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Most mainstream public finance experts have been critical of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. They have called the plan crazy and nuts and evil. I was shocked at the unanimity of the opposition. But I know why they hate it. First, Cain is a guy who sold pizza for a living. The intellectuals are going to turn their noses up at anything this guy proposes. Our experts were trained at Cambridge and Princeton, not at Pizza Hut. Second, they dislike Cain's plan because it's new and they have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. After all, they are the experts in the status quo world. They are not revolutionaries. Heck they are not even reformists. Third, and let's be honest, the public finance expert class doesn't like 9-9-9 because Cain is a Republican. That more or less disqualifies him from having any sensible ideas. Finally, no public finance scholar worth his or her salt will ever endorse a plan that is so simple and easy to understand. Tax policy cannot be condensed into a snappy election slogan. Cain might as well have used Dog, Dog, Dog or Beer, Beer, Beer.The experts won't say any of this of course. They will assert that the 9-9-9 plan is regressive. That is, the erudite scholars, sipping lattes in quaint college towns, really, really do care about the poor and dispossessed....
View TaxAnalysts David Brunori's opinion in its entirety on TAX.com.
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