Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Bad Math Hurts Herman Cain’s Good Tax Intentions: Ramesh Ponnuru

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- If you think taxes are complicated now, wait until Herman Cain simplifies them. The former chief executive officer of Godfather’s Pizza Inc., now running for the Republican presidential nomination and selling a book, has been rising in the polls partly because of the appeal of his “9-9-9” plan to reform taxes. At the Bloomberg/Washington Post debate at Dartmouth College last week, he argued that a great virtue of the plan is that it is “simple” and “transparent.”

In truth, the complexity of Cain’s proposal would impress Rube Goldberg. It has three stages. In the first, Congress would reduce the top tax rate for individuals and corporations to 25 percent, allow companies to pay favorable rates on any overseas profits they bring home, and end the capital-gains tax.