Explaining Southern California's economy

Backtrack: All the Hermanomics you can handle

Florida Holds GOP Presidential Straw Poll

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks prior to Florida's President 5 straw poll at the Orange County Convention Center on September 24, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Cain won the straw poll with 37.11% of the vote.

Yesterday, the Patt Morrison Show took a closer look at Herman Cain's now-celebrated 9-9-9 plan. If you're curious about how a flat income, sales, and corporate tax would all work together, check out my post on the topic:

What's wrong with Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan?

And if that's not enough Hermanomics for you, I've also provided a useful rundown on his plan to reform Social Security along the lines of what he calls the "Chilean Model":

Herman Cain says his plan to reform Social Security worked for Chile, but can it work in the USA?

There's no question that with his mantra-like tax plan, Cain has captured the attention of his opponents in the Republican presidental-candidate race, as well as the national media and no small number of voters — and taxpayers — who find taxes bewildering and would like an easy fix.

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Herman Cain says his plan to reform Social Security worked for Chile, but can it work in the USA?

Herman Cain is now polling alongside perpetual Republican kinda sorta frontrunner Mitt Romney. Today, KPCC's AirTalk did a segment on the sudden arrival of the Cain Train. Time to get up to speed on everything the pizza king stands for, and fast! Yesterday, it was the 9-9-9 plan to reform the tax system. Today, it's Cain's scheme to fix Social Security.

In the CNN/Tea Party Debate, Cain said his plan could copy the "Chilean Model" (see the above video). So what does that mean?

It means privatizing Social Security, as Chile did in the early 1980s. José Piñera, the Chilean government official who oversaw the conversion of his country's social security system from its classic model to one based on private investment accounts, explained how and why he did it, back in 1997 (his account now lives on the Cato Institute site).

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What's wrong with Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan?

He repeats it in his distinctive stentorian cadence at every opportunity: "nine…nine…nine." Herman Cain has proposed a radical overhaul of the federal tax code and he's not afraid to stand behind it. The shocker was when voters in a recent Florida straw poll got behind it, too, handing 2012 GOP presidential candidate Cain an attention-getting win.

So, is 9-9-9 a plan that now needs to be taken seriously? 

No. It sounds good, but in practice it would basically shift much of the burden of providing federal revenue to the people who can least afford it right now. 

The plan would replace the current tax system with a 9 percent flat-rate personal income tax, a 9 percent national sales tax, and 9 percent corporate tax. It's estimated that, taken as a whole, it would reduce federal revenue to $1.8 billion from $2.16 trillion.

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