One of the architects of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, economist Stephen Moore, said the contender for the GOP presidential nomination needs to drop his proposed 9 percent national sales tax.
Cain’s plan would replace the current tax structure with a 9 percent corporate tax rate, a 9 percent personal income tax rate and a 9 percent federal sales tax. But speaking Saturday on Larry Kudlow’s radio show, Moore said the sales tax should be replaced with a 9 percent payroll tax.
The plan has been under fire from both the left and the right since Cain’s recent surge in the polls. Democrats say the plan would lower the tax burden on the wealthy while increasing the burden on the middle class, and Republicans say the sales tax opens an additional revenue stream for the federal government to abuse.
“I’m surprised how hostile people are to the sales tax,” Moore continued. “When we designed this plan, I thought people would go along with the 9 percent sales tax. But the point is they won’t. And why not just do a payroll tax? It’s the devil we know.”
At the last Republican debate, in New Hampshire, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said that if you turn the 9-9-9 plan upside down, “the devil is in the details.”
Moore, who developed the plan with economist Arthur Laffer and Wells Fargo wealth manager Rich Lowrie, said he would advise Cain to drop the sales tax, but that the plan was solid otherwise.
“I want to be very, very clear on this,” he said. “I am not bearish on this plan. If you could put in place the 9-9-9 plan, oh my God, it would be like steroids in the economy. … You would have a million jobs a month if we put this in place. … I love the concept of it … but the American people will not go for a national sales tax. They’re just afraid of it.”