Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan has all the value you'd expect from a former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, plus the uncompromising taste of contemporary conservative economic policy.
The plan would set corporate and personal tax rates at a flat 9% and establish a 9% national sales tax, while eliminating payroll, estate and capital gains taxation. Who helped Cain cook up this delicious dough of massive tax cuts for corporations coupled with regressive tax increases for low-income Americans? In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Cain said the 9-9-9 recipe was developed with the help of "some of the best economists in this country." But as The Wall Street Journal notes, Herman Cain is not a snitch…
Mr. Cain repeatedly refused to name those bright minds when pressed by the show's host, Chris Wallace.
"The chairman of my economic advisers is a gentleman by the name of Rich Lowery of Cleveland, Ohio. He worked with a couple of other people quite frankly that are well known that I’m not at liberty to mention their names," Mr. Cain said.
"Why not?" asked Mr. Wallace.
"Because they have their own independent businesses and I don't want to compromise their confidentiality at this point. When they tell me it is OK to mention their names publicly, I will mention it. But I — trust me, it was a couple of people that you know very well."
Who is this "Rich Lowery?" Is he an Economics Nobel Laureate? A former high-ranking Federal Reserve official, like Herman Cain himself? Actually, the crack news team at the Spencer Daily Reporter of Spencer, Iowa reveals him to be Rich Lowrie, a wealth management adviser with an accounting degree.
Lowrie, who has affiliations with the American Conservative Union and Americans for Prosperity, was a donor to Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign efforts, but has since drunk the pizza-sauce-flavored Kool-Aid — excuse me, the "pure rocket fuel" — of Cain's economic policies. Of course, as an employee of a division of Wells Fargo, a firm that received $25 billion in TARP funds, Lowrie may not be the best spokesman for Cain's free-market oriented policies. There's another lesson Cain learned in the chain pizza biz: don't let the diners get a close look at the sous-chefs.
Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Economy, Herman Cain, TARP, Taxes, Wells Fargo