Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Raises Taxes on Poorest 84% of Americans to Shovel $$$ to the Richest

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center just released their analysis of the consequences of implementing Herman Cain's much-discussed (and, among a number of conservative commentators, much praised) 9-9-9 plan. The results are nothing short of amazing.

If you want to check out the key tables from the report, here are links to them: Table 1 and Table 2. But, people from around the Interwebz have converted the tables into eye-popping charts, which I'll share with you.

Behold, the consequences of Herman Cain's plan to rob the poor to pay the rich:


Not surprisingly, this leads to a big after-tax income increase and lower tax rates for the richest, while most people would see their after-tax income decrease and their tax rates increase:

Note: in the below table, ETR = Effective Tax Rate.


Howard Gleckman summarizes:
A middle income household making between about $64,000 and $110,000 would get hit with an average tax increase of about $4,300, lowering its after-tax income by more than 6 percent and increasing its average federal tax rate (including income, payroll, estate and its share of the corporate income tax) from 18.8 percent to 23.7 percent. By contrast, a taxpayer in the top 0.1% (who makes more than $2.7 million) would enjoy an average tax cut of  nearly$1.4 million, increasing his after-tax income by nearly 27 percent. His average effective tax rate would be cut almost in half to 17.9 percent. In Cain’s world, a typical household making more than $2.7 million would pay a smaller share of its income in federal taxes than one making less than $18,000. This would give Warren Buffet severe heartburn.
This proposal is so bad, ridiculous, and regressive that it should sink Cain's campaign for President immediately, but my guess is that few people will actually be paying attention. Nevertheless, if Cain actually gets relatively far in the nomination process, it would be interesting to see Cain explain why the average American should vote for him, when Cain wants to raise most Americans' taxes in order to give big tax breaks to the wealthy few.

Of course, Paul Ryan and the entire Republican Party proposed to do the exact same thing in the spring (i.e. raise taxes on all non-millionaires in order to give millionaires more massive tax cuts) and most political pundits treated Ryan's proposal like it was something to be seriously considered rather than ridiculed and tossed aside. We'll see if the pundit class is more intelligent about Cain's preposterous proposal. I'm guessing they won't be.

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