Herman Cain’s YouTube pitch for a 9 percent sales tax

Through September and most of October, the magic phrase for GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain was “9-9-9.”

His campaign is attempting to return to that simple message with this five-minute video explaining the details of a plan that would reduce personal and corporate income tax rates to 9 percent, but would also levy a new 9 percent national sales tax:

Obviously, it’s that last “9” that bothers many conservatives. Watch how Cain handles the topic. Here’s a taste of the script:

“What if all these hidden business taxes were based on a flat 9 percent, instead of 30 or 40 percent? Pretty soon, the marginal costs of production would drop, and that loaf of bread gets a lot cheaper to make. Thus, a lower price at the store. When the new 9 percent national sales tax gets factored in, our out-of-pocket costs at the store stay about the same. Maybe a little less than they were before. But now we know exactly when we’re being taxed, and when we’re not….

“Anyone nervous about introducing a national sales tax should realize we’re essentially paying one right now. It just isn’t visible. Once these taxes are out in the open, it incentivizes savings, and doesn’t allow tourists, imports or even underground activity to sneak by.”

I’m focusing on the section that I’ve marked in bold. Is the virtue of transparency worth a new tax that “maybe” will result in lower costs?

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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31 comments Add your comment


November 28th, 2011
12:50 pm

Look, I don’t want to pay taxes any more than the next voter, but Cain is an idiot, sorry.

Great entertainer, though. He deserves a tv show.


November 28th, 2011
12:53 pm

Yes ..Regressive taxation when demand for products is at an all time low. Let’s party like it’s 1918!


November 28th, 2011
1:08 pm

Dumbest idea ever.


November 28th, 2011
1:30 pm

Liberal idiots, you don’t recognized genius when you see it.

Ga Values...Just call me heartless

November 28th, 2011
1:36 pm

Steal from the poor to give to the rich…sounds good to me.. the $149.54 of groceries I bought today just got $13.56 more expensive. Hopefully that will be made up in the no taxes on interest & dividends of the Hermanator’s plan.


November 28th, 2011
1:36 pm

The animation is a lot cooler than the actual idea.


November 28th, 2011
1:40 pm

Brilliant concept-exceptionally delivered. So sad that the public school system has degraded the voting public to the extent that so many people do not understand its merits.


November 28th, 2011
1:53 pm

At least the Republicans are beginning to get down to some serious adults. Let Herman have his CPA stick to his tax return prep.

Road Scholar

November 28th, 2011
1:54 pm

HC: I’m middle of the road (no pun intended): Where? Did I miss it?


November 28th, 2011
1:57 pm

It’s a good plan, it’s fiscally sound, and not one darned nay-sayer can show how it isnt without screwing up the details on the plan.


November 28th, 2011
2:18 pm

The 9% national sales tax can be called the VAT(Value added tax) or a consumption (Fair tax). Most true conservatives want to go to a consumption type of tax but it must be at the same time we do away with the Federal income tax. Europe has had a income tax and a VAT tax at the same time for more than 20 years now and the VAT has risen to more than 20% in most of the countries. The left has been pushing for a VAT for years in this country but without the other two 9’s included.


November 28th, 2011
2:27 pm

Cain is an idiot! :)


November 28th, 2011
2:31 pm

Herman cain will protect us from China.. I heard that China is trying to develop Nukes..

( I am being sarcastic, China has hard Nukes since 1964)


November 28th, 2011
2:32 pm

CAIN is more stupider than me,lol.


November 28th, 2011
2:34 pm

Ga Value…..How did you derive at those figures? You didn’t just add 9% did you? My groceries stayed about the same, maybe you should shop at another store.


November 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

Yes Cain is an idiot! No you all are the morons. Cain makes more sense than anyone out there. And how can you call a successful business man an idiot? What have you all done with your pathetic lives? called great men idiots on political blogs? good job don’t forget your shift at wal mart starts in an hour and go make that money so Obama can spend it.


November 28th, 2011
2:40 pm

I wonder how many Dixiecrats have actually read Cain’s plan? Someone explain how eliminating capital gains taxes, but having a special tax on institutional sector compensation and untaxed services provided by the financial sector would work?


November 28th, 2011
2:48 pm


dude can i have some of what you’re smoking,lol. 9-9-9 not


November 28th, 2011
2:51 pm

Cain was so lazy that he didn’t even bother to remove the two person MI consulting firm’s name that drafted the 999 plan. I might have considered its merits if it had been from Americans for Prosperity or the Heritage Foundation, but Fiscal Associates, Inc.? Really? In the hills, this is called bootlegged, and you have some folks alreay drunk off the fumes saying the plan has merit. Would you put the entire US fiscal policy in the hands of a CFP? SMH


November 28th, 2011
3:08 pm

GDP does not rise through market transactions. So, let’s tax the price on the sale of a new home. Does anyone think Johnny I would really go for that? Crime and Punishment is an easier read than Cain’s plan.

William Smith

November 28th, 2011
3:43 pm

So a 9% tax on coroporations,individuals, and sales will bring in enought to pay entitlements, military,and all other government programs. I have to believe some major programs will be lost due to shortage of revenue. He first stated it was to be on everyone, but when the issue of the poor was raised he had a new exemption. Maybe some new exemptions will come up when the lobbyist start handing out money. Newt can work with the lobbyist to correct this using his knowledge of history.


November 28th, 2011
3:49 pm

Wait a minute. Isn’ t Cain the guy whose tax accountant didn’t tell him that he filed for an extension, he still had to pay his taxes? If you had to consult your accountant about your capital gains or family’ estate taxes, raise your hand. Didn’t think so.


November 28th, 2011
4:06 pm


While I think it’s time for cain to quickly sell off the books in his trunk and go back to something he is good at (whatever that is).

However, with the General Assembly about to go back into another dangerous 40 days and the nutcase plan to spool up a sales tax on effort (so the top 3% can get an income tax cut) it is time to add sales tax on ALL real estate transactions to the mix.

Whatever it takes to stop the ’stupid tax overhaul plan of the week’.

M. Finn

November 28th, 2011
4:27 pm

His pizza’s no good, either.


November 28th, 2011
4:36 pm

His pizza blows. His logic stinks. His sense of history and his political instincts are full rainman.

He’s simply a very entertaining media face. I love him. Let him be happy and continue to be himself.

He’s unelectable and you better find a candidate fast, Mr GOP.


November 28th, 2011
5:10 pm

lh: “So sad that the public school system has degraded the voting public to the extent that so many people do not understand its merits.

I’d say it’s actually so sad that the public school system has degraded critical thinking skills to the point where anyone would take this overly-simplistic and non-thought-out plan seriously. Wow.


November 28th, 2011
5:16 pm

no td, VATs are not the same as consumption taxes…and just to say it, the Fair Tax is anything but fair.

I know that I should know better, but I am entirely surprised that people still think Cain is a serious candidate for the republican nomination.


November 28th, 2011
5:41 pm


November 28th, 2011
6:56 pm

With all these women making allegations, apparently Cain’s 9-9-9 was originated by something beside his brain.


November 28th, 2011
7:13 pm

Society cannot funtion with the G.O.P. Bush era politics should have awakened everyone! Yet the republican party has weakened every soul. They have spread their incompetencies to the brains of all the good folks. The damage is done. They have had their fun. Now it is time for them to find the exit sign and dismiss themselves.


November 28th, 2011
8:01 pm


Does the plan really have something to do with imagination?
Imagination of distance, imagination of time, imagination of rating?

The accusers so far would suggest it is all imagination.