Cain today on his fellow candidates: “They’re getting on my last nerve”

posted at 2:05 pm on October 19, 2011 by Tina Korbe

In the context of the first seven mostly uninteresting GOP debates, Herman Cain’s surge in the polls — and his catchy 9-9-9 plan — provided interest, drama and a degree of boldness. His rise to prominence is less interesting and hopeful now, somehow. Last night’s debate revealed that his defense of his proposals boils down to feeble pleas to voters to do their own math on his tax reform plan and to his competitors to stop comparing apples and oranges.

Yet, the Punch and Judy show (h/t MM) between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry powerfully reminded me why Cain climbed in the polls in the first place. The “realistic” options (that is, the candidates who have the campaign cash and the establishment cachet supposedly necessary to capture the nomination) are frankly unappealing (and even more egotistical than I previously assumed). Both have supported less-than-stellar policies in the past and neither possesses the unflappable affable charm I like in a leader. I wearily maintain either would be better than Obama, but my optimism has begun to wane …

Now, I just hope for a race that will refine the eventual nominee into a candidate capable of beating BHO and for more substantive and less embarrassing future debates. For that, I’d like to see a slightly deeper and more detailed Cain — but, unfortunately, Cain doesn’t appear ready to oblige. Instead, he seems to think the surest way to disseminate information about his proposals is to attack his opponents for not knowing the details he hasn’t provided.

The Republican presidential field’s Mr. Nice, Herman Cain, vowed to go on the attack early Wednesday morning, after an often sharp-tempered debate among the seven rivals.

“They’re getting on my last nerve,” he told CNN’s Carol Costello after opponents criticized his “9-9-9″ tax reform plan.

Their attacks on him suggest “they don’t have a real convincing plan” and that they had not studied his thoroughly, he said after the debate.

“Show me your analysis that shows it won’t work,” said Cain, who is running near the top of the field in several recent polls.

Hmm. I agree with Cain that the quibbling and squabbling of the GOP field is a little nerve-pinching at times. But, then, why does he want to join in on that? Surely he’s learned by watching Romney and Perry that attacks do nothing to educate the electorate about anything other than a certain insipidity in the candidates who engage in them. Few rhetorical skills are so highly prized as the art of the well-timed and nonchalantly-delivered barb, but these candidates (with the possible exception of Newt Gingrich) just don’t seem to possess that ability. If Cain does, then maybe I won’t cringe to see him enter attack mode. But if he doesn’t, then he — along with the rest of the candidates — would be better served by sticking to substance.

Just in case it’s helpful to anyone, here’s Ronald Reagan, revealing his debate tips. Watch and learn, candidates, watch and learn:


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Obama liked to slyly give his opponents and his audience the finger. It seemed to work. His oratorical skills were highly praised.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Stay out of the weeds and keep your hands to yourself, Herb.

Knucklehead on October 19, 2011 at 2:13 PM

“They’re getting on my last nerve,” he told CNN’s Carol Costello after opponents criticized his “9-9-9″ tax reform plan.

Their attacks on him suggest “they don’t have a real convincing plan” and that they had not studied his thoroughly, he said after the debate.

“Show me your analysis that shows it won’t work,” said Cain, who is running near the top of the field in several recent polls.

Well, I agree with Cain in part. I did not like how the other candidates kept adding the local sales tax to the 9% national sales tax as if his plan did nothing else to reform the tax code. David Gregory tried a similar ploy on Meet the Depressed.

But it’s unfair for him to insinuate that his opponents don’t have their own plans. Many of them have argued for lowering the corporate and personal income tax rates. They don’t want to throw out the current system unlike Cain. But they do have a plan.

As for the analysis that it does or doesn’t work, look, you can always find someone to come up with numbers to give you the result you want. Obama and the Dems have made an artform out of it the last few years with things like Porkulus and Obamacare. I do think in the end as frustrating as it may be to hear, Cain is right in that people will have to do their own calculations to figure out whether or 9-9-9 will mean more or less taxes for them. It’s based heavily on consumption, so how would you ever really know anyway? Which of course makes it all the more difficult to sell to the electorate.

Doughboy on October 19, 2011 at 2:13 PM

I’m leaning towards Newt but keeping an open mind towards Cain.

I asked this question in the debate thread last night, but that thread was moving so fast, I didn’t really expect an answer–can someone who understands the 9-9-9 plan explain to me if the 9% business flat tax takes the place of the currently higher US corporate tax rate? And if so, how does that constitute the creation of a VAT as some of the other candidates were claiming?

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Well, they have had about 842 debates in the last week or two. That would wear on anyone’s last nerve.

Just think how annoyed we – the audience – are getting with their crap.

catmman on October 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Ronald Reagan is gone, there is no superman that is going to come save us we are going to have to do it ourselves.

Dr Evil on October 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I asked this question in the debate thread last night, but that thread was moving so fast, I didn’t really expect an answer–can someone who understands the 9-9-9 plan explain to me if the 9% business flat tax takes the place of the currently higher US corporate tax rate? And if so, how does that constitute the creation of a VAT as some of the other candidates were claiming?

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:14 PM

That’s what I’m wondering too. I thought initially it replaced the corporate tax rate. But assuming the other GOP candidates aren’t all lying, now I really don’t know what to believe.

Doughboy on October 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

, here’s Ronald Reagan,

Cruel Ed… cruel.

equanimous on October 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

We don’t have to take this page out of the liberal debate book.

Issuing Polish dueling pistols to our own candidates, how idiotic is that?

Speakup on October 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Romney appeared to me to be the most clueless in the ability to grasp the difference between a state consumption tax and a federal consumption tax.

I have long advocated people be more aware of their tax burden. If folks don’t have to write their own tax check then a consumption tax at the register will fill in as a reminder.

DanMan on October 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Decent discussion on that over at Ace’s place.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

That’s what I’m wondering too. I thought initially it replaced the corporate tax rate. But assuming the other GOP candidates aren’t all lying, now I really don’t know what to believe.

Doughboy on October 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Maybe Cain needs to start carrying around the Karl Rove chalkboard to better make his point.

Knucklehead on October 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

It is practically unfeasible for Cain to explain the dynamics of his 9-9-9 plan in the 30 and 60 second soundbites that these debates are build upon. Could he have schooled Clinton the way he did in 1994 if he was limited to the restraints the debates impose? Hell, even Clinton himself seems impressed at Cain’s grasp of economics and mathematics here. To an extent, yes, some people will have to do their own homework to determine what his plan will change. If we’re living in a society where that’s unacceptable, then I guess go ahead and vote for your socialized medicine hero, or your soft borders Texan who dehumanizes his opponents.

MadisonConservative on October 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Stay out of the weeds and keep your hands to yourself, Herb.

Knucklehead on October 19, 2011 at 2:13 PM

LOL!

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 2:21 PM

That’s what I’m wondering too. I thought initially it replaced the corporate tax rate. But assuming the other GOP candidates aren’t all lying, now I really don’t know what to believe.

Doughboy on October 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I checked out Herb’s site and couldn’t get clarification. I did like a lot of the other details I read though.

Decent discussion on that over at Ace’s place.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Thanks. I’ll check it out.

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Most of the folks voting in the elections have almost
no idea who Ronald Reagan is. Too young and/or uneducated lacking any intellectual curiosity.

Sherman1864 on October 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

I agree with Cain on the candidates being annoying at this point. Glad the next debate is almost a month away, we need a break from it frankly.

nswider on October 19, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Cain hasn’t been able to explain his own plan. Herman, that is YOUR problem.

He needs an app where people can plug in their numbers and it tells them what they will pay under his 999 plan as compared to current tax system.

huckleberryfriend on October 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Do we really want to nominate someone just because we think they can beat Obama? If, at the end of the day, we send someone to Washington who has statist / liberal impulses, lacks the courage to really tackle spending & entitlements, believes in gov’t run universal healthcare, and AGW, what have we accomplished?

And before anyone says “oh, but what about supreme court appointments?” keep in mind that Eisenhower made some AWFUL appointments. To a degree the same goes for Reagan.

It’s gotta be more than just “Not-Obama.”

SAMinVA on October 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

equanimous on October 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

*facepalm

Ed Tina

equanimous on October 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Well, if New York City is willing to elect this guy as mayor, we should overlook Cain’s mistakes, no?
Alec Baldwin never fails to disappoint.

http://themorningspew.com/2011/10/19/alec-baldwin-ows-video-gives-us-a-dose-of-ows-double-huh/

bloggless on October 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM

The question today is where the Perry refugees will go next.

Since Cain is already ahead of the two media branded “front runners,” when the refugees go to Cain, then Romney is finished.

That is why Gingrich’s media image has suddenly gone from self serving Grinch to wise old Newt.

Nice try media guys, but you ain’t picking our RINO as our candidate this time.

jimw on October 19, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:14 PM

My understanding is that 9-9-9 is phase 1 to prepare the country for phase 2 which eliminates 9-9-9 and replaces it with a 28% VAT.

csdeven on October 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

And before anyone says “oh, but what about supreme court appointments?” keep in mind that Eisenhower made some AWFUL appointments. To a degree the same goes for Reagan.

It’s gotta be more than just “Not-Obama.”

SAMinVA on October 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Agreed. And now that Independants despise Obama by a wide margin, if you also take away the “supreme court appointments” argument, you are removing the last fig leaf of the rino.

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:32 PM

My understanding is that 9-9-9 is phase 1 to prepare the country for phase 2 which eliminates 9-9-9 and replaces it with a 28% VAT.

csdeven on October 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I thought 999 was to prepare us to move to a Fair tax. Where are you getting that number?

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:33 PM

The question today is where the Perry refugees will go next.

jimw on October 19, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Last time I checked – Perry is still in this. Your concern is noted.

gophergirl on October 19, 2011 at 2:34 PM

While I am grateful to Cain for making people think a lot harder about how we’re taxed, the latter phase toward the higher VAT is – in a dumb – onerous.

Personally, I favor a return to a property tax and not an income tax. This would mean that the uber-rich who don’t have to work and make no income still pay taxes – which would then push them to work, as everyone should do.

beatcanvas on October 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM

My understanding is that 9-9-9 is phase 1 to prepare the country for phase 2 which eliminates 9-9-9 and replaces it with a 28% VAT.

csdeven on October 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Yeah, except, I think 9-9-9 is Phase 2 and 28% VAT is Phase 3. Dunno what was Phase 1.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Perry is about to propose a flat tax and entitlement reform. News is out this morning.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Last time I checked – Perry is still in this. Your concern is noted.

gophergirl on October 19, 2011 at 2:34 PM

He is more “in this” than he was last week, it would seem to me. Here come his economic proposals, one by one…while Cain and Romney are starting to take broadsides.

We’ll see how it goes.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Perry is about to propose a flat tax and entitlement reform. News is out this morning.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Someone said last night that Steve Forbes was helping him. That bodes well.

SWEET!

gophergirl on October 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM

“They’re getting on my last nerve,” he told CNN’s Carol Costello after opponents criticized his “9-9-9″ tax reform plan.

Earth to Herman Cain: If you’re President, especially a Republican President, YOU WILL BE CRITICIZED–constantly. Get used to it.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Steve Z on October 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Newt…!

Seven Percent Solution on October 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

One thing is for sure…none of them have read his plan, Mitt was totally confused, some economic genius he is…good grief, I don’t blame the frustration of Cain…the problem is, most people can’t add 2 + 2, so he is in deep trouble, all someone has to do is start getting him to explain details and it is Ross Perot all over again. Huh? says the public…

right2bright on October 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Reagan makes it look so easy- and it is when you know what you’re doing, who you are, and where you want to take the country. That’s why Obama won too. It was only when he had to move beyond campaigning that things fell apart.
+”{?_>lo,9k8jmybt5rvcde3xsqz1

Scotsman on October 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Here’s a good description of 9-9-9 https://www.facebook.com/notes/neil-daniell/what-you-should-know-about-the-9-9-9-plan/10150422133536416

Here’s a sales tax calculator
http://www.999calculator.net/#.Tp7i1_HtI8Y.facebook

The fair tax is the last step which is a 23% sales tax
http://www.fairtax.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_main

13thdistrictvoter on October 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

His business tax is like a VAT in that only purchases from other businesses (product or raw materials) are exempt. Wages and employment costs are not.

But what you buy from another business already has the tax built in because that business had to pay it and must pass it along in the cost of their goods, so it ends up multiplying anyway. Just like a VAT, you never see how that happens, only the last stage is transparent.

This is evident when his advisers “proved” to Kudlow it was revenue-neutral, totaling “… 9.1% on a $26 trillion tax base …”

Total GDP is around $15 trillion. If your tax base is $26 tril, you are taxing 70%+ of output twice.

Adjoran on October 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Perry is about to propose a flat tax and entitlement reform. News is out this morning.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Someone said last night that Steve Forbes was helping him. That bodes well.

SWEET!

gophergirl on October 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM

This could be interesting.

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Another fallacy of all consumption tax plans is they assume – as does 999 and the Fair Tax – that businesses will immediately lower their prices to reflect their lower costs in total taxation. This is nonsense.

In the real world it does NOT work that way, and economists have known this for decades. The actual process is sometimes called “Rockets and Feathers” because when costs rise, all businesses scramble to raise prices to avoid losing money, so prices rise like rockets. But when costs fall, it’s a slower process – no business lowers their price faster than they have to for competitive reasons, so it becomes a slow and incremental decline, like the fall of a feather.

Don’t believe me? Watch gas prices as the price of oil rises and drops. It’s a perfect illustration and one you can see on every street corner.

Adjoran on October 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Yeah, except, I think 9-9-9 is Phase 2 and 28% VAT is Phase 3. Dunno what was Phase 1.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Not quite. Phase 2 is a the FairTax which replaces all taxes, including 999, with a national consumption tax. I think they’re still talking about about 23% but it’s been a while since I read up on it.

http://www.fairtax.org

Rufus on October 19, 2011 at 2:47 PM

can someone who understands the 9-9-9 plan explain to me if the 9% business flat tax takes the place of the currently higher US corporate tax rate? And if so, how does that constitute the creation of a VAT as some of the other candidates were claiming?

Here’s the skinny. The old corporate income tax goes away, but the replacement 9% does not tax corporate income. It taxes sales minus the cost of goods in the product, or essentially the value added to the product by a business.

For example, I buy widgetlings for $1 each. My company transforms those widgetlings into widgets which sell for $3 each. My company will pay 9% of that $2 value added for each widget. The companies that buy my widgets for $3 each decorate those widgets, creating designer widgets that sell for $10 each. Those companies will pay 9% of that $7 value added. Overhead, sales, wages, none of those costs are taken into account or deducted. Only the value added to the good or service.

That’s very different than a corporate profit tax. A company only pays corporate income tax if they make a net profit. Under 999 they will pay that 9% tax on every item whether they turn a profit, break even, or lose money.

AngusMc on October 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

AngusMc on October 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Excellent. That is exactly the type of explanation I was looking for. Thank you for taking the time.

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Don’t believe me? Watch gas prices as the price of oil rises and drops. It’s a perfect illustration and one you can see on every street corner.

Adjoran on October 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

This.

It also demonstrates why the bank ‘Durbin debit fee’ thing winds up dinging consumers – its effectively (at least initially) an entirely new fee paid by the consumer, because retailers dont immediately lower their prices that had the debit fees already baked in.

No reduction in retail prices + new bank fee = ding in consumer wallets.

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Another fallacy of all consumption tax plans is they assume – as does 999 and the Fair Tax – that businesses will immediately lower their prices to reflect their lower costs in total taxation. This is nonsense.
Adjoran on October 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

That’s right and why I’m still paying $2,000 for a 5.25 inch floppy-drive-driven computer and CRT monitor, $150 for a cassette walkman to take my music with me, and why we still pay thousands for airfare.

Oh, wait, that’s right – I can buy a powerful laptop now for $400 (which does more than act just a computer), an iPhone for $50 (that’s way more than just a music player), and $150 roundtrip domestic airfares (with more service and choice of carriers).

The simple truth is that innovation and competition will always drive new products and lower prices. You are correct that some competitors will try and keep prices high and collect higher profits, but as soon as the first company lowers prices and gets more customers as a result others will follow. The market is tremendously self-regulating that way.

Rufus on October 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Steve Forbes helping Perry? Second look at pretzels for the gas jets.

John the Libertarian on October 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Hmm. I agree with Cain that the quibbling and squabbling of the GOP field is a little nerve-pinching at times. But, then, why does he want to join in on that? Surely he’s learned by watching Romney and Perry that attacks do nothing to educate the electorate about anything other than a certain insipidity in the candidates who engage in them.

Tina Korbe

No, Tina.

The tactic works. It worked on Perry, and it’s worked on Mitt. Attack the frontrunner. Attack attack attack. The hell with Reagan’s 11th commandment.

Newt, in all his statesmanship, is still running 4th or even 5th behind Ron Paul. He needs to start saying “When I’m President” and “Mitt Perry sucks” or he won’t win.

fossten on October 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

can someone who understands the 9-9-9 plan explain to me if the 9% business flat tax takes the place of the currently higher US corporate tax rate?

Let’s see, one of Cain’s points is we’re taxed too much already. So, taking that into consideration, do you really think he wants to add an additional 9% on top of the 35% corporate tax rate we already have? The answer is no. Any candidate who says Cain’s plan keeps the current corporate tax rate, then adds another 9% onto it, is lying.

xblade on October 19, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Last time I checked – Perry is still in this. Your concern is noted.

gophergirl on October 19, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Ditto I’m not a ‘refugee’.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 19, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Steve Forbes helping Perry? Second look at pretzels for the gas jets.

John the Libertarian on October 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Forbes is a bright guy. I say that despite being p*ssed that Forbes mag. listed Lubbock as being the 6th most dangerous city in the US.
That’s just nonsense.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

soft borders Texan who dehumanizes his opponents.

Funny, MC, to hear you say this, while apparently supporting a candidate who can’t make up his mind whether electrocuting fruit pickers is a good idea or not.

Wow.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

What aggravates Herman is the same thing that aggravates me. That adults like Romney and Perry, et al can stand up and lie and mislead people on the 999 plan for no reason than to confuse the electorate on the details. Each one of them KNOWS that the plane eliminates other taxes, etc. but they will not acknowledge that. They are politicians and by definition, politicians lie to serve themselves.

BierManVA on October 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Few rhetorical skills are so highly prized as the art of the well-timed and nonchalantly-delivered barb, but these candidates (with the possible exception of Newt Gingrich) just don’t seem to possess that ability.

Newt is winning the debates and causing some of us to move him up to the top tier.

Christian Conservative on October 19, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Rufus on October 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM

This is exactly what will happen, initially, the companies will ‘keep the profits’ (which may not be a bad thing, since some of it will be moved into new business) – but once the first competitor lowers its prices – down they go. This will happen in absolutely every product on the market that has real competition!

cktheman on October 19, 2011 at 3:18 PM

I’m voting for the guy in the video.

mankai on October 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Governor Perry has the plan that will work to create jobs in the energy industry which also includes the steel workers who provide the necessary piping, etc., needed to drill. That seems left out of the equation by many.

The 9-9-9 Sim City plan will make sure that poor and middle class pay more and the rich get off scott free. Leaving donations alone allows the wealthy to offset any tax with donations.

If I go buy a .79 cent coke at 7-11 here I already pay 8.5% and if you add the Cain Tax of 9% that is 17.5% for a Big Gulp. Now I wouldn’t be allowed to take off mortgage interest and no dependents or medical expenses — only contributions. How many people who are poor or even middle class can make that many contributions?

Cain’s comments they are getting on his last nerve shows his thin skin and he could dish it on Perry but didn’t like getting it back.

How does he explain being an associate minister at a mega church in Atlanta where the minister uses Malcolm X as someone to honor? Guess that doesn’t count because he says he is conservative just like supporting moderate Dems in Florida when one of them Joseph Serrano is one of the most liberal in Congress and is friends with Castro and Chavez. That doesn’t seem very conservative to this person. No one bothered to check to see if he was conservative and took his word for it. Being pro-life is not the only check box to see if you are conservative.

Why don’t you people actually do some background checking and you will discover that Godfather Pizza was not ready for bankruptcy when he took it over but after several years of Cain profits plumented as well closing over 400 pizza places putting people out of work. Did I mention he hasn’t been with Godfather Pizza since 1996. Do the fact check on his time at Godfather and you will be shocked that they were the #3 pizza outfit and went to near the bottom under Herman Cain.

You cannot beat fact checking every candidate. More on Cain — he is using his donations to buy books to drive sales. Is that why people donated to him? Or how about his saying the quote about the electrified fence was a joke and then in AZ saying it wasn’t?

Check your candidates and don’t rely on the candidate to tell you they are conservative.

PhiKapMom on October 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

They’re all about getting on my last nerve. I’d like to see a constructive campaign. I think the American people would respond like gangbusters to one. This is like Keystone Kops or Amateur Hour. Not confidence inducing.

paul1149 on October 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

I hope he doesn’t resort to being a rude condescending jerk like Perry seems to be. I really don’t think he would stoop that low.

DanaSmiles on October 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

That adults like Romney and Perry, et al can stand up and lie and mislead people on the 999 plan for no reason than to confuse the electorate on the details.

Have you been looking around the ‘net on 9-9-9? It isn’t just Romney and Perry who are confused. Half the time, I think Cain’s own advocates on it (one I heard interviewed by Michael Medved) aren’t all that sure of it.

And honestly – if you want to talk about people who’ve been lied about, you can include Rick Perry. They’ve ALL done it to him.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

I hope he doesn’t resort to being a rude condescending jerk like Perry seems to be. I really don’t think he would stoop that low.

DanaSmiles on October 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

He stooped low enough to play the race card on an innocent man.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Another fallacy of all consumption tax plans is they assume – as does 999 and the Fair Tax – that businesses will immediately lower their prices to reflect their lower costs in total taxation.

Adjoran

The only fallacy here is your strawman argument.

xblade on October 19, 2011 at 3:26 PM

And honestly – if you want to talk about people who’ve been lied about, you can include Rick Perry. They’ve ALL done it to him.

Wait. I should exclude Newt. But Romney, Santorum, Bachmann, and Cain have all made unfair, misleading attacks on Perry either in debates or in the press.

Gingrich has been pretty good, as far as I’ve seen.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

We live in age of political and moral midgets. That Newt Gingrich appears the most adult and stately of this group says it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edchtf9MS7g

Here’s a video of Reagan debating Bush on tax policy in 1980. Notice Reagan’s command of facts, all presented in simple, coherent and authoritatively persuasive form. He does not go for cute phrases or jabs but at the end delivers a susbtantive coup de grace that leaves a tune in people’s head as they go away. Bush is left trying to grab Reagan’s coattails in agreement. You believe that Reagan believes this with every fiber of his being. With Bush, not even close.

As for 2012, people need to let go of the illusions of Perry or Romney. These two are hopelessly unimaginative and establishment stiffs. Look elsewhere.

rrpjr on October 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

The more I look at Cain’s plan, the more I realize how poorly thought out it is.

Take its effect on retailers. Let’s say, Walmart. They can no longer deduct the cost of most goods they sell from their “gross receipts” number, because they come from overseas. And no, the cost of those goods won’t decline at the wholesale level, because their producers are unaffected by the Cain plan.

So now Walmart has to pay 9% on those sales. Which it will simply pass along to the consumer to protect its existing profit margin. Other retailers competing with Walmart will be in exactly the same boat, and will follow suit.

On top of that, however, the consumer is now paying an additional 9% sales tax.

So in the end shoppers will see an 18% price increase. Ugh. The Cain plan is full of unintended consequences like this.

To date, Cain has not responded to a single criticism of his plan with an actual fact. All he does is say “look at our analysis” (and really, he has none) or “your calculations are incorrect” (without showing his own calculations for comparison). And he’s “on his last nerve”? Please. It’s bad enough that your signature plan is an amateurish loophole-riddled disaster (really nothing more than a slogan with a few vague bullet points to provide illusory substance), but to be thin-skinned about it as well?

HTL on October 19, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Here’s the skinny. The old corporate income tax goes away, but the replacement 9% does not tax corporate income. It taxes sales minus the cost of goods in the product, or essentially the value added to the product by a business. . .

AngusMc on October 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

That’s what I was afraid of. So under the Cain plan we’ll have a 9% income tax, a 9% federal retail sales tax, and a 9% VAT!

The Democrats must be salivating over the prospect. The Obamunists have been looking longingly at the European VATs for some time now. It’s a nicely-hidden tax that the ruling class can sneak behind the scenes and raise at any time. It taxes any time value is added in a business transaction, requiring formulae that have got to be arcane and impenetrable. Essentially, it becomes a Guaranteed Minimum Income for Government—and it won’t stay ‘minimum’ for very long.

Enough of Mr. Cain. He an go back to motivational speeches and singing about pizza.

MrLynn on October 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

How does he explain being an associate minister at a mega church in Atlanta where the minister uses Malcolm X as someone to honor? Guess that doesn’t count because he says he is conservative just like supporting moderate Dems in Florida when one of them Joseph Serrano is one of the most liberal in Congress and is friends with Castro and Chavez. That doesn’t seem very conservative to this person. No one bothered to check to see if he was conservative and took his word for it. Being pro-life is not the only check box to see if you are conservative.

Hadn’t heard about this.

capitalist piglet on October 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

What aggravates Herman is the same thing that aggravates me. That adults like Romney and Perry, et al can stand up and lie and mislead people on the 999 plan for no reason than to confuse the electorate on the details. Each one of them KNOWS that the plane eliminates other taxes, etc. but they will not acknowledge that. They are politicians and by definition, politicians lie to serve themselves.

BierManVA on October 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

Cain is a politician — just not a very good politician. His plan is being debunked and exposed for what it is: a new federal tax on the middle class which would doom the GOP to minority status for a generation. No thanks, Mr. Cain.

Herman Cain should take his notoriety, bow out, and run again for office in Georgia. He has no shot at POTUS and is just muddying up the water with his unforced errors and gaffes.

Punchenko on October 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM

HTL on October 19, 2011 at 3:28 PM

I work for Walmart. Under the circumstances you just described Walmart might cut back on its hiring as well.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Both have supported less-than-stellar policies in the past and neither possesses the unflappable affable charm I like in a leader.

That is a really dumb way to chose a president. What do you want, leg tingles?

Bill C on October 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I wearily maintain either would be better than Obama, but my optimism has begun to wane …

No seriously, why do we let women vote?

Bill C on October 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Someone said last night that Steve Forbes was helping him. That bodes well.

SWEET!

gophergirl on October 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM

For what it’s worth, Steve Forbes predicted a Perry win a month ago. I don’t doubt he’s helping Perry with tax policy. Question is whether Perry can sell it. I have yet to hear an argument for a flat tax that sounds practical to me, but I’m open to the idea.

Caiwyn on October 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Herman Cain Punchenko should take his notoriety, bow out, and run again for office in Georgia. He has no shot at POTUS and is just muddying up the water with his unforced errors and gaffes.

Punchenko on October 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM

FIFY.

Perry will withdraw before Iowa caucus. He was launching cheapshots all nite.

gracie on October 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

No seriously, why do we let women vote?

Bill C on October 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM

HEY – some of us are more educated then men thank you for very much!

gophergirl on October 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Another fallacy of all consumption tax plans is they assume – as does 999 and the Fair Tax – that businesses will immediately lower their prices to reflect their lower costs in total taxation. This is nonsense.

In the real world it does NOT work that way, and economists have known this for decades. The actual process is sometimes called “Rockets and Feathers” because when costs rise, all businesses scramble to raise prices to avoid losing money, so prices rise like rockets. But when costs fall, it’s a slower process – no business lowers their price faster than they have to for competitive reasons, so it becomes a slow and incremental decline, like the fall of a feather.

Don’t believe me? Watch gas prices as the price of oil rises and drops. It’s a perfect illustration and one you can see on every street corner.

Adjoran on October 19, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I totally agree with this analysis. If the corporate tax rate was suddenly decreased from 35% to 9%, businesses would either keep the extra money or distribute higher dividends to shareholders to bid up the stock price and attract investors, and it would take several months or a year before businesses would start passing tax savings along to consumers.

Meanwhile, employees/consumers would see their 7.5% payroll taxes plus income taxes under the current system replaced by a flat 9% income tax, with everything they buy suddenly costing 9% more. If they keep 91% of their income and spend it on goods costing 9% more than before, their net purchasing power is 91 / 1.09 = 83.5% of their gross income, equivalent to a 16.5% flat income tax, on which they’ve saved a 7.5% payroll tax, for a net flat income tax of 16.5 – 7.5 = 9%.

Although the present income tax system has MARGINAL brackets of 15% and 25% on middle-income taxpayers, the standard deductions, personal exemptions, and child tax credits result in very few taxpayers paying more than 9% of their GROSS income in income tax.

A family of four gets a $11,400 standard deduction and 4 x $3,650 = $14,600 of personal exemptions, or a total of $26,000 in tax-free income. If G represents their gross income, their Net taxable income is N = G – 26,000. If T represents their income tax from the tax tables, their actual income tax paid is T – $2,000 after subtracting out the child tax credits.

The break-even point for the Cain 9-9-9 plan vs. the current system is where income tax (T – 2000) is 9% of gross income, or

T – 2000 = 0.09 (N + 26,000), or
T = 0.09 * N + 4,340.

From the Tax Tables in the 2010 Instructions for Form 1040, the break-even point is about N = $74,800 (T = $11,069 from the Tax Tables, $11,072 from the formula above). This corresponds to a gross income of $74,800 + $26,000 = $100,800.

A family of four making less than $100,800 would be net LOSERS under the Cain plan, while only those making more than $100,800 would save money under the Cain plan. Since the median family income is about $49,000, by definition 50% of families make less than $49,000, and another sizable fraction make between $49,000 and $100,800.

This means that a large MAJORITY of families would pay MORE taxes under Cain’s 9-9-9 plan than under the current system, and would probably urge their Congressmen to reject the Cain plan.

Steve Z on October 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

That’s very different than a corporate profit tax. A company only pays corporate income tax if they make a net profit. Under 999 they will pay that 9% tax on every item whether they turn a profit, break even, or lose money.

AngusMc on October 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

That was a good explanation. Also, the net cost of exports is exempt.

Your point on profit is well taken. Cain’s 9% business tax is not all all similar to the current corporate tax. Also, I haven’t found any distinction between S-Corporations and C-Corporations in 999. My company is an S-Corp as are most small businesses. There are no federal corporate taxes on S-Corps. Will Cain’s 9% corporate tax be levied on S-Corps? I don’t know. I hope not. It better not.

And his 9% sales tax isn’t so clear either. It’s a 9% sales tax on what exactly? Goods. New goods only? Services? Which services?

The 9% income tax won’t make families happy, I’m afraid. There’s no exemptions for dependents and no home mortgage deduction.

Cain’s got some splaining to do, and apples and oranges isn’t enough.

SlaveDog on October 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

This means that a large MAJORITY of families would pay MORE taxes under Cain’s 9-9-9 plan than under the current system, and would probably urge their Congressmen to reject the Cain plan.

Steve Z on October 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

That’s the long and short of it, isn’t. Over 40% (plus or minus) of the tax payers in this country don’t pay any federal income tax. They certainly won’t vote for someone who promises that their taxes will go up.

Just my opinion.

SlaveDog on October 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Why, oh why does the stupid party put up with this media circus? They allow themselves to be chained by the Lib media constantly. They allow the Lib media to be the masters over them. One or two minute answers doesn’t inform anyone. These candidates are counting on these debates to get out their message? Who among them even has a message? We all know the talking points, but little else. These people need to be vetted. I had hoped that they would do it themselves, but none of the front runners should even be considered that. What a sad collection of Republican clowns. We are in deep peril and this is all there is?

BetseyRoss on October 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

In the last presidential election, John McCain refrained from going after Barack Obama on, among other things, Obama’s attendance at Jeremiah Wright’s hate-filled church for twenty years, as well as Obama’s associations with the likes of radical terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dorn because he considers himself an honorable man and thought such attacks against an opponent–even though true–were somehow dishonorable. His campaign abruptly changed tactics and began making those attacks and associations as a desperation move late in the campaign–too late, as it turned out. One could say McCain lost honorably, with strong emphasis on the word lost.

And now, Ms. Korbe, you complain there isn’t enough niceness on the campaign trail? You invoke Reagan–amiable, charming, warm–as the ideal. Bad move. What we need in the winner of the GOP primaries is someone willing to take it to President Obama, call him out on his euro-socialist transformative dreams, his narcissim, his pettiness, his regal end-runs around the will of Congress by means of regulatory fiat. We need a candidate who knows the stakes and is willing to go through and around a hopelessly corrupted and biased press to speak truth to the American people. Reagan went up against Jimmy Carter, a lightweight by any measure. At least in that regard, President Obama is no Jimmy Carter. While a truly awful chief executive, President Obama is an excellent campaigner and an artful debater: smooth, polished, articulate. However low his polling numbers are right now, beating Obama will be extraordinarily difficult.

No more nice, please. When it comes to defeating President Obama and the cadre of hardcore leftist ideologues surrounding him, all that is legal is allowable.

troyriser_gopftw on October 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

He admitted to Romney that the 9% sales tax will be a new tax to people in states without sales taxes of their own. This whole 9-9-9 thing is a gimmick. It might look good in theory, but I don’t trust it, especially when it has to go through Congress. He might as well say that he promises to veto all tax reform that doesn’t fit his plan. Yeah, that’ll be good.

flataffect on October 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Ok so I went and read Cains Plan. All 10 pages of it.

You don’t have to read more than 4 sentences before it trips over itself…

The 9-9-9 Plan gets Washington D.C. out of the business of picking winners and losers, using the tax code to dole out favors, and dividing the country with class warfare.

then

Empowerment Zones will offer additional deductions for those living and/or working in the zone.

So IF we live in the CainDome, we’ll get some favors that are not favors….

Then theres this nugget in the Scoring Report…

Finally, fringe benefits paid by employers count as part of personal consumption even though
they are not directly purchased by individuals. These employer-related purchases amounted to
$581 billion (4.5% of GDP) in 2008. Employer contributions for health and life insurance
accounted for over 96 percent of these purchases. These expenditures must be specifically
accounted for in the design of a retail sales tax or as much as 7 percent of the tax base could
disappear. In this case the payments made by the employer must be deemed to have been paid
by the employee to conform to taxing the purchases of individuals

Sooooo, your income is NOW what you take home PLUS all the goodies your employer buys for you (even if you didn’t want them).

Great.

Whats wrong with 10% of income earned?
If the feds can’t live on 10% then they should consult with God because God only asks for 10%.

orbitalair on October 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Cain hasn’t been able to explain his own plan. Herman, that is YOUR problem.

He needs an app where people can plug in their numbers and it tells them what they will pay under his 999 plan as compared to current tax system.

huckleberryfriend on October 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

This issue really should not be whether you save a little or you lose a little in the change; it should be whether the plan is fairly revenue neutral and by lowering the marginal rates creates a better investment climate that will spur the economy and float all boats in the longer run. Art Laffer and Paul Ryan seem to think it will. I have reached the point where I am less concerned about my personal tax burden than my children’s employment prospects which do not look too good right now.

KW64 on October 19, 2011 at 4:30 PM

I’m leaning towards Newt but keeping an open mind towards Cain.

I asked this question in the debate thread last night, but that thread was moving so fast, I didn’t really expect an answer–can someone who understands the 9-9-9 plan explain to me if the 9% business flat tax takes the place of the currently higher US corporate tax rate? And if so, how does that constitute the creation of a VAT as some of the other candidates were claiming?

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:14 PM

The best way to understand Cain’s plan is to READ IT FROM THE SOURCE!!! DO NOT read the articles “about” the Cain plan until you have read the ORIGINAL SOURCE. Through a mixture of deliberate lies, laziness, partisan fraud, and journalistic incompetence, most of the articles and news reports about “9-9-9″ are flat-out factually WRONG about what is actually in the plan and what the implications are.

But it’s really very simple: the 9% business flat tax in “9-9-9″ is a tax on NET EARNINGS.

The 9-9-9 plan is NOTHING LIKE A “VAT”: It’s genius is that it’s easy to understand, simple to administer, and does NOT run the cost of goods up based on artificial measures like “value added”.

The VAT is a tax on a speculative “VALUE ADDED”, so it runs up the cost of goods regardless of whether there is profit or not. In addition there is a huge administrative cost for the administration of a VAT for both business and government.

ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLE OF THE DIFFERENCE:

Suppose a company manufactured a phone which they would then give away in order to achieve a future profit by selling phone service.

A. Under “9-9-9″, the company would pay taxes in the future WHEN AND IF THEY MADE A PROFIT. This kind of taxation aligns the goals of the government with the private company: both want maximum success for the project.

B. Under a VAT, the phone company would have to calculate a speculative “value added” at each stage of manufacture, and pay a VAT based upon that value UP FRONT – REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEIR PLAN EVER MADE A PROFIT. In this example, the business is put in the position of assigning a “value” to a product which is never sold outright, and getting the government to agree to it. This kind of taxation obviously increases paperwork, cost, and private-sector risk: it suppresses the willingness to undertake new business ventures. Government and private company goals are in conflict. The goal of the government is to maximize up-front “value added” (whether productive or not), while the goal of the business is long-term profit – which requires minimizing up-front “value added” and other startup costs.

landlines on October 19, 2011 at 4:40 PM

If they’d CUT SPENDING it wouldn’t HAVE TO BE REVENUE NEUTRAL.

999 is a lead albatross. Mr. Cain would do better to ditch it early, claiming that after more thought it just didn’t work.

I see alot of analysis that says this is easily morphed into a VAT.

I tell you a national sales tax, will also easily morph into a Internet Tax. The chief thing fending off a Internet Sales Tax is that each state and county has a different rate, and sorting it out is hard(ha computers right?). But a flat 9%, all of a sudden thats EASY.

orbitalair on October 19, 2011 at 4:40 PM

The best way to understand Cain’s plan is to READ IT FROM THE SOURCE!!! DO NOT read the articles “about” the Cain plan until you have read the ORIGINAL SOURCE. landlines on October 19, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Looks like this guy did.

Ok so I went and read Cains Plan. All 10 pages of it.

You don’t have to read more than 4 sentences before it trips over itself…

The 9-9-9 Plan gets Washington D.C. out of the business of picking winners and losers, using the tax code to dole out favors, and dividing the country with class warfare.

then

Empowerment Zones will offer additional deductions for those living and/or working in the zone.
So IF we live in the CainDome, we’ll get some favors that are not favors….

Then theres this nugget in the Scoring Report…

Finally, fringe benefits paid by employers count as part of personal consumption even though
they are not directly purchased by individuals. These employer-related purchases amounted to
$581 billion (4.5% of GDP) in 2008. Employer contributions for health and life insurance
accounted for over 96 percent of these purchases. These expenditures must be specifically
accounted for in the design of a retail sales tax or as much as 7 percent of the tax base could
disappear. In this case the payments made by the employer must be deemed to have been paid
by the employee to conform to taxing the purchases of individuals
Sooooo, your income is NOW what you take home PLUS all the goodies your employer buys for you (even if you didn’t want them).

orbitalair on October 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 4:50 PM

But it’s really very simple: the 9% business flat tax in “9-9-9″ is a tax on NET EARNINGS.

Sorry, but this is just flat wrong. Right from Cain’s website, it is “

Gross income

less all purchases from other U.S. located businesses.” Employee costs, sales costs, transportation costs. None would be subtracted until after the tax was paid. The only numbers that matter are how much you paid other businesses for materials, then how much you sold the new product for. This is in fact a VAT.

AngusMc on October 19, 2011 at 4:59 PM

AngusMc on October 19, 2011 at 4:59 PM

You have been extremely helpful. Thank you.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Cain has a thin-skin and so does his buddy, Mitt.
Cain melted under the scrutiny last night and his only defense was saying that his opponents “didn’t understand” his plan.
I loved how he kept telling people to go to his website for his analysis of the plan, like that’s not going to be a little biased? LOL!
Cain’s done.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on October 19, 2011 at 5:27 PM

From the 999 Scoring Report:

1. Business Transactions Tax
A business transactions tax would radically broaden the base for businesses. Each business would pay tax on gross receipts less payments to other businesses. Allowing the subtraction of payments for intermediate goods yields the value added by the company.
Subtracting investment as well yields a subtraction method value-added tax.
In keeping with the basic value-added structure, the tax is treated as border adjustable. That is, the tax is on a territorial basis and applies only to sales in the U.S. rather than the worldwide treatment under the current tax system. This approach exempts exports while subjecting
imports to the tax.

Government, households, and institutions would be treated as “businesses” for the purpose of
the tax. The tax base for each would be the gross compensation paid to employees.

Or in other words: Intermediate goods purchased from US companies are exempted from the tax at every stage. The biggest cost hits are thus imports from China (who I could care less about). Everything else is essentially exempt from taxes once the process hits the United States. Even if the Democrats were to raise this tax by 30%, all they’d end up doing is hurting their partner in crime, the ChiComs, by making their imports that much more expensive.

In effect this means the Corporate Tax Rate is at 9%, but raised if you receive a product or material from outside the US, but ONLY assessed on that particular imported cost. This is still a drastic reduction in costs for every company in the US.

BKennedy on October 19, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I don’t want a national sales tax without the repeal of the income tax. Nor do I want a multi-step VAT. If the government ever gets their hands on both, at whatever low introductory rate, you can bet those rates will rise until we are taxed to death. But the focus should be on the spending side, not the ‘revenue’ side. Cain is slipping in my mind. Nor do I like the idea of empowerment zones.

I wish there was another Regan. I don’t see one. Do I have to settle for Perry or Newt? Romney is SO questionable that I’d rather let Obama have 4 years hampered by an R congress than have an example of “see the R’s failed too” that I think we’d get with Romney. 2 months ago I would not have said that.

AnotherOpinion on October 19, 2011 at 5:43 PM

I don’t want a national sales tax without the repeal of the income tax. Nor do I want a multi-step VAT. If the government ever gets their hands on both, at whatever low introductory rate, you can bet those rates will rise until we are taxed to death. But the focus should be on the spending side, not the ‘revenue’ side. Cain is slipping in my mind. Nor do I like the idea of empowerment zones.

I wish there was another Regan. I don’t see one. Do I have to settle for Perry or Newt? Romney is SO questionable that I’d rather let Obama have 4 years hampered by an R congress than have an example of “see the R’s failed too” that I think we’d get with Romney. 2 months ago I would not have said that.

AnotherOpinion on October 19, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Which is easier:

Drastically reducing the income tax and adding a low sales tax that broadens the tax base and captures tax dollars from some of the freeloaders who like to buy lots of expensive new toys with our tax dollars.

Amending the Constitution as would be required to eradicate the income tax authorized by the 16th Amendment.

BKennedy on October 19, 2011 at 5:49 PM

LOL. The writer says Cain “would be better served sticking to substance.”

I think he would be better served by offering some that doesn’t include raising taxes on most of the country.

bigred on October 19, 2011 at 6:01 PM

BKennedy on October 19, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I think if Cain gets the nomination, Obama and Axelrod will be happy to explain how that broad base works and who gets hurt the most.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 6:01 PM

I think if Cain gets the nomination, Obama and Axelrod will be happy to explain how that broad base works and who gets hurt the most.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Obama and Axelrod will lie about every plan.

Obama’s had an entire administration chock full of sympathy for “who gets hurt the most.”

They are broker, less skilled, and less employable now when they were then. Obama put his stock in the poor without realizing many of them were poor by choice, and others have become poor by abandoning whatever self-reliance they had.

Which builds Obama’s base, but not America.

BKennedy on October 19, 2011 at 6:45 PM

I thought 999 was to prepare us to move to a Fair tax. Where are you getting that number?

Meh on October 19, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Okay, perhaps it was a fair tax. The number I got was from an article (I’m sorry I don’t remember where) that calculated what the rate should be so as to cover all expenses. The guy came up with 28%.

csdeven on October 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Whats wrong with 10% of income earned?
If the feds can’t live on 10% then they should consult with God because God only asks for 10%.

orbitalair on October 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Because all benefits are in reality part of your labor cost or put another way, part of your compensation. Companies get a tax benefit to offer you insurance. Take the tax break away and the companies will drop the insurance. On the flipside they will have to increase your salary in order to keep you. This is also a way to help get govt out of the retail insurance business and gets you into your own portable hsa. Either way you need to count it as income. The point of the sales tax also makes you think twice about spending. Think twice about buying a new car or buy a used car. Many good side effects besides the initial impression.

AH_C on October 19, 2011 at 11:51 PM

PS. I was actually responding to the meat of your comment. But regarding the “tithing” meme, I totally agree. If God is fine with 10%, then govt should learn to live within same. If they need more revenue, thenthey should encourage more growth.

AH_C on October 20, 2011 at 12:00 AM