Okay. 9-9-9, again. (I know, I know. I’ll shut up about it eventually.)
At first I thought, “Okay. 9% for everybody. It’s apportioned. You know, like the Constitution calls for? That’s at least a step in the right direction.”
So then I’m reading this piece by Larry Kudlow and he says,
Liberals oppose the sales tax because they say its regressivity will hurt middle- and low-income people. But the Cain plan partially deals with this by exempting everybody below the poverty line. [emphasis mine] Cain also states that sales of existing goods would be exempt. I have no knowledge, however, of the treatment of services, and I am somewhat skeptical about enforcement complexity overall.
Okay, so someone educate me, please. How do you exempt someone below the poverty line, when it comes to a sales tax? I mean, right now with the income tax there’s the whole “refund” thing… where you calculate, and file, and either pay or get a refund, et cetera. I get that. But an exemption on a sales tax? Is it going to be based off of the previous year’s income level, or something? Because how do you judge whether or not you’re currently at the poverty line when it comes to making purchases? Unless they want you to save all of your receipts and file at the end of the year and get a refund on your sales tax… gee, this is starting to sound decidedly less simple than chanting the same number three times in a row…
So I commented over at The Lonely Conservative’s post, where I was first tipped off to the Larry Kudlow article, and asked,
So, Kudlow mentions some sort of exemption flr “below poverty level” – can someone point me toward some resources explaining how/why he plans to do this? I’m not a huge fan of Herman Cain, but thought that he was at least looking at moving toward having a constitutional -apportioned- tax instead of the unconstitutional one we have now… and then I see mention of a poverty line exemption.
I suppose it should make me happy, since I believe my husband and I might be below said line, what with choosing to go the one-income route of having me stay at home with our little one rather than stick him in daycare – I’m not sure what the figures are, but we by far qualify for things like WIC (which we don’t utilize, as we are no comfortable with the whole government program thing)… but I’m a big fan of that thing called the Constitution and would prefer to see us stick by it rather than constantly subsidize/exempt… (And is it just me or would such an exemption encourage people to-stay- below the poverty line, rather than encouraging them to successfully move past it?)
Also, can anyone point me toward an explanation of the proposed sales tax and what it would apply to? I’ve heard that it would apply to new goods, but not used ones – so things like used cars and thrift store clothing would be tax-free, yes? What about food? Before my son was born, I worked at a local “farm market” that, aside from vegetables and fruits, also carried things like dried fruit, sesame sticks,cider, chips, bulk candy, and freshly baked goods. None of the fruits/veggies were taxed – and if I recall correctly, neither were the baked goods, cider, etc. Just the “processed” items like chips and candy. Would this change under the 9-9-9 plan?
Granted, that still leaves us the options of growing and raising our own gardens and livestock, but I was just curious. There’s already a tax on animal feed, so I guess that won’t change -too- much. Ish.
Anyway. I’d like to do some reading, and would appreciate any direction you can give me.
No response yet, but I’ll keep you posted on that front. That said, I just came across something that makes me question the “apportioned” aspect of the 9-9-9 plan even more: empowerment zones! Oh, yeah.
“I believe in empowerment zones. Most of the unemployed black Americans in this country are in these mostly economically depressed areas. It could be, and I’m only using this as an example, because we haven’t finished establishing the parameters yet. Instead of in a designated empowerment zone, it being 9-9-9, it could be, as an example only, 3-3-3.
What this does, because you have a lot of African-Americans located in cities like Detroit, disproportionately, it would encourage businesses to stay in business there or to move there. It would encourage people to work there, because if you live in the empowerment zone, you’re going to pay a smaller percentage in taxes.”
Yeah, those are Cain’s words. See the transcript here.
I’d still rather see him in office than Romney. Or Perry. Or, Heaven help us, a second round of The One. But seriously? Can people not see through this?