Video: “9-9-9 The Movie”

posted at 2:45 pm on November 28, 2011 by Tina Korbe

The Herman Cain campaign today released “9-9-9 The Movie,” an attempt to reassure conservative critics and convert independent skeptics to Cain’s much-mentioned economic plan. Among others, Politico and ABC reporters are already busy deriding it, wryly comparing and contrasting it with earlier admittedly weird and arguably insubstantial Cain campaign spots.

First accounts of the video from these news outlets feature subtle, tempting and remarkably similar sentences like these:

“It’s the kind of thing that Cain fans may enjoy, that Cain detractors will laugh at, and that shows, in any case, how little Cain’s message has evolved since the summer.”

-and-

“It’s the kind of thing that Cain backers can e-mail out to friends and family as an easy-to-follow primer on how they believe 9-9-9 would work.”

In other words: Close, but no cigar, Mr. Cain. This doesn’t do the defensive trick and fails to fool anyone into thinking 9-9-9 is anything more than amateur policy-making.

MSM disapprobation makes me want to like the video. But as Ann Coulter once said: Just because liberals accuse you of being stupid, it doesn’t mean you’re smart. I’m inclined to agree with the consensus here: The video doesn’t really answer the concerns about 9-9-9, most especially the criticism that the plan just adds a national sales tax on top of local and state sales taxes. It does, however, have a very nice Schoolhouse-Rock-like aesthetic and, at the very least, effectively makes the case that we need tax reform. For that, though, I’d look to Paul Ryan before I’d look to Herman Cain.


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We need SOMETHING in the way of a consumption tax, to actually get people living on the all-cash underground economy (ever-growing and a LOT of illegal aliens) to pay into the national tax stream.

michaelo on November 28, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Looks good in the hat. Other than that,……

a capella on November 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

OT Hmmmm…

Report: Explosion rocks Iran city of Isfahan, home to key nuclear facility

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/report-explosion-rocks-iran-city-of-isfahan-home-to-key-nuclear-facility-1.398312

Chip on November 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Thank you Cain for getting the message out on the need for Tax Reform. We just don’t need another sale tax what we need right now is a flat tax.

BroncosRock on November 28, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Using a ridicule tactic towards Cain’s intelligent solution reveals either pathetic ignorance on your part or just another personal attack on the man when you have no attack you can make against his superior idea.

jimw on November 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

“… the plan just adds a national sales tax on top of local and state sales taxes.”

Unless all national taxes are eliminated, we will always have some combination of national taxes “on top of local and state taxes”.

Replacing those national taxes is the point of 9-9-9. The complaint that 9-9-9 doesn’t make local and state taxes go away is frivolous.

Those who think the 9-9-9 taxes would be worse than the current hodgepodge of national taxes should make that argument. We need to hear reasoned discussion of that point of view.

Meanwhile, perhaps Mr. Cain should consider releasing a sequel to “9-9-9 The Movie” to show how silly the “on top of” argument is.

TheBetterHalf on November 28, 2011 at 3:29 PM

jimw on November 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

ask someone in the service industry how superior this plan is…

chasdal on November 28, 2011 at 3:29 PM

I’d rather pay a sales tax of 9% for a gallon of gas, a pack of smokes and a bottle of hooch, than the current rate of “sales tax” on these items which is at least $2. So if I paid .27 instead of $2, have I saved any money? You betcha.

kringeesmom on November 28, 2011 at 3:35 PM

I’ve made these many times.

1. the 9% corp tax will be passed on at each stage of manufacture.
So you new ipod will not have a price tax of 9%, but X times 9%, depending on how many component suppliers are involved(plus the import tax of 9%). This part of the plan is non-existent, and non-studied…I want to see a serious study of this, not peoples whims or desires.

2. Your 9% income tax is already stated to include ‘services’ that your employer buys for you, such as insurance. So calculate your 9% income tax $ at your take home + the fed/ss/mc taxes + benes.
Compare that to your current actual tax dollars paid (after rebates). Is there a mortgage interest deduction? I don’t recall seeing one.

3. The so called simple plan is already encumbered with ‘empowerment zones’ and credits for the poverty level.
Wonder what else will get added? Ever buy a car, and have it ‘delivered’ at the corner gas station because its across the city/county line to save a few hundred $ in taxes ???

4. If you seriously think the NYC is going to drop the $4.75/pack cig tax down to 9% of the sell price you got another thing coming, they will simply label it a ‘fee’, like the cell phone corps do.

5. A flat 9% national sales tax will be so stupid easy to implement that the Feds and States will SCREAM to Tax all internet transactions.

My biggest beef is that theres no hard numbers to even begin to calculate its impact on our lives.

Besides if 9-9-9 is so great, wouldn’t 7-7-7 be EVEN BETTER ???

orbitalair on November 28, 2011 at 4:04 PM

Cain’s “9-9-9″ plan is the only one which blends “minimal paperwork” taxes together in such a way as to blunt the main arguments against it:

1. Explaining that wealthier taxpayers pay more is both easy and intuitive: thus blunting the “progressive” argument. The combination of the flat tax and the sales tax automatically provides the “progressivity” that Democrats claim is needed for “fairness”.

2. The rates are chosen so that the plan is revenue-neutral.

3. Everybody has “skin in the game”: blunting the argument that “some don’t pay any tax.”

4. Mechanisms and accounting schemes currently in place will handle the “9-9-9″ plan: no big front-end costs to implement it.

5. Drastic reduction in IRS budget (which is 100% non-productive “overhead”) will be possible: saving billions!! By eliminating 80,000+ pages of federal tax law, court dockets across the land will no longer be bound up with arcane accounting arguments: they will be freed up so they can deliver swifter justice on other matters.

6. This plan reduces business costs, thus reducing ALL consumer costs.

The more you examine this plan, the more you will realize that a lot of serious thought and study went into it…and the more you will appreciate that there is at least ONE candidate who understands economics.

landlines on November 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM

too late. How about “I’ve studied up on foreign policy” the movie?

kerrhome on November 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM

The more you examine this plan, the more you will realize that a lot of serious thought and study went into it…and the more you will appreciate that there is at least ONE candidate who understands economics.

landlines on November 28, 2011 at 4:05 PM

No it doesn’t. WHERE are these thoughts and studies?
I seriously want to read them.

1. Are we taxing WEALTH or INCOME here???
Remember if you have $10million in the bank, you can claim and “income” of $30,000 and pay no taxes.

2. Then 9% is too low. Last years revenue was $2.9Tril, with expenditures of $3.9tril. We need to raise the current system by 30%or another $1trill , so 999 will be 12-12-12(or more).

3,4,and 5 can all be changed in the current system, so thats neutral. I mean if we taxed the 47% now, they’d have skin in the game. Also give 999 4 years, and it will be just as complicated with empowerment zones, etc.

6. Never Happens. Any savings a company makes will go to the bottom line.

orbitalair on November 28, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Great ad. It’s a shame the campaign couldn’t have gotten this out earlier.

pupik on November 28, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I’ll handle two points, leaving some of the fun for others.

1. the 9% corp tax will be passed on at each stage of manufacture.

The corp tax is an income tax. Cain’s proposed 9% is lower than the current 35% income tax.

A tax that

will be passed on at each stage of manufacture

would be a VAT tax (as in Europe) and would be a very bad thing indeed. Mr. Cain does not propose a VAT tax. Even his 9% sales tax is a retail sales tax, not paid on business purchases for resale, but only at the retail level.

4. If you seriously think the NYC is going to drop the $4.75/pack cig tax down to 9%

9-9-9 replaces the hodgepodge of complicated and non-transparent federal taxes. What NYC does with its taxes is up to its citizens.

TheBetterHalf on November 28, 2011 at 4:56 PM

cain has more women problems. he’s being accused now of a long-term affair. ride off into the sunset herb, your finished. if 9-9-9 is as good as y’all claim it is someone will salvage parts of it to use.

chasdal on November 28, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Anyone who hasn’t read up on 999 and is wondering where all the studies are is an ignoramus. Cain has had the Fiscal Associates link up on his site where it explains how he calculated the tax base for each of the three separate taxes since the inception of his website.

In other words: Close, but no cigar, Mr. Cain. This doesn’t do the defensive trick and fails to fool anyone into thinking 9-9-9 is anything more than amateur policy-making.

Because professional policy making by big wigs in Washington has served us so well, Tina? Who is kidding who here. The first part of implementing 9-9-9 is a complete scrapping of our well tweaked and tinkered tangled knot of a tax code.

G.K. Chesterton said it best, though in reference to the differences between Protestantism and Catholocism:

“There generally arises a confused controversy which is a sort of tangle of terminology. But broadly speaking, the difference between us and our critics is this: They mean by growth an increase of the tangle whereas we mean by thought the disentangling of the tangle. Even a short and simple length of straight and untangled wire is worth more to us than whore forests of mere entanglement.”

MSM disapprobation makes me want to like the video. But as Ann Coulter once said: Just because liberals accuse you of being stupid, it doesn’t mean you’re smart. I’m inclined to agree with the consensus here: The video doesn’t really answer the concerns about 9-9-9, most especially the criticism that the plan just adds a national sales tax on top of local and state sales taxes.

And what exactly would any President in charge of federal tax policy possibly do so as to not add on top of local and state sales taxes? I know HA was none too fond of Cains “apples and oranges” dissertation, but really, lets stop pretending we don’t know the difference between what the President does and the 50 Governors do, and the mayors and councils of all the municipalities do.

BKennedy on November 28, 2011 at 5:23 PM

The only ‘study’ is a 10 page discussion of the basics.
I’ve read it twice.

A sales tax achieves neutrality between saving and consumption under Principle 2. By taxing
final sales, but not the intermediate stages of production, a sales tax exempts initial saving and
investment from tax. The tax occurs only when savers, investors, or workers use the returns
they receive from either labor or capital to consume goods and services.

So how the heck is a business that provide a service to another business NOT taxed?

eg. My employer makes electronic equipment. We buy parts to be used on say an ipad2. We pay taxes on the parts right? Or businesses don’t pay taxes here? Is ‘final’ the consumer? Who exactly is a ‘consumer’? Did the importer(people who got the parts from China to the USA) pay a 9% tax?

Then we ‘sell’ the units to the buyer(Apple another company). Do they not pay 9%?

What I want to see is a breakdown here, of who pays what and ‘when’?

Now consider that as a service provider I can be a one person ‘business’. Do I pay taxes when I buy parts(and import them) or sell units?

One would think that the transaction tax is the one that remains, since a flat tax target aims to remove both the corporate and the personal income tax.

Phase 2 – The Fair Tax
Ultimately replaces individual and corporate income taxes

SS is still 66% of the spending. Taxes and the tax system are just 1 bullet point on a long list of issues.

orbitalair on November 28, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Wow, 17 comments in over 3 hours. This guy is toast.

Hummer53 on November 28, 2011 at 6:41 PM

He really needs a better hat. Is he surrounded by yes-men? “Oh yea, that hat looks great”

borntoraisehogs on November 28, 2011 at 9:44 PM