ATLANTA – If there’s a policy star in the Republican presidential primary, it may be Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax overhaul plan.
It has helped fuel the Georgia businessman’s sudden surge in the GOP race. But behind the catchy slogan is a reality: Experts say it will raise taxes on some Americans.
Better-known Republicans seeking the White House relentlessly assailed both Cain and the centerpiece of his unlikely presidential bid, mocking it as simplistic and politically unworkable.
“I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard about it,” joked former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
The plan would scrap the current tax code and replace it with a 9 percent tax on personal income and corporations, as well as a new 9 percent national sales tax.
Cain argues the 9-9-9 proposal would expand the tax base so more Americans are contributing to government coffers while, at the same time, getting government out of the business of picking winners and losers through the tax code.
The final phase of Cain’s plan would move to a so-called fair tax, eliminating the income and corporate income taxes in favor of a national sales tax.
“It’s bold,” said Jeanne Seaver, co-founder of the Savannah, Ga., tea party. “I like that you know where you stand with his plan.”