The first two 9’s sound good — no, great — at first blush: a 9 percent flat tax on individual and corporate income! No deductions, exemptions or credits (except for charitable gifts). No payroll taxes, capital gains tax or estate tax.
The last 9 is more problematic on its own: a 9 percent national sales tax. Let’s look first at why this is a potentially large problem, and then look at some broader criticisms of the entire plan.
Cain sells his plan as a first step toward the Fair Tax, which calls for the federal government levying only a consumption tax to fund itself. The problem that I and other people — mostly, but not only, conservatives — have with the plan is the 16th Amendment, which created the federal income tax.
Fair Taxers say their plan includes repealing the 16th Amendment, but in my estimation they gloss over the sheer