I'm a big fan of Herman Cain. The guy is a passionate speaker and a wonderful voice for conservatism. He's has a compelling life story and a rational, common sense outlook. Based on performances earlier in the campaign, I do think he is weak in some areas that are required for the presidency, such as the Middle East. This criticism may be more a reflection on the people who are prepping him. World class compaigns can politicians fake their way through such topics with slick answers that numb the listener's brain into submission. You can tell Mr. Cain doesn't like to give b.s. answers.
What concerns me more than Mr. Cain's preparedness is his much-repeated 999 Plan. It seems to be a combination of the Flat Tax and the FairTax. The 9% flat tax for individuals sounds fine to me. I'm also good with the 9% business tax. I say this not because I've crunched any numbers, but only because I am a fan of the Flat Tax.
I am not a fan of the FairTax, which is what the 3rd 9 represents in his plan: a 9% national sales tax. The problem with the FairTax (which Gov. Huckabee was a proponent of last election cycle) is the reasonable fear that despite efforts to prevent it, we'll ultimately be stuck with an income tax and a national sales tax.
The FairTax aimed to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in order to outlaw the income tax. But, even with that, there would be no guarantee that the income tax could not come back. Lawmakers are lawyers, let's face it, and these days they write thousands-page bills that cannot be unwound for years. The chances a watertight FairTax law is enacted that completely eliminates the chance of a federal income tax returning is nil.
Now, back to Cain's 999 Plan. There is no elimination of the federal income tax being proposed in his plan because it is part of the plan (9% federal income tax remember?). Who really thinks that 9% will stay 9%? And who really thinks the national sales tax will stay at 9%? History has shown that in Europe value-added taxes (VAT) that began as 9%, 10% and 12% in Denmark, Germany and Italy, respectively, have grown to 25%, 19% and 20%. Who would be so naive to think such a thing would not happen here? Then we would be stuck with a high VAT and what will surely be a federal income tax that would have grown from 9%.
So, I have to say to Mr. Cain: You're a good man whom I like very much. I will support you as a VP pick or in another cabinet position, but unless you drop the third 9 of your 999 Plan, I can't vote for you, sir.