Called a job killer at worst or a detail-free slogan at best, Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan is getting tepid-to-awful reviews from some of the nation’s most-influential business groups.
The National Retail Federation strongly opposes the Republican presidential candidate’s plan because it would institute a first-ever national sales tax of 9 percent that, the federation says, will dampen consumer spending.
“This will hurt demand and slow the economic recovery,” the federation’s tax policy expert, Rachelle Bernstein, said. “You definitely do not want to do this.”
But Cain said the economy will boom and suggested people will see an overall tax savings due to the big reductions in the income-tax and corporate-tax rates. Each rate would drop to 9 percent.
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“They have the flexibility to decide on how much they want to spend on new goods, how much they want to spend on used goods,” Cain said Tuesday during a nationally televised debate.
Cain’s plan became the main focus of the debate as his Republican opponents bashed it for lacking specifics and being politically unrealistic – criticisms now echoed by the retail federation and, to a slightly lesser extent, by the National Association of Homebuilders.
Until Tuesday’s debate and his recent surge in the polls, Cain’s 9-9-9 plan was a political plus. Catchy and bumper-sticker simple, it enabled the candidate to answer succinctly in previous debates where he didn’t have to defend the plan because he was a lower-tier candidate on a crowded stage.
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