Norquist on Cain’s 9-9-9 plan

As I’ve noted over the last week or so, Herman Cain’s gimmicky 9-9-9 plan is receiving increased scrutiny from conservatives weary of a value added tax (or VAT). Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and prominent conservative, elaborated on his criticism of Cain’s plan yesterday on the Morning Joe:

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, the anti-tax advocacy group best known for soliciting pledges from politicians not to support any legislation that would raise taxes, said Thursday that he did not support Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax reform proposal.

“It’s like having three needles in your arm taking blood out. It’s much more dangerous than just one,” Norquist said on MSNBC.

Cain’s proposal would replace the current code with a 9 percent tax on all personal income, corporate income and sales.

Liberals have argued that the plan would be regressive — raising the taxes of the poor and middle classes, while lowering those of the rich — and inadequate to fund the federal government, while conservatives have warned that enabling the federal government to impose a sales tax would open up a new way for future generations to raise taxes on Americans.

“With the caveat that I understand this cry of rage that people have about the present structure and wanting to do something radically different, I’m much more comfortable taking the present mess and chipping away at it like an ice sculpture to get it down to what you want,” Norquist said.

The Washington Post ran the numbers on Cain’s plan and found that the math doesn’t quite add up, though it’s unclear if the conservative base is listening to reasonable criticisms and concerns with the plan. Insistance that Cain is right and everyone else is wrong is, especially when the guts of the plan haven’t laid out, just isn’t enough.

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