I Believe in a Thing Called Left

Oct 14

With Herman Cain rising in the polls, more attention is being given to his 9-9-9 tax plan.  He would scrap our current tax code (save specific excise taxes such as gasoline) and replace it with a 9% income tax, 9% business transactions tax, and a 9% sales tax.  It resonates with the Republican voter because of a few reasons:

1. The tax code is confusing as hell.  Scrapping it and replacing it with a much simpler one makes sense.

2. 9 is a low number.

Even as articles are starting to pop up showing that this plan would bring in less than what we currently do (as opposed to revenue neutral like Cain claims), I think people are largely ignoring the most significant part: the sales tax.  This would be 9% added on top of what you already pay in state and local sales taxes.  When I was working retail in Chicago I would hear complaints from tourists about the 9.75% sales tax in the city.  Imagine if that went up to 18.75%.  There are some states that charge no sales tax on items such as food and clothing.  Now it would cost everyone an additional 9%.

Paying 9% more for every transaction because of Herman Cain is not going sit well with voters.  Even if the plan lowers their income tax rate, the negative emotion that will come with knowing every single purchase costs more because of Cain’s plan will outweigh the positive.  Once 9-9-9 has a chance to be closely examined and explained, I think public opinion of it will take a sharp dive.

Oct 13

After last night’s debate it seems everyone is ready to pack it in and give the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney.  His steady polling and the Gov. Christie endorsement are causing some people to call Romney’s nomination inevitable.  But I just wanted to remind everyone about how the polls were looking in October of 2007. Here’s an AP poll on the Republican side from that time:

And here are the Democrats:

In politics things can change in an instant.  To say anyone at the top of the polls right now is going to be the nominee would be foolish.  I think you can use the polls to say who is (Romney, Perry, Cain) and isn’t (Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann, Huntsman, Johnson, Paul) in contention but to start handing out the medals is silly.  Potential candidates still have until the end of the month to get their names on the ballot in the early primary states, so the crop of candidates we see now might not even be complete.  Everyone’s rushing to conclusions but until January comes around it’s nothing more than speculation.

Aug 15

Jul 17

Jul 14
“A Senate Democratic aide emails: “While no one can predict how this drama will end, one thing seems apparent: the President has just about checkmated the Republicans. At this point, the GOP seems to have only four possible moves: (1) force a default, which both Mitch McConnell and the Wall Street Journal editorial page are openly warning would be a political disaster for Republicans that would ensure Obama’s reelection; (2) accept revenues in a final deal, as even Bill O’Reilly is now saying they should do; (3) accept a smaller package of cuts that doesn’t meet Speaker Boehner’s ‘dollar-for-dollar’ requirement; or (4) settle for a version of McConnell’s ‘punt’ plan, which, after all this, would not mandate any spending cuts whatsoever. Needless to say, none of these are winning scenarios for Republicans.”” An excerpt from the Politico Playbook on the debt limit talks.

Jul 12
“In the Monday White House meeting, Cantor proposed cuts to Medicare benefits, but nothing that might entice Democrats. Go learn the definition of “shared sacrifice,” Obama scoffed. He assigned Cantor homework: We are short of the $2.4 trillion goal that will get us past the 2012 elections, find some cuts that Republicans don’t particularly like to put on the table, we’ve already offered you a bunch of cuts Democrats don’t like. You must, Obama said, work to meet us in the middle.” Excerpt from a TIME article on Eric Cantor and the debt negotiations, written by Jay Newton-Small.

Jul 9
“Earlier this year House Republicans produced a report noting that an 85%-15% split between spending cuts and tax rises was the average for successful fiscal consolidations, according to historical evidence. The White House is offering an 83%-17% split (hardly a huge distance) and a promise that none of the revenue increase will come from higher marginal rates, only from eliminating loopholes. If the Republicans were real tax reformers, they would seize this offer.” Short piece in The Economist on the debt ceiling negotiations.

Interesting polling data on how many government program beneficiaries believe they are not using a government social program.

Interesting polling data on how many government program beneficiaries believe they are not using a government social program.

Jun 21
“Tell Newt Gingrich that he’s wasting everyone’s time.” Meghan McCain, Daily Beast contributor, in her article on 7 tips for the GOP field.

Jun 20

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