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 What is 9/9/9? 
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Modmin Dude
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Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
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Post Re: What is 9/9/9?
Touchdown Jesus wrote:
So because the current crop of politicians has done a bad job we should just go with the worst possible option and accept that things will always be screwed up? Sorry, not for me.

People will never vote for a tax increase for themselves. Never. Sometimes, that needs to happen. Not massive, draconian increases, but slight adjustments. It's a mature, grown up response to changes in the economy. But people would never, ever vote for that. Similarly, when given the option to have more "given" to them by the government, most people vote for that. Plus, having ballot initiatives opens up the option of manipulation like there is in CA today. At every election, there is a ballot initiative for more spending for something that is labeled "for the children". It always passes. But people don't vote to fund it. Then what you have is a massive budget deficit. With elected representative, new people can be elected to go in and make the tough choices and actually do something about it. If you just leave it up to the same people who made the mess in the first place, nothing ever changes. That's what we have right now in Washington . The same people have been there for a long, long time, making things worse. But, very likely many of them will be gone soon and hopefully the new people will make smarter choices.

Yes, I understand all that and even agree in principle. Just frustrated with politics in general. Sadly in our current system it takes too long to actually get anything done.

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October 17th, 2011, 7:26 pm
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Post Re: What is 9/9/9?
Thomas Jefferson, recognizing that the cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate, said that "whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." That remains true, and IMO is the downfall of our current political climate. The average voter has, on average, about an 8th grade education, has little care for politics, rarely keeps aprised on political issues, stuffs their head in facebook, ipods, etc., and gets sparce, biased coverage of political events... Then they show up at the voting booth, ignorant, and cast a ballot for someone that's generally more part of the problem than the solution.


October 18th, 2011, 10:30 am
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Post Re: What is 9/9/9?
That's where people like me come in to play. Become an activist. Get out there and inform your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Tell them what the lamestream media intentionally refuses to report on. Educate them about resources available on the internet to find out the truth. Instill upon them the importance of doing so and get them to wake up. I've been very successful at doing this and you can too.

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October 19th, 2011, 2:14 pm
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Modmin Dude
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Post Re: What is 9/9/9?
Here's another take on 9/9/9.......
The Atlantic wrote:
Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Is (Roughly) 3 VATs in 1
Oct 20 2011, 4:24 AM ET

Odd that a plan whose main virtue, according to supporters, is its simplicity should be causing such confusion. I had a moment of confusion myself yesterday. I haven't been paying close attention to Herman Cain, so when I read Laurence Kotlikoff describe 9-9-9 as a personal income tax plus a sales tax plus a VAT, I thought he had blundered--even though I know he knows a lot about taxes. 9-9-9 is a personal income tax plus a corporate income tax plus a sales tax, right? Why would anybody propose both a sales tax and a VAT? A VAT is just a sales tax collected another way (in slices rather than all at once). Why have a retail sales tax of 9% and a VAT of 9% when you could just have a single sales tax (collected one way or the other) of 18%? Absurd.

I would be interested to hear Cain's view on this because it turns out of course that Kotlikoff is right, as Bruce Bartlett and Josh Barro noted a while back, and as the Tax Policy Center further explains. Cain's "business tax" has been widely reported as a proposed tax on earnings (eg in the FT), and just yesterday Arthur Laffer defended it as such in the Wall Street Journal: the "now famous" plan includes a tax on "net business profits", he said. But Cain's policy document makes it clear (fairly clear) that he is proposing a business transfer tax--a tax on revenues, with deductions for purchases (and dividends) but not for wages. That, my friends, is a VAT.

Strange, is it not, that this has been so widely overlooked? And while we are adding up the VATs in Cain's plan, the Tax Policy Center reminds us that the personal tax component in 9-9-9 is a variant of the well-known Individual Flat Tax--Cain's document uses that term--first proposed by Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka.

The flat tax is a subtraction method value-added tax, similar to the [business transfer tax], with the exception that businesses may deduct wages paid and workers must report and pay taxes on their wages. With a single rate, however, it makes no difference whether the worker or the business remits the tax. (The original flat tax proposal would have allowed workers to claim exemptions for themselves and dependents, but the Cain proposal has no such adjustment.)...

We assume that the national sales tax and business flat tax are imposed independently on businesses so they sum to sales tax rate of 18 percent. The individual flat tax, however, is applied to real wages that have been reduced by 18 percent by the other two taxes. The 9 percent individual tax thus applies to only 82 percent of tax-inclusive consumption, making its effective rate 7.38 percent of all consumption. Therefore, the three taxes combined are equivalent to a 25.38 percent national sales tax... [emphasis added].

I can see the case for making consumption the base for the tax system. (Important point: this need not be regressive, as Kotlikoff points out.) I can see the case for a VAT. But I can't see the case on grounds of simplicity for a sales tax collected one way plus plus a sales tax collected another way plus (in effect) a sales tax collected a third way. Maybe Cain can explain.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... -1/247044/

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October 20th, 2011, 9:50 am
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