Cain’s ‘Simple’ 9-0-9 Plan Variation and ‘Opportunity Zones’

As we all knew he would, and after weeks of stubbornly and condescendingly defending it, Mr. 9-9-9 is now changing that “simple,” magic combination.

After finally admitting that his plan to impose a flat 9 percent income tax on low-income Americans would in fact result in a tax increase for those Americans, Cain has now modified his “simple” plan to a 9-0-9 plan for those below or at poverty level. How magnanimous of him.

Furthermore, Cain’s “simple” plan now would also include provisions for giving people who work or live in certain “Opportunity Zones” tax deductions. He outlines this “simple” plan in a colorful brochure that claims his plan will “essentially turn the whole country into one giant Opportunity Zone” and where he talks about “Enterprise Zones” with zero capital gains tax, no payroll taxes, etc.

According to the New York Times’ “The Caucus,” the brochure also lists so-called “barriers” to economic growth that local entrepreneurs would need to “identify” in order for a city to win Opportunity Zone status – including minimum wage and labor laws.

“Unions are already attacking Mr. Cain’s plan as an effort to undermine organized labor,” says the Times.

“To have Herman Cain, a serious contender on the Republican side, to make a statement like that, that he wants to further lower wages, that he wants to do away with the minimum wage – it’s almost laughable,” Richard L. Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., told Fox News.

Just like comments here at TMV are generally thoughtful, reasoned and non-partisan, I believe that the comments at the Times on this article are similar, and would like to share some of the “most recommended” by Times readers with TMV readers:

Changed his answer on Perry’s ranch. Changed his answer to Piers Morgan on abortion – after flip flopping. Now, changed his advertising slogan – because what actual economists were saying was true.
Now, remember he also said he would rely on his advisors when it comes to foreign affairs.
If the advisors who came up with ’9-9-9′ came up with his foreign policy, imagine the mess Herman Cain would make.

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Really? How is that going to play to the Tea Party part of the GOP? Aren’t they the ones screaming about how everyone should be paying their fair share of taxes? Doesn’t Faux News frequently bleat and whine about the percentage of people in the US that pay no income taxes? How will Cain spin this to the people he needs to support him when they are shocked and appalled that poor people have microwaves and coffee machines?

So…. people under the poverty level will now not be required to pay taxes under Cain’s “new” “Nein-Oh?-Nein” plan, but isn’t that something the Republican party has been complaining about? You know, that whole “50% of Americans don’t pay taxes” crap? So now the only difference between Cain’s plan and the current system is that the wealthy will still pay less, the poor will still have to pay both state and federal sales taxes, capital gains will still not be taxed (another boon for the wealthy), but the poor will not have to pay income taxes (which they already don’t). See if you can’t spot the big issues with this “plan.”

As for his “opportunity zones,” isn’t that just another word for “picking favorites,” which is another thing Republicans have been railing against recently. Instead of “picking favorites” based on industry, Cain would do it based on location. Shouldn’t the free market determine which cities should prosper and which cities should crumble?

Again, the 9-9-9 Plan was really just a sound bite, not a well conceived solution to a serious problem. Any voters who take Herman Cain to be a serious candidate need to do a little more research, themselves. Like pizza, he is remarkably void of nutrients.

So after denying for several weeks that it would raise taxes on the poor, he’s now “done the math” and figured out what ought to have been obvious from the beginning? This reveals just how serious and well-thought out this plan was.

Sounds like musical chairs. When migration from one city to another is over, the city losing population can seek assistance under the Cain plan and the city gaining population can lose the benefits it had from the Cain plan. Next week, the sales tax proposal under the former 9-9-9 may be eliminated too.

The concept of “Opportunity Zone” has real potential. Elimination of wage and labor laws will permit pockets of people willing many hours to work for cheap wages and without regard to workplace safety. Maybe Cain will eliminate child labor laws as well. And while he is at it why not have these Opportunity Zones be regulation-free zones. People can choose to live there. Maybe Love Canal will be the ideal first “Opportunity Zone”. Or maybe we already have the first regulation-free zone – it’s called “Wall Street”.

I did as Mr. Cain asked at the GOP debate and crunched the numbers for his 999 plan. My taxes will go up dramatically. I will not be able to pay my mortgage or purchase the new car for which I have been saving for 4 years. As a struggling teacher I keep a very close watch on my funds. The only debt I carry is my mortgage. Despite my best efforts to be financially responsible Mr. Cain’s plan will crush me. I don’t know why my taxes should go up so that Mr. Cain’s taxes can go down. This is NOT a fair tax!

(Author’s comment: Well, you could buy a used car, used clothes, used school supplies, etc.)


So, with the addition of the asterisk to his 9-9-9 Pepperpike Tax Plan, have we moved beyond talking about apples and oranges–to the full range of fruit–or just a fruitcake plan backed by a book-shilling flake?

Seriously, the fact that the Hermanator is on top of the polls in the Republican Presidential field speaks volumes about the quality of the field, the mental state of the GOP’s base and why, for all the corporate controlled and Republican-leaning media’s efforts to anoint Mitt with the crown, Mitt ain’t it.

As for the rest of Herm’s proposals?

My favorite has to be the idea that the key to fixing ghettos is to a) pay people who live there slave wages, and b) eliminate zoning (“Yo–get back to your shanties–the company store done closed for the day.”)

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist