Cain: For the poor, it's '9-0-9'
October 21st, 2011
12:25 PM ET
7 years ago

Cain: For the poor, it's '9-0-9'

(CNN) - GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain clarified his much talked-about "9-9-9" tax plan Friday, saying those who fall at or beneath the poverty level would have a different plan: "9-0-9."

Cain took heat over his proposal, which replaces the current tax code with a 9% corporate tax, a 9% income tax and a new 9% national sales tax. Opponents have argued the middle part of the plan would increase taxes on the poor, who currently pay little to no taxes.

But Cain fired back Friday, saying in a Detroit speech that those paying no taxes now would continue to pay zero taxes under his plan.

"If you are at or below the poverty level, your plan isn't 9-9-9 it is 9-0-9," Cain said. "Say amen y'all. 9-0-9."

The former Godfather's Pizza CEO also laid out his "opportunity zone" proposal. Under his current plan, businesses would be allowed to deduct purchases from the 9% corporate tax provision. But in cities facing high unemployment–the so-called "opportunity zones"–businesses could also deduct a certain amount of payroll expenses from their corporate taxes.

"One of the things that I believe in is empowering cities to help themselves," Cain said to his audience in Detroit–a city with one of the country's highest unemployment rates. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Detroit faced a 14.4% jobless rate, not seasonally adjusted, at the end of September.

Cain's tax plan was a heavy target at the last two presidential debates, with other candidates attacking the proposal for being too simple, as well as increasing a new revenue stream under the national sales tax.

But the Georgia businessman, who's now in a tight race with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for top choice in national polls, said his plan is simple for a reason.

"Some of my opponents in this race have said 'Why do you want to give government another mechanism to tax us?' My response is: I want to take away the 10 million other ways they have now," Cain said. "I'm not worried about one, I'm worried about the 10 million in the current tax code."

As Cain has surged to the top of the race in recent weeks, his plan has been vetted by numerous economists

A check of the figures on CNN's "John King, USA" found a significant gap in revenue between Cain's plan, which would bring in $1.77 trillion in revenue, and the current tax structure, which brings in about $2.16 trillion.

But the candidate insists he could get the plan passed through Congress under a Cain administration.

"Bottom line folks, 9-9-9 means jobs jobs jobs," Cain said. "Let's renew the economy of this nation."

Also see:

Super PAC ad hits Romney on taxes

Nevada guv opens door to caucus date change

Romney gives Obama some credit for Gadhafi death

Santorum labels Cain 'pro-choice,' Cain rebuts

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain • Taxes
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. cigarman

    I still like Satorums Plan. Remember, his plan is O-O-O. If we were to enact his plan, we would be rid of ALL of the idiots in Washington. None of them would continue to show up if there is no money to Steal. None of the Republicans running for President have a lick of sense. I just cant believe they even have the nerve to show up at the debates. This is one Republican who is totally ashamed of my party. I will be voting for Obama again.

    October 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Herb lasted longer at the top than T-Rump, Ponzi, and Bachmann. But now, its to the back of the bus for Herb.

    October 21, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    Let's forget about his unwanted 9-9-9 Plan for a minute. Do we really want another ignorant president? We have an intelligent, caring, charismatic president now who is working hard to SAVE America and I really don't want to go back to the days of SNL laughter every night when George was in the WH. It's really too bad money can't buy you class. Mr. Cain might be good for some laughs but that's about as far as he needs to go.

    October 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Taxed to Death

    So this National Sales tax of 9% is now tacked onto the State Sales tax of 4.5% and a local city tax of 4.5%. Exactly how is my paying 18% tax on all purchases going to help me? I'm sure it would filter into the gas prices as well so we'll have $4.00 a gallon gas too. Wonderful!!!

    October 21, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Yesterday, real media broke the story of the death of of McCain's friend, Moammar. At the same time, the extremists at Fox broke the story of the flat tax by Perry. If it wasn't for scantily clad women at Fox, no one would watch them.

    October 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. durundal

    nice to see he is thinking complex when it comes to his flip-flops. I am filing his bs with the '2 dollar gallon of gas' campaign promises. Disgusting. It truly has become and intellectual purge on the republican side

    October 21, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Dan

    Rudy NYC

    Some people here think that I am an Obama supporter. Wrong. I am a victim of conservative greedy-ological policies. I am driven by truth, justice and the American way. Not, lies, deceit, and the imperial way.
    So, you're saying you're not an Obama supporter? baaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha, Not an Obama supporter, sure. baaaaaaaahahahahaha, I just love a good laugh and thanks so much for that 'Rudy NYC'. Psssst, by the way, in case you haven't noticed there's lies and deceit coming from both parties. And please do tell how you're a "victim of conservative greedy-ological policies".

    October 21, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Stacey

    LOL! Cain the Buffoon is making it up as he goes along. He has no idea what he's talking about. He's just throwing it up against a wall and see what sticks. What a buffoon! The GOP is pathetic and a disgrace.

    October 21, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    MAKE THAT MONEY HERMAN. A word for Herman we have a Black president now that can't get nothing pass,He just lost 600,000 jobs last night and he haft White just though I ran that pass you.

    October 21, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Joe Shmoe

    At least Romney waits a few years to flip flop. This guy flip flops every other day. Get some new advisors Cain. Art Laffey was wrong about the housing bubble and is wrong about this disaster of a "plan".

    October 21, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Telchristina

    This guy is a real joke, first 9-9-9, now 9-0-9, then he may change to 9-1-1! POLICE!!!!!

    October 21, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. BCW - NYC

    If Cain can throw a little bonus to the people and families living at or below poverty line such as FREE Godfather's pizzas everyday until they find jobs, I will consider supporting his 9-0-9 plan. Can someone add a gallon of FREE milk to top that?

    October 21, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. R

    Unfortunately Rudy NYC, most people on these posts will not ever admit that both parties have serious problems to address. They all seem to keep bringing up the same old sound bites that they begin to sound like a broken record. Just because our elected officials act like spoiled 5 year olds, doesn't mean that we have to. Yes, we can have differences of opinion, but we can do it in a way where it results in name calling or being branded one way, just because someone may not agree with what your saying.

    October 21, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I would like to know who Dan supports and why. I know he gets his talking points from Beck, Limpbag, and Fox splice and edit.

    October 21, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Sparky observed:
    Now that I have paid taxes for 50 years while earning my retirement savings you want me to pay taxes to spend it. Not a good plan.
    It's actually even worse than that. Under the Cain 9-9-9 plan not only would you pay taxes to spend it, you will be taxed when you *receive* it, which amounts to a double tax!

    October 21, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Pa Mom

    I;d say Mr. Cain has to dummy this down so the uneducated will understand how this works. It is going to take a business man to pull this country out of the path of self distruction. Whether he is the guy, I am not saying but all you people need to look at the socialist countries to see that yes, EVERYONE pays taxes unlike here where 50 % support the other 50%. Enabling this nanny state will only lead the US to being another Greece. There are jobs in my town....everyone wants there unemployment check cause it is beneath them to take the job. I have no sympathy. Been down that unemployment rode and found work. The US has become a nation of whiners with no selfrespect!

    October 21, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Donnatella

    Count Chocula needs to take his tax raising plan and shove it, enough with this evil little man already

    October 21, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Dee

    WOW flipflopping already he has never said anything about a 909 plan until confronted at the Debate. Talking about a cover-up this is one. Who is trying to brain wash?

    October 21, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. billy

    Shocker, the plan changes. Wonder what else will change as he gets more desperate. What a pathetic field.


    October 21, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We know of one group of elected officials that acts like spoiled children. (GOTP) As for candidates, Mittens acts like a middle school child of privilege. (Anderson, help me, both Ricks are being mean.)

    October 21, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Dan asked:
    So, you're saying you're not an Obama supporter?
    Do you know what an "anti-Romney" is? After the economic disaster of the GWB administration, I will never again endorse a Republican. Today's neo-con Republicans are not the party of Reagan. They are morally bankrupt and have totally corrupted by corporate money. At least, the Democratic party still has some life and a moral compass pointing in a positive direction. Herman Cain summed up it quite succintly, "If you are unemployed, ...., it's your own fault."

    October 21, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Robert O.

    Poor Herman Cain continues to make it up as he goes along. He doesn't have a clue.

    October 21, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Wylie Mike

    How can something so simple morph into something just as complicated as what we already have?
    It really should be this:
    10% – Corporate 'Profit' Tax
    10% – For all income above the poverty level
    0% – For 'Food' staples and 'Medicine'.
    2% – For value added products
    5% – For Luxury Items.

    But the ideal would be to leave the Sales tax to Local and State discretion and 'No' Federal Sales Tax for the citizens.

    October 21, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Herman Cain is NO Collin Powell, but He is a Teabagging Black token to BOOT

    Before you know it the Herman Cain's Tax plan will be 6-6-6!...Lol!!

    this IDIOT is just making up the numbers whichever way the wind blows!!!

    October 21, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. state helicopter pilot

    the lower poverty level will pay 0 The super rich get a tax break who is going to pay

    October 21, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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