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Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 is a Good Start

Posted by Larry Doyle on October 14, 2011 10:50 AM |

Why is it that people always find it easy to shoot holes in other people’s plans while not providing any outlines of their own? Time and again I witness that reality at play in business, politics, and almost every other pursuit.

To this end, I commend Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain for at least presenting a plan which might serve as a blueprint for simplifying a tax code which is badly in need of reform.

Whether the plan is 9-9-9 or 10-10-10 or 11-11-11, I appreciate the concept of Cain’s thinking for a few reasons. There is no doubt that it will widen the tax base. By requiring everybody to have some skin in the game, Americans broadly speaking should become more engaged in how our political system and government works. This development has got to be a good thing. 

For those who view Cain’s plan as regressive, I would offer that I think it will stimulate the economy and create jobs. Are we better off as a nation with job growth and everybody chipping in than the current status quo. Do we really want to continue down our current path? Not me. I firmly believe that the greatest form of liberty for those in the lower income strata is a job.

Are there drawbacks to Cain’s plan? Of course there are. Eliminating the mortgage deduction will hurt. Discontinuing the deduction for charitable contributions will also be unsettling. However, how much hurt do we currently have? How unsettling is our current situation? Most importantly, how do we root out the loopholes and special interests that circumvent our current tax code?

I am not endorsing Herman Cain’s candidacy. Some may deem him unelectable.

Isn’t it time we start thinking differently as a nation?  I do believe Americans like and respect Cain’s straightforward style. Don’t discount his staying power.

Bloomberg offers an interesting conclusion on this topic in writing, Cain Needs to Give Voters His 411 on 9-9-9 Plan,

Cain ultimately would eliminate individual and corporate income taxes in favor of a national sales tax. We have said before that a consumption tax offers the best route to broader tax reform, if coupled with tax credits for the elderly, low- income workers and the very poor.

A revamped tax system must offer more than a snappy slogan that fits on a bumper sticker. We encourage Cain to keep refining his plan to make it truly fair, transparent and neutral. As for rival candidates who say 9-9-9 is unworkable, show us your plan.

I would maintain that Herman Cain’s stock is soaring in recent polls because Americans are buying this plan.

What do readers think?

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets, our economy, and our political realm so that meaningful investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.


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