Cain defends 9-9-9 plan, says ‘most people will pay less’ in taxes

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GOP candidate Herman Cain struggled Sunday to push back increasing criticism that his 9-9-9 tax reform plan would hurt low-income and middle-class Americans.

"Some people will pay more," Cain acknowledged on NBC’s Meet the Press, "but most people will pay less.” 


The former restaurant executive reached front-runner status in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on the strength of his proposal to replace the current, exemption-filled tax code with what he describes as a fair and simple alternative. The plan however has come under blistering attack from critics on both the left and right who say its 9 percent sales tax would hit working families especially hard. 

Cain dismissed those concerns. He said slashing taxes on profits on everyone involved in making a loaf of bread - the wheat farmer, the flour maker, the baker, the delivery man - would more than offset the sales tax hike on the finished product. 

"There are invisible taxes that are built into everything we buy," Cain said. "Those invisible taxes are simply going to go away and we'll replace them with a 9 percent visible tax."

Critics say state and local taxes on goods would come on top of Cain's 9 percent sales tax, leading to unsustainably high prices for many Americans. Additionally, critics claim his 9 percent income tax would hit many of the 47 percent of households which currently do not pay federal income taxes because they don't make enough money.

Cain said people can switch to used goods in order to avoid his 9 percent sales tax. And he said seniors would benefit from his plan because of cuts to taxes on their dividends and investment income.