Note to Herman Cain: Be a little more flexible with 9-9-9

Monte Kuligowski

In the recent Bloomberg/Washington Post Republican presidential debate the moderators wanted the candidates to get specific regarding their economic/jobs plans.

That's sort of amusing considering that the level of specificity we got from Obama in 2008 was "hope" and "change you can believe in." It turns out that we didn't get much hope, but Obama kept his promise to "fundamentally transform the United States of America.

With his 9-9-9 plan Herman Cain might be getting a little too specific. Actually, it's not the specificity; it's the rigidity that Cain has been displaying which will eventually hurt him.

I think Cain would do well to present his general concept of abolishing the current tax system while remaining flexible as to the details of a fair, non-progressive (equal protection of the laws) tax system.

Rick Santorum pointed out the potential Achilles' heel of Cain's plan: once a federal sales tax is implemented, good luck ending it or lowering the rates in the future. Indeed, the rates will only increase over the years. (Cain's plan: 9% business flat tax; 9% individual flat tax; 9% national sales tax.)

As an experienced congressman, Santorum made the valid point that it may not be wise to give Congress a new tool to increase tax revenue. Remember, originally the income tax was supposed to be a temporary measure.

Cain's response: as president he would veto any law increasing the percentage rates. Well, that won't help much after Cain leaves office. In the future we could have high income tax rates and a national sales tax.

There are a number of ways to accomplish a truly fair system. One way would be a flat tax by which everyone would pay the same percentage regardless of income amount. If the percentage were 10 percent someone who earns $1,000 per year would pay $100 in federal income tax. Someone who earns $100,000 would pay $10,000. And someone who earns one-million dollars would pay $100,000.

Almost any system would be better than the current system which discriminates and applies the law unequally among citizens. The current progressive system is based on the core principles of Marxist theory, plain and simple. With the "rich" being targeted to "pay their fair share" while approximately half of wage earners pay no income tax, all bets are off on perpetuating freedom in the United States. Paying one's "fair share," in context of the current system is a completely subjective catch phrase which, as we have seen can be used to divide the country for votes.

Mr. Cain should continue to make a strong argument for a new system while remaining flexible as to the details.

Abolishing the tax code and starting from scratch shouldn't be restricted to one plan that is set in stone. It may well be that after Congressional debate and testimony from economic advisors that the 9-9-9 plan morphs into something else.

Herman Cain is on the right track. But an assurance of flexibility will benefit his candidacy tremendously.

In the recent Bloomberg/Washington Post Republican presidential debate the moderators wanted the candidates to get specific regarding their economic/jobs plans.

That's sort of amusing considering that the level of specificity we got from Obama in 2008 was "hope" and "change you can believe in." It turns out that we didn't get much hope, but Obama kept his promise to "fundamentally transform the United States of America.

With his 9-9-9 plan Herman Cain might be getting a little too specific. Actually, it's not the specificity; it's the rigidity that Cain has been displaying which will eventually hurt him.

I think Cain would do well to present his general concept of abolishing the current tax system while remaining flexible as to the details of a fair, non-progressive (equal protection of the laws) tax system.

Rick Santorum pointed out the potential Achilles' heel of Cain's plan: once a federal sales tax is implemented, good luck ending it or lowering the rates in the future. Indeed, the rates will only increase over the years. (Cain's plan: 9% business flat tax; 9% individual flat tax; 9% national sales tax.)

As an experienced congressman, Santorum made the valid point that it may not be wise to give Congress a new tool to increase tax revenue. Remember, originally the income tax was supposed to be a temporary measure.

Cain's response: as president he would veto any law increasing the percentage rates. Well, that won't help much after Cain leaves office. In the future we could have high income tax rates and a national sales tax.

There are a number of ways to accomplish a truly fair system. One way would be a flat tax by which everyone would pay the same percentage regardless of income amount. If the percentage were 10 percent someone who earns $1,000 per year would pay $100 in federal income tax. Someone who earns $100,000 would pay $10,000. And someone who earns one-million dollars would pay $100,000.

Almost any system would be better than the current system which discriminates and applies the law unequally among citizens. The current progressive system is based on the core principles of Marxist theory, plain and simple. With the "rich" being targeted to "pay their fair share" while approximately half of wage earners pay no income tax, all bets are off on perpetuating freedom in the United States. Paying one's "fair share," in context of the current system is a completely subjective catch phrase which, as we have seen can be used to divide the country for votes.

Mr. Cain should continue to make a strong argument for a new system while remaining flexible as to the details.

Abolishing the tax code and starting from scratch shouldn't be restricted to one plan that is set in stone. It may well be that after Congressional debate and testimony from economic advisors that the 9-9-9 plan morphs into something else.

Herman Cain is on the right track. But an assurance of flexibility will benefit his candidacy tremendously.