Patt Morrison for October 18, 2011

Doing the math behind Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan

Herman Cain Meets With Donald Trump In New York

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks to the media outside of Trump Towers before a scheduled appearance with real estate mogul Donald Trump on October 3, 2011 in New York City.

Of the many commonalities the GOP has for presidential candidates, Herman Cain certainly stands out. Without a lick of political experience, Cain entered the arena as an underdog and has managed to surge to the top in polls.

Cain claims his rise in popularity isn’t due to his pizza empire, but his 9-9-9 tax plan.

The plan would completely restructure our current tax system, getting rid of existing taxes such as the corporate income tax, the personal income tax, and capital-gains tax. Instead, Cain wants to apply a three-tiered system that would equally tax business income, personal income and consumption at 9.1 percent.

Although the idea is to broaden the base of taxpayers and number of items taxed, not all economic experts agree it would work out in practice. Some say his plan would have more working class Americans paying more taxes, while the rich enjoy a tax break.

Weigh In:

How much money would the 9-9-9 plan raise? What would it mean for different income levels? Would a flatter tax increase or reduce the wealth gap?

Guests:

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow and tax policy expert, Manhattan Institute; former chief economist, U.S. Department of Labor under President George W. Bush.

Michael Linden, director, Tax and Budget Policy at the Center for American Progress


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