The 999 Plan
Is it really any wonder that Herman Cain knows how to catch the attention of the public? The vast majority of people like fast food and things so simple that the dimmest of wits can follow along at least half the time. Anything or anyone that requires a little thought to figure out and to make an opinion or anything that requires a little time to investigate what really is going on is best left alone. Keep it simple stupid. And what place can be more simple and more ideal to capture America’s attention than the fast food restaurant? There’s a reason places like McDonald’s and Burger King and KFC have become part of our national language. Every year these restaurants spend billions to grab our attention and convince us that they have what our stomachs and our hearts are craving. So anybody who could harness that attention grabbing energy and put that into politics might do very well.
So it really should be no surprise that conservative presidential hopeful Herman Cain, the grand pooh-bah behind the corporate behemoth Godfather’s Pizza, can capture the attention of the voting public with his 999 plan. It sounds exactly like a restaurant advertising slogan. Nine pizzas! Nine toppings! Nine dollars! Come on down to Tax Plan Pizza and ask for one of our 999 specials! Right now we have nine pizzas with nine toppings for just $9! It’s a deal made just for you! It wouldn’t matter if the week before you could’ve gotten a better value of a ten toppings pizza for just $8. That 999 slogan is catchy and endearing. All it needs is a catchy tune to go along with it. Kind of like the way Subway captured the heart of America with its $5 foot longs slogan. It’s like a pied piper song pulling customers into a restaurant. All across America people would hear Herman Cain coming out of their televisions talking about his 999 plan and people will start drooling like Pavlov’s dog hearing a dinner bell. How could he not win?
But before everybody follows Mr. Cain to the voting booth like all the children in Hamelin followed the Pied Piper and his magic flute, maybe we should take a little time to do a little analysis of his catchy, simple, and possibly mouthwatering solution for America’s economic woes.
The 999 plan means a nine percent flat tax on household income, a nine percent tax on corporate income, and a nine percent national sales tax. There would be absolutely no deductions with the lone exception of charities. This simplified tax plan is billed as an attempt to shift the tax burden away from production and towards consumption, a goal of conservative economist and politicians for at least a few decades. Supporters of Mr. Cain’s plan claim is that this plan will make goods and services purchased cheaper by eliminating a series of taxes that can inflate an items bottom line and will eventually lead to the creation of six million jobs and who wouldn’t drool over that these days.
But peel back the curtain a little and we should see that this plan isn’t as rosy as it appears. An income of $20,000 would result in an $1800 in income tax. If the income earner spent every dollar of his or her remaining $18,200 this person would spend another $1638 in sales tax for a total national level tax of $3438 and the total national tax pay rate would be about 17.1%. These figures don’t take into consideration any local taxes. Under today’s tax rate structure, that same income would pay about $2575 in national taxes, a tax rate of about 12.8%. Under the current tax plan, the amount of tax paid would drop with deductions for children and other expenses. Those deductions are eliminated with Mr. Cain’s plan.
For an income of about $55,000, the 999 tax bill would amount to about $9319 compared to a current tax bill of $9875 resulting in a savings of $556. But people who earn high dollars really benefits under this change in the tax structure. An income of $300,000 would pay just $49,000 in taxes at a rate of 16.3% compared to their current pay of nearly $84,000 at today’s rate of almost 28%. The amount of savings increases significantly the higher the income. Corporations making bank could buy a series of banks with their savings. The total yearly income for the national treasure would fall from today’s 3.3 trillion dollars down to 2.2 trillion dollars. Somewhere along the way we would have to come up with at least 1.1 trillion dollars in savings to make this plan work. And since Mr. Cain is a conservative politician then it should be a no brainer that draconian cuts in social services and other programs that benefit the public that are bound to happen if his tax plan is enacted.
We can call the plan to cut spending the 666 plan because the decline of America will continue and will quicken all they way down to hell. It might sound good, but we’re bound to regret it. Kind of like somebody regretting the purchase of a cheap pizza. It might sound like a good idea. But eat nothing but cheap pizzas for a week and I’m willing to bet you’ll see it’s not all its cracked up to be. Nine dollar pizzas are bound to impact the waist and the budget. And who knows what will happen to your health. Talk about “supersize me”. And unfortunately, if we go to the 999 tax plan, we’ll be locked into that deal for a lot longer than just a week. We will have to suffer that deal with the tax devil for a very long time.