FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Quickly Evolving 9-9-9
Economics advisors change plan. Campaign contemplates navel.
I love the idea [of a 9 percent national sales tax]. As you know, Art Laffer and I helped design the plan. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the American people and the voters do not want a national sales tax. He’s going to have to replace that national sales tax with a 9 percent payroll tax. And if you do that it’s a total winner. … I’m surprised how hostile people are to the sales tax. When we designed this plan, I thought people would go along with the 9 percent sales tax. But the point is they won’t. And why not just do a payroll tax. It’s the devil we know …
So now we have a couple more data points.
1. Contrary to Herman Cain’s statements, the designer of the plan was not a hapless Rich Lowrie but rather Steve Moore and Art Laffer. This makes sense. Presumably Cain knows who his advisers are… the alternative is frightening. If he did know this he owes an explanation on his lack of candor. A man who will lie about the identity of his advisers will quite possibly lie about something else.
2. Art Laffer pimped 9-9-9 without disclosing his involvement in its development. Another troubling development, especially considering 9-9-9 would have had more impact if Cain had announced Laffer had developed it.
In addition, we now know that the new and improved 9-9-9 will be a 9% personal income tax, a 9% corporate income tax, and a 9% payroll tax.
The Cain campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether Cain was considering making the change.