Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan is so radical because of the potential impact on taxpayers. Currently, nearly half of the taxpayers do not pay income taxes but pay their share of payroll taxes which amounts to 7.65 percent of wage income. Cain’s plan eliminates the earned-income tax credit which is intended to lift working Americans out of poverty. Many of these workers currently receive tax refunds.

On paper Cain’s plan promises a tax cut but millions of lower-income Americans would face tax increases. People in high tax brackets, 28 percent and higher, would likely see big tax cuts because the Cain plan also eliminates estate taxes and capital gains taxes, which mostly affect higher-income people.

The bottom line is that Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan raises taxes on 84 percent of U.S. households, according to an independent analysis released recently, contradicting claims by Cain that most Americans would see a tax cut.  The Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, says low and middle income families would be hit hardest, with households making between $10,000 and $20,000 seeing their taxes increase by nearly 950 percent.  Households with the highest incomes, however, would get big tax cuts. Those making more than $1 million a year would see their taxes cut nearly in half, on average, according to the analysis.  Middle American households making between $40,000 and $50,000 would see their taxes increase by an average of $4,400, the report said. Those making between $50,000 and $75,000 would see their annual tax bill go up by an average of $4,326.

Cain disputed the analysis during the Las Vegas GOP presidential debate but acknowledged that although taxes would increase for some, taxes would decrease for most.  “It does not raise taxes on those that are making the least,” Cain said. ”  “The reason that our plan is being attacked so much is because lobbyists, accountants, politicians, they don’t want to throw out the current tax code and put in something that’s simple and fair,” Cain said. “They want to continue to be able to manipulate the American people with a 10 million-word mess.”

President Obama recently told ABC News that Cain’s tax plan would impose a “huge burden” on middle-class and working families. The President said Cain’s plan would make sure the wealthiest pay less and replace that revenue with a sales tax hitting the less well-off.

Cain also said his plan would initially raise as much money as the current tax system but do it more efficiently, leading to economic growth, which would produce higher tax revenues. The Tax Policy Center analysis agreed that the plan would initially raise about the same amount of money as current tax policy, about $2.55 trillion in 2013.  The Tax Policy Center compared taxes on U.S. households under current tax policy with those imposed under the Cain plan. In using current tax policy, the analysis assumes that the Bush tax cuts would be extended through 2012 by President Obama.  The center did a separate analysis that assumed all the Bush-era tax cuts would expire at the end of 2012. Under that scenario, Cain’s plan would still impose higher taxes on 77 percent of U.S. households, the report

When pressed for the name of his economic adviser, Cain recently admitted that Rich Lowrie of Cleveland was his “lead economist” who helped develop the 9-9-9” plan. “He is an economist, and he has worked in the business of wealth creation most of his career,” Cain said.  However, according to Lowrie’s Linked-In profile, he has a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Case Western Reserve University, not economics. In an email, Lowrie, said he did not consider himself an economist, just “senior economic adviser” to the Cain campaign.  I wonder is Lowrie played the SimCity game in coming up with the 9-9-9 plan?

Is Herman Cain a viable Presidential candidate for the Republican Party?  Probably not even though he is leading in many of the polls.  In my view, the Republican Party is in such disarray that a satisfactory candidate has not yet emerged and Cain is currently just an alternative to Perry, Bachmann and Romney, but that’s just my take.

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