly, other than the class warfare ‘having the millionaires pay their ‘fair’ share tax hike idea – is the President’s specific tax plan? Anyone?

Perry this, Huntsman that – Meanwhile the GOP will get it’s wish of Romney as ‘the’ candidate. And deja vu – we get a RINO who won’t go after the President in the General Election race because he basically voted for/supported the same policies. America loses again with another 4 years of this corrupt, un-Constitutional, spending on slush funds to Union/Dem contributors, real crony corrupt and just plain criminal liar and his Administration of un-elected and out-of-control regulation/tax and spend socialists.

The Republican candidates need to state their positions on the issues, their values and beliefs and stop stooping to DNC politics of attack and belittle everyone. But mostly stop insulting us – the citizens who are going to vote for you – by insinuating that we agree with the petty comments as a necessary part of campaigning.

jackal40 on October 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Now that’s what I would call “COLD FUSION”

swimcoachmike on October 12, 2011 at 11:08 AM

But a VAT is a fair tax. We’d be better off with a VAT than an progressive income tax. Wouldn’t we be better off if we divided the income tax in half and had half from a VAT.

I just don’t agree with the criticism about an additional income avenue. They can already take all our income.

jhffmn on October 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Cain takes the lead in Iowa in the public policy polling poll.
So, that’s good to hear, if you are on the Cain Train.

(I know nothing about the veracity of this polling group. Anyone?)

balkanmom on October 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Hey, here is an idea – how about everyone look seriously at what Palin proposed and encourage the candidates to work towards her solution. After all, she is not running so no fear helping a non-candidate right?

ChuckTX on October 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Eh. I don’t have a problem with Bachmann’s devil joke. The problem is that she has become a joke and it’s never more apparent than when she launches into her 15 second soundbites with studied dramatic effects – which only serve to provide material to Saturday Nite Live.

Buy Danish on October 12, 2011 at 11:58 AM

SNL will have to bring back Dana Carvey so he and Michelle can out “church-lady” each other.

Welllll, Isn’t THAT specialllll….

Allahs vulva on October 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Thank you, Michele, for the ridicule I will be subject to tomorrow. I would like to make serious conservative arguments and you come along and make rational discussion impossible. Thank you, so much!

thuja on October 11, 2011 at 10:09 PM

I was wrong about what Bachmann said. I responded merely based on my stereotypes about her. She actually makes a good point. It’s sad that what she said can be so twisted here at Hotair. Yet, the MSM is going to do such twisting no matter what happens here.

Should I argue that I Hotair be more fair to Bachmann? Well, no, her ideas on social issues are lunatic. Yet, I want Hotair to be more fair to Bachmann. There are no easy answers. If it’s not clear, I am flailing here.

thuja on October 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM

I’m flailing there with you. I read that 666 one off and my brain melted. Why? Why SAY that? She’s not stupid so for crying out loud WHY?

BrideOfRove on October 12, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Did he actually pat Alan Greenspan on the back tonight? So much for the tea-party vote.

Limbaugh reports that they’re dropping in droves.

That was a real doosie.

Schadenfreude on October 12, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Some of you conservatives have a spine of jelly. It is entirely conservative to say “Hey, plan-man, the devil’s in the details” that’s all the 666 play-on-words was supposed to say.

My Lord! Establishment Pubs run enough from the What-will-the-press-think phobia–we don’t need rank-and-file cons acting the same way.

In case you’re interested, I back Cain more than Bachmann, but I don’t have to run scared because she said something rhetorical, simply because the libs are going to have fun with it. I also think Bachmann’s point was valid, and have some reservations about Cain’s plan, but I don’t shy away from Cain simply because 999 might not be liked by everybody.

We don’t need knee-buckling conservatives, not when the press is full court. We need people who can watch Jon Stewart, chuckle if he makes a funny, and then say “Now, back to the real world…”

Axeman on October 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Limbaugh reports that they’re dropping in droves.

That was a real doosie.

Schadenfreude on October 12, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I heard Limbaugh say that few people know enough about greenspan to care about that comment. Do you lie?

balkanmom on October 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Michele Bachmann’s Many Children’s Chorus

smiling faces

maverick muse on October 12, 2011 at 5:10 PM

J.E. Dyer on October 11, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Brilliant, and well said.

Midas on October 12, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I just don’t agree with the criticism about an additional income avenue. They can already take all our income.

jhffmn on October 12, 2011 at 11:23 AM

And yet let’s not hurry to help and make it easier for them, hmm?

Midas on October 12, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Making the tax simple and transparent is the best bulwark against raising taxes there is.

Resolute on October 12, 2011 at 7:39 PM

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