In a recent survey, people were asked who among recent presidents they would most trust to fix the American economy. The two leading answers were Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. FDR makes sense as he was the president who brought the country out of the Depression, but perhaps he was not â€œrecentâ€ enough, because most of the respondents opted for Reagan.
Reagan inherited a relatively small deficit (compared to more recent deficits) when he took over from Jimmy Carter. In fact, in his campaign he hammered Carter over it. Instead of fixing the deficit, however, the Reagan administration blew it out, and it stayed out of control until it was reigned in under the Clinton administration. Then under George W. Bush it blew out again, and it is now no longer economically viable to bring it under control until the economy improves considerably.
Be that as it may, this does not negate the idea that Reagan might be the one to do something here. But today, despite the reverence the conservatives hold for him, Reagan would not even win his party’s nomination. This is why: Towards the end of his administration, there was a realization that a fix was needed, and Reagan took the hard choice and began raising taxes. These days, the GOP is so blindly obsessed about taxes that anyone suggesting taxes is automatically out, not matter how reasonable and economically sensible such a move might be. And that must include Ronald Reagan.
Is it possible that tea partyists actually support higher taxes? If it is true that they are now supporting Herman Cain, they are in fact supporting higher taxes.
Unless you are earning more than $120,000 a year, Cain’s 9-9-9 tax solution means higher taxes. And the last 9 is a federal sales tax. That gets added on to the sales and local taxes that are already in existence. This means that Cain will raise the sales tax you pay from whatever it is now to anywhere between 14 to 17 percent or more. If you live in a state that does not have sales tax at present, you will be paying 9 percent under Cain.
Is the tea party actually supporting this? I don’t think so. Then who is giving Cain his support? Republicans too are against increased taxes, so what is going on? Are they being suckered by the glib simplicity of 9-9-9? Are they too dumb to realize that their taxes are going to go up?
Herman Cain’s flat 9 percent tax rate may sound initially attractive, but appearances are deceptively misleading. The removal of deductions is enough to push the income tax burden of the majority of tax payers to a rate that is higher than at present, especially for families with children. Only the wealthy would benefit, so in this respect Cain is showing his Republican colors.
Worst than increases in income tax, the 9 percent sales tax would be 9 percent only in the few states that at present have no sales tax. But take California, for example. Under Cain’s scheme, sales tax would end up being around 17 percent, once you add on state and local taxes. No only would this be a burden for consumers, but it would discourage sales and ultimately stifle the economy.
Are we back in the Wild West? The 9-9-9 tax proposal is little more than snake oil hawked by a shyster.