Herman Cain 9-9-9 Plan: from SimCity?
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Tax Plan Looks Familiar to Gamers
Wherever Herman Cain's camp came up with the 9 9 9 plan (we're pretty sure it wasn't in an econ class), gamers are getting a sense of deja vu.
The 9 9 9 plan is already in place in SimCity: it's the default taxation scheme in your virtual world as you start building your digital city. (Herman Cain also quotes Pokemon; under other circumstances, this sort of thing would be a major selling point.)
The meaninglessness of the first item in 9 9 9 ("The natural state of our economy is prosperity. Freedom ensures that.") does not inspire confidence in a plan that somehow manages to neglect the fact that families have expenses (rent, food, healthcare, emergencies, etc) that butt right up against their incomes.
Also, taxing everyone equally at 9% accomplishes two things:
- Taking relatively more from those with relatively little
- Taking relatively less from those with relatively more
A quick look at how income is distributed in the US will show why you would not want to implement a plan like this, even in the short term, if you had any desire to fund a developed-world government. We can see, though, why business would love it: a permanent tax break gets baked right in.
So we can safely presume that Rich Lowrie, who came up with 9 9 9, is not a top-flight economist... but is he a gamer?
Cain's assertion that lower corporate tax rates will create jobs is explicitly contradicted by the events of the last ten years: we had this thing called a "recession" while corporations and the ultra-rich enjoyed massive tax breaks, outright tax evasion, and corporate welfare.
The US tax code is in need of a serious makeover, to be sure, but should get it at the hands of people who actually understand how the economy works. SimCity experience just isn't good enough.
Meanwhile, EA found out about the buzz generated by the 9-9-9 media coverage, and lowered the price of the SimCity games to $9.99.
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