The more you learn about Mr. Cain's 9-9-9 plan the more you have to give him credit even, I mean it's so ghastly, so awful, so consistently unsightfully dreadful that it's almost a thing of beauty. It is so bad it's good. Mr. Cain deserves an award for he has singlehandedly wrote the most regressive tax plan in all memory. I mean how can it get worse? I don't see how it conceivably could.
While everyone is talking about 9-9-9, in truth that is only phase 2 of the Great Regression. Phase 3 is the endgame. If you like regressive tax rates then you will more than love the Cain plan, you will want to marry it. Really it is sobering, it is so perfectly bad. I don't see how anyone can top this. No conservative Republican, no matter how much of a flat earther he may be can top this. It is the endgame for tax regression.
The endgame is The Fair Tax. I don't see how it can be improved on; how could Stephen Moore, Larry Kudlow, Steve Forbes do better, I don't even see how George W. Bush and his economic team could do better-in terms of being the worst of all possible worlds-both maximally regressive and often destructive of government revenue. This is it: The Fair Tax. For the Right wing mission, for what the Reagan Revolution could only have dreamed- probably never could even have dared dreamed of- we present The Fair Tax.
First of all, brilliant name-it is the opposite of fair so it is perfect. How did Mr. Cain do it? I mean honestly how do you come up with something this abysmal?
As we have mentioned Reagan, it is quite fitting that it is Bruce Bartlett, who was a senior adviser of the Reagan Administration who has giving the best analysis of it. I mean there has been much good analysis but Bartlett did a really great job of concisely laying out the plan comprehensively in all it's dimensions and levels, with all three phases properly explained. Part of the vexing thing about 9-9-9 is it has so many moving parts. But then Cain himself admits he has no idea how his plan works. And his top economic advisor on this, Rich Lowrie, is not an economist: it shows.
As Bartlett says: "At a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity. The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut, with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase."
I'm not the only one who is not a fan of Cain's tax plan. Even his own chief economist says it's not the plan he would have chosen.
“It’s not a plan that I concocted,” Robbins said. “There’s nothing wrong with the plan, it just wouldn’t be the one I picked.”
"Cain has dismissed criticism of his plan as “egregious” and misinformed, but it is telling that a member of his own campaign wouldn’t necessarily back the plan, which was drafted by a Koch-affiliated financial adviser at Wells Fargo, not an actual economist. And though Cain dismissed fellow presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s criticism that the 999 plan would never pass, Robbins agrees with that assessment, telling Politico that the American people would never accept such drastic changes."
So his own chief economist says 'there's nothing wrong with it" but wouldn't have picked it and it was drafted by a Koch affiliated financial adviser at Wells Fargo, rather than an actual economist. Indeed even Cain himself seems to not wholly understand his own plan and what the effects of it might be. And the conservatives are always lecturing us about "unintended consequences."
For the record I don't think Cain is electable, so from the stand point of a liberal Democrat the fact that he is currently leading the GOP race can only be a good thing What we saw in the Republican polls this week is a wonderful dichotomy: in the national race he is the least favorite candidate of mainstream voters but he is the most favored among the Republican primary voters. If he did win the primary that would be the best of all possible worlds. However, the Republican party machine knows this perfectly well and will do whatever they can to forestall that. They want Romney which is logical as he is the only one who even theoretically has a chance.
Yet though Romney has led in most polls his support remains lukewarm. Rush Limbaugh-obviously an important voice and bellwether in primary Republican politics-this week stated that Romney while a "very decent man" is not a conservative. If you're a Republican in the middle of a political race that's the last thing you want to hear Rush Limbaugh say whose voice obviously has a lot of street cred among the rank and file.
Again though, I expect the party establishment to do all they can to make sure he wins and I expect they will be successful. Put it this way: his winning is still the most likely outcome statistically speaking. He has a huge lead in NH-Perry is at 3 percent and Cain is not much higher-and that usually sets the tone in Republican primaries.
The reason I am spending a good deal of time on Cain is that he is the Right wing endgame. He is the most conservative candidate left-turns out Perry's a centrist. This is the ultimate destination that Reaganism had in mind when it started out 30 years ago. Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan with the ultimate destination of The Fair Tax is the logical conclusion and nadir of the Reagan Revolution. If you want to see the future that Reagan-Dubyah Bush-Milton Friedman-Alan Greenspan conservative Republicanism has in mind for us read The Fair Tax. We have seen the future and it is grim.
As Ian Millhiser says, "When Perry announced his candidacy last August, he immediately became the most radical major party frontrunner since Barry Goldwater. Herman Cain, however, makes Perry look like Barack Obama."
But that's just it! Barry Goldwater really isn't all that conservative in the context of today. Back in 1995 he himself had already said that in the Republican party of that day he was pratically a liberal and it has shifted further to the Right since. It should be recalled that Goldwater was actually moderate to liberal on many social issues-he supported gay rights and even abortion rights. He could not pass a litmus test today. But then again you could say he set the table for Herman Cain, that Goldwater begat Reagan who begat George W. Bush who begat Herman Cain. With all the conservative victories over the last 30 years Paul Ryan and Herman Cain are the next logical step.