Herman Cain Offers his ‘9-9-9’ Tax Plan in GOP Presidential Debate

Herman Cain Offers his ‘9-9-9’ Tax Plan in GOP Presidential Debate


Herman Cain was sharp in Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library. Though the fight was clearly between Romney and Perry, Cain held his own and shaped the dialogue.

Focusing on solutions rather than rhetoric, the Georgia business executive moved the conversation away from the bitter bickering between the former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

At times the debate seemed to take Cain’s lead to offer solutions rather than follow the questions posed by moderators who focused on the fumbled leadership of Perry and Romney.

Cain offered up his “9-9-9” plan of replacing the federal tax with a 9 percent sales tax, 9 percent income tax and a 9 percent corporate tax. With this proposal, Cain received much applause the audience at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

In response to House Republicans’ demand that funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency be eliminated unless it is offset by spending cuts in other areas, Cain said, “I believe that there is enough money to go around. Don’t eliminate FEMA.  Let’s fix FEMA, let’s fix it.”

While many candidates demonized the Mexican/American border troubles by exploiting the topic of drug wars to justify a lock out of immigrants, Cain steered toward the fix. Again, Cain’s focus was solving the problem. “Let’s promote the path to citizenship that is already there,” Cain said. “Let’s empower the states to solve the problem.”

With regard to corporate taxes and complaints that the current federal code allows General Electric to pay no taxes, Cain stated, “This is why I propose my 9-9-9 plan.  It levels the playing field for all.” He went on to say that America should not pick and choose who pays and who does not.

Although the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination attacked each other for past policies and gaffs, they all agreed that their No. 1 duty as members of the GOP is defeat President Barack Obama in 2012.


  1. While the other idiots discredited each other and what they did or didn't support Herman Cain provided concise simple ideas and insight. I don't care if he's never held office, Geo Washington and many other Presidents didn't either. It may be refreshing to have a non carreer Politician making decisions. Let's face it Business runs the country, it is our engine….why not elect someone who is in tune with business. I am tiring of hearing and seeing the same ol same ol candiates with the smarmy slicked back hair discrediting each other with no apparent agenda. This was a disappointing debate for me I thought that these guys Gingrich, Perry and Romney had more to offer. Very depressing.

    • Sorry, but those other idiots in your comment seems to include Ron Paul, which he is not. He proposed his views and solutions which I wholeheartedly support. I like Cain's 9 x 9 x9 plan as well, but to claim Paul is part of the "idiots" group is sorely wrong and lacks a complete understanding for what he stands.

    • Running a business and governing as President are Universal apart. It is much easier to run a business than to be president of the USA. The president has to deal with 100 members of the Senate and 435 members of congress who answers to lobbyist , rich doners to name a few and the people who voted them there.

  2. Well said, Mr. Loftin. I though Cain did very well and was the only person to actually answer questions. The leftist media that ran the debate did their best to skew things to Romeny and Perry (unfortunately) but Cain offered real substance. Obama has done nothing for this country and I think Cain offers a good replacement.

    • And in The Bible, Cain, along with his brother Able, has a story too. But this is a debate about other things.

      So put that aside, because I am surprised that Corporate tax is only 9%, and it seems Corporations will ALSO be responsible for collecting another 9% of the taxes, on behalf of the IRS..? (Sales Tax becomes Federal Tax..? Where's Local and State Taxes..?)

      So here's the thing– companies pay less tax, and also become the taxman, responsible for collecting taxes. And well, the thing that worries me about this already, is that Corporations have trouble paying taxes as it is– Many use tax loopholes such as the "Dutch Sandwich", "Double Irish" to avoid remittance of taxes to the IRS.

      In other situations, some companies do business in other countries. Then, they leave their money in offshore bank accounts so it doesn't get taxed at all, because you only pay US taxes if the purchase occurs in the US, or if the money comes back to the US. This is called "repatriation".

      If you do a search for "Tax repatriation" all you get is PR articles from companies who don't pay taxes, and want a "tax holiday".

      I say make the companies who aren't paying taxes, pay them, before the entire board of directors (and especially the CFO) of these companies in jail for evading taxes, using EXISTING tax law, without the fancy loopholes. Who is with me?

  3. We really need someone of Herman Cain's caliber in the White House. He doesn't live in the La La Land of Academia where no real solutions are ever made. He's been in the private sector, fixing problems, and right now we have a LOT of problems to fix!

    • Steve ignorant people like you is why the country is already bankrupt and the middle class is getting poorer by the day. The main reason the middle class hasn't increased in size is taxes. People think they don't pay hardly anything in taxes but for the average household making $45k a year they pay $12k in taxes that leaves $33k to live on, good luck ever making it past pay check to pay check with that.

    • I have to believe that Steve is a Democrat far-left winger who actually thinks that the country is not already going bankrupt with its current tax policies. Do you realize that the great Obamacare plan calls for an additional 16,000 IRS agents to process the additional paperwork generated by that so-called healthcare plan? How much does the IRS alone now cost this country? It's obscene!

  4. According to postandcourier.com Herman Cain to attend Rep Tim Scott Town Hall

    South Carolina's 1st District U.S. Rep. Tim Scott will host 2012 presidential hopeful Herman Cain at his fourth town hall meeting at noon Sept. 17.

    Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather's Pizza, will join Scott at the Daniel Island School, 2365 Daniel Island Drive, Charleston SC. Voters will be able to ask questions at the event and via Facebook. Doors will open at 11 a.m. and seating is provided on a first-come, first-served basis

  5. I think this whole republican group is a folly. From the bizarre physical attributes a few of them possess, to the wild accents, outright lies they tell, poorly annunciated words, and then… a pizza executive hawking 9-9-9. I was ready to order three large three topping pizzas each for nine dollars. It was like a clown car emptied out at the circus. I love this party. They are a gag gift for all of us to enjoy. Where are the level heads of Nixon, Reagan, Kemp, Bush I, Baker… oh they got run over by the church bus, that's "right".

    • He's not just a pizza executive. He's a Purdue mathematician/physics major, rocket scientist for the navy, successful CEO, leader of the largest business association in the 90's, and chairman of a citizen's board of the Kansas Federal Reserve. Could you even conceive if how to being to build ballistics? Stop marginalizing a man that towers over a midget like you in lifetime accomplishments. What have you acheived in your life, loser? Staying up till 5am playing Xbox every night and talking sh*t?

  6. There is 1 reason Herman Cain is not considered a "Front Runner"…the media doesnt want him to be…He offers more substance and solutions than the "front runners", but the liberal media is terrified of how bad Obama would look against him, so they dont want to give him a chance to gain traction.

    • I agree with Casey, Cain makes Obama look bad because he comes across as a real man with real experience and a black man too! Makes Obama look pretty inept and wimpy.

    • You are right on here. They ignore him and refuse to say his name. After the debate Herman chewed up the MSNBC band of liberal hit dogs and shut them up. I loved it. Go Herman Cain.

  7. Herman Cain is the strong community leader that Barack Obama never will be. Here is a man with experience, credentials, intelligence, and most importantly–character.

  8. The only “demonizing” going on is this constant twisting of facts. No one is trying to lock out “immigrants.” Citizens are trying to keep out ILLEGALS. AS Cain DID SAY “Let’s promote the path to citizenship that is already there.” That is called LEGALLY “immigrating.” Cain is wrong to say leaving it to the States. This is one of the FEDERAL responsibilities that the federal gov’t seem to refuse to address while meddling in every other non-Constitutional aspect that is never mention in the USC. I wish Cain could win-out. Of course the Repub establishment would never allow a more common sense, non-lawyer, businessmen come out on top. They sing the praises of Newt though – who was mastermind of job killing NAFTA and supported China’s positive trade status. Perry says what he has to, to get elected. Romney is a Democrat in conservative cloths as it fits his election possibilities.

    • Amen! Immigrants are the legal ones, Illegal Aliens are the Illegal ones. Sure, we can make it easier to legally immigrate if we like, but letting illegal aliens in front of those attempting legal immigration is a slap in the face of the law-abiding.

  9. I am a white middle class woman in her forties with two Master degrees in Education, and two children, one with Asperger syndrome and ADHD, the other gifted. I support Herman Cain. He is sensible, speaks directly and concisely, he is experienced in business, humorous, shows leadership and can inspire enthusiasm with his fellow Americans. These are all qualities that Obama lacks and this is why he is having such difficulty with his job as President of the United States. Also, yes Cain is an African American and in my opinion represents more African Americans in this country than Barack Obama as far as family history is concerned. There is no question where Cain's loyalty is placed and that is with the United States of America. I also agree with some of the other comments that MSN basically breezed by Cain since Cain would be a viable contender to Obama. I also thought it was absolutely appalling that MSN did not display the names of the Republican candidates on the screen as they were speaking. All an attempt to confuse the viewers. Shame on MSN, sleazy as usual.

  10. By far Herman Cain has better ideas than any of the candidates. The problem is once he gets to Washington the lobbiest's and special interest groups will derail him just like they do to every President no in lock step with them.

  11. Not since Perot ran in 92 , have I felt like a presidential candidate can really make a difference. Perot was responsible for making the budget a central theme in the early 1990's which I believe is the reason that we had a balanced budget at one point during that decade. Herman Cain is a common sense candidate and thank God – not a politician.

  12. The media did not give all the GOP candidates a fair amount of debate time- it was a shame. Cain was definitely not given his share. The media, especially NBC is so totally to the left they just want to focus on the bickering among the party and they will push the worst candidate into the limelight to compete with Obama. The network is screening and driving what the American people get to hear.

  13. Can someone explain to me how 9-9-9 can possibly be good for this country? We now have almost 50% of consumers paying no Income Tax. I’m just going to assume and correct me if I’m wrong, this is probably because we have a lot of families with 2,3, or more children. Their household income possibly could be in the $30000 to $40000; hence no Tax. Do we now think that adding another 9% in Income Tax onto these families is a good idea; especially during a recession. We want to add another 9% onto the price of everything they buy. This would be $2700.00 on a $30,000 car. 9% more for gasoline, electricity, school supplies, resturants. Would that include 9% onto the price of home or rent? On a $100,000 house that would be $9000.00. That just seems like a plan to completely destroy the rest of what’s left of this economy.

    • The Rush'ites keep repeating this 50& mantra, which is simply not true. I fall into Rush's "not paying" category yet I still pay upwards of 40% of my income to federal gov't. Further, because of federal mandates my local property tax goes toward support even MORE of the federal base. I also belive the idea od "adding" tax proposed by Cain is incorrect. He is not saying ADD is he? But use "9" and leave it there for everyone? Of course this will not work, imho, until the 16th Amendment is repealed.

    • People don't understand that flat taxes are inherently regressive and punish the poor and the middle class. 9% is a lot more pain to someone making $20,000/yr than it is to somebody making $100,000/yr. On top of that, any time they want to buy anything, there's another 9%. So really, somebody making $20,000/yr would then have an 18% tax rate. It's a monstrous idea, and I say that as someone with a yearly household income of $100,000.

      • As I understand the technical terminology, a flat tax is neither progressive, nor regressive. It's flat, i.e. evenly distributed at all income levels. Someone who earns $5 mil a year pays 100 times more in tax dollars to the IRS than someone who earns $50,000 a year.

        Wealthy folks consume more per capita than those with lower net-worth, and therefore would pay the lion's share of the total 9% sales tax collected as well. Plus, a consumptive tax helps reshape social behavior – those who wish to consume fewer resources are rewarded with keeping a greater share of their income… and those who wish to consume at higher levels bear the cost of doing so.

        What's inherently more "fair" in this example: having a portion of state-income-tax-revenue used to pay for in-state roadways, or having every road a toll-road, where the toll-revenue collected covers the entire cost of the roadways? Philosophically, I'd vote the latter.

    • I think 9-9-9 could be great for this country. Your post reinforces part of the problem – 50% of households have either net-zero or net-negative federal income tax liability. i.e. they have a vote, but monetarily they have no "skin in the game."

      Another part of the problem, is that our society has had ballooning consumption in the last couple decades, from folks who really can't afford it – credit is too easily available, at too high of levels – it really needs to get cut back aggressively.

      If your income is $30-40k per year (in your example), you shouldn't be driving a $30k car. You shouldn't have 3, $2k-each flatscreen HDTVs in your house, and a $200/mo. cable package. And a $300 smartphone with a $150/mo. plan. Etc, etc, etc. Or, said differently, if you can afford all that "stuff," you can damn well afford to contribute some income-tax dollars to support the cost of running the country.

      • even if we paid all that you think we should pay, it is obvious that the country isn't being run for our benefit anyway……so we give up the american dream of owning a home, etch….to the union people, and government workers can live it….there is a difference with the working poor, that put in and put in, and then get a refund, and then the trash, that don't put in and get a refund because they are baby machine.

    • John,
      When we got married, my husband and I choose to have only one child because we did not make much money and knew that was all we could afford to support. We never felt we should be exempt from taxes, we lived within our means, paid our own child care, fed our family, paid our medical bills, bought used cars and rented because that was what we could afford. Buying a home is priveledge that you earn. Our daughter learned that there was no shame in earning what you had. The shame is that so many children now learn that someone owes it to them to give them whatever they need. There is no self-respect to waiting for a check from the working taxpayers. How can they respect their parents when they fill their days filling out paperwork for freebies instead of trying to find a job. Don't tell me that is not happening. We have had employees who refused to work after they had earned a certain amount a year, because it would reduce the free benefits they were getting. Shame on America for making these people so dependent and taking away their dignity.

      • Amen Judy! I am completely in agreement with you. As somone who lost their job and had no other choice than to receive aid in a brief time in need. I was so excited when I finally got my new job and was able to say thank you, but no thank you any more to govertment aid. I was blessed that it was there when I needed it as a working contributing citizen, but surly did not wait one second to make my own way. There is no self-respect on sucking the government (taxpayers) dry for things we CAN but just won't do for ourselves.

  14. Herman Cain is a mixed bag — sometimes straightforward, clear and direct, other times, borderline goofy.

    He's still got his feet on the ground, though. Both of them. And he makes the rest of the Republican candidates look comic by comparison.

    Some of the GOP distant figures — Jon Huntsman, for example — seem reasonable. And you never know about Mitt Romney. One can hope that he isn't as dogmatic as he appears in the primary.

    Rick Perry is wild — and he's surged ahead to lead the pack in the polling at the moment.

    Do Republican voters really think Rick Perry is stronger presidential timber than Herman Cain? Appears so, but if you compare the two, without the polls, without Rush shouting in your ear, without Fox News fogging the view with the conservative faction's talking points, then, no, Rick Perry falls short.

    Among the radicals — the self-adoring Perry, the faith-consumed Michele Bachmann, the hangabout might-be/might-not-be Sarah Palin — Herman Cain is as conservative as the rest, but not nearly as rigid, not as strident in his ideology, and clearly the better personality for the burdens of the Oval Office.

  15. I was at the debate and found Cain to be very credible, likeable, and on point. Since his chances are slim to get the Republican nomination, he needs to turn his attention to a potential VP role. I like Romney/Cain in 2012!!!! Lets make it happen!

  16. Didn't it seem that all the debaters, excluding Mr. Cain, seemed nervous, tense, argumentative, not happy and lacking of charisma? Out of the whole bunch only Herman Cain had a real presidential aura about himself. He's the man to beat BO.
    He acts like a president, demands attention and exudes character. We need an impressive man like this in the White House. Obama can't hold a candle to Cain.

  17. John? what are households with 2-3 kids and 30-40k income doing buying 30k cars? No wonder household debt is out of control… What difference is another 2700 going to make on your 7 year auto loan…

  18. According to Morgan Freeman, Tea Party people like me are racist for wanting Obama gone. So easy for a successsful actor who hasn't lost his job, his home and possibly his family to make such a disgustingly racist remark. ( The kettel calling the pot black ). Morgan Freeman's demeaner has always commanded such respect and was regarded as the wise father type. With this one statement, he has changed that perception forever. His box office should go down now. I am leaning toward Herman Cain as his solutions for the dire circumstances that America is in due to the communistic and historically unworkable policies of the zero in the white house, will probably not change Morgan Freemans mind.

  19. I find Cain's 9-9-9 plan intriguing. I think it refers to a 9% personal income tax, 9% business income tax (not corporate tax–so it includes noncorporate businesses), and 9% national sales tax. I'd like to see how it compares with Bowles-Simpson or Domenici-Rivlin regarding bringing in revenues to bring down the deficit and debt. I'd like to know his stance regarding Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, especially given the baby boom demographics, and how 9-9-9 manages to deal with these expenses. Also, does he have any business-friendly ideas regarding health care costs, in lieu of Obamacare. By the way, Cain erroneously said that China holds most of our debt. I believe 40% of our debt is held by foreign countries, and, of that 40%, maybe half of it is held by China. Our country needs to save more, like we used to. Of course, with the phony low interest rates savings get now, there's not much incentive other than fear of where else to put money. I'd like to know what his position was regarding keeping interest rates low when he worked for the Federal Reserve in Kansas City in the early '90's. The low interest rates are, in part, responsible for the bubbe that began in that era that burst in 2007.

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