September 22, 2021

GOP Presidential candidates

A Short List of Things Donald Trump Has Said About Releasing His Tax Returns

As noted in the roundup this morning, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, never one to waste a self-righteous crusade, has demanded that burnt orange windbag Donald Trump to release "his returns going back at least a decade before Super Tuesday on March 1 so Republican voters can know what they’re voting for." The editorial […]

Rick Santorum’s Tax Returns Reveal That He’s a Cheapskate on Charitable Giving

Champion of zygotes Rick Santorum released four of his tax returns today because he thought lots of people really cared about them. Maggie Haberman of Politico has the scoop and they reveal that, when compared to Mitt Romney, Rick is in the poor house but compared to the rest of us, he's doing all right for himself: […]

Herman Cain Wants You to Try the New 9-9-9 Recipe

Godfather of gold ties and GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain has taken a lot of heat for his 9-9-9 tax plan. While it has a nice ring to it, not too many people are crazy about 9-cubed including his fellow GOP hopefuls, their tax taskmaster Grover Norquist, and every tax wonk within the DC delivery area.

Sensing something needed to be changed, Cain got his economics advisor accountant and whomever else is crunching the numbers to go back to the drawing board. And what did they come up with, you ask? Are they throwing in free bread sticks? Fresher ingredients? A gluten-free crust stuffed with cheese? Nope! That would just cause more confusion, so they just dropped a nine:

For people living under the poverty line, “your plan isn’t 9-9-9, it’s 9-0-9,” Mr. Cain said in a policy speech in Detroit. “Say amen, y’all. If you are at or below the poverty line…then you don’t pay that middle 9” – i.e. the individual flat tax.

Mr. Cain’s bold 9-9-9 plan – which includes a 9% individual flat tax, a 9% business flat tax, and a 9% national sales tax – has helped vault him into the top tier of GOP presidential candidates.

But free bread sticks would still be nice.

Herman Cain Tweaks 9-9-9 Tax to Remove Flat Tax for Poorest Americans [WSJ]

Herman Cain’s Economics Advisor Was Trained in the Arts of Debits and Credits

As we mentioned, former Pizza Godfather and current GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan hasn’t impressed a lot of people. Bruce Bartlett called it “a distributional monstrosity” and that it “stands out as exceptionally ill conceived.” When Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman told Cain that the ‘Berg found that his plan wasn’t revenue neutral, Cain simply said, “that analysis is […] incorrect.” Despite the haters, Cain’s plan seems to have captivated the media psyche, it has helped boost him in the polls and he says that it will be delivered in 30 minutes or less (i.e. “[it] will pass”).

Who is the mastermind behind this plan? Is it a young economics policy wonk? Is it a Ivy League economist known the world-over? Is it one of Cain’s former delivery boys who came up with the plan after sharing a jay with an extra friendly customer? NOPE! It’s Rich Lowrie. Rich Lowrie of Cleveland? No? He went to Case Western Reserve University and got an accounting degree. Still nothing?

Herman Cain says his much-touted 9-9-9 plan is the product of extensive testing and thinking, but the only man he cited as involved with its research — Rich Lowrie of Cleveland — is not a trained economist.

Instead, Lowrie — who’s the only economic adviser Cain has been willing to mention by name — is a wealth manager for a division of Wells Fargo and according to his LinkedIn page holds an accountancy degree from Case Western Reserve University. Lowrie also spent three years on the advisory board of the conservative third-party group Americans For Prosperity.

Now that we’re clear about the credentials behind one of the masterminds behind 9-9-9, don’t you feel better about it?

Herman Cain’s economic adviser is not an economist [Politico]

You’re Not Alone If You Think Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan Is a Gimmick

At a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity. The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut, with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase. Even allowing for the poorly thought through promises routinely made on the campaign trail, Mr. Cain’s tax plan stands out as exceptionally ill conceived. [NYT via TaxProf]

Somewhere in Mitt Romney’s 59-point Economic Plan, There’s Something About Tax Reform

That’s right boys and girls. Our economy is such a jumbled clusterfuck that Presidential Ken Doll Mitt Romney and his team had to lay out 59 specific proposals to get this thing turned around. In a USA Today op-ed, Mittens laid out a little preview of this plan and it includes – YEP! – cutting taxes and ultimately overhauling the tax code:

Marginal income tax rates and tax rates on savings and investment must be kept low. Further, taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers should be eliminated. Our corporate tax rate is among the world’s highest. It leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage and induces them to park their profits abroad, benefiting the rest of the world at our expense. I will fix these problems with permanent solutions. Ultimately, I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation.

Romney seems to be following Jon Huntsman’s lead but for fortunately for Mittens, Huntmsan’s plan wasn’t bulleted and no one heard the speech.

Romney: My plan to turn around the U.S. economy [UST]

Some People Don’t Care to Mince Words on Jon Huntsman’s Tax Reform Plan

[L]et’s just call this Huntsman plan what it really is: a huge, highly confused, poorly defended giveaway to people who earn lots of money from their investments. For people who can live off investment gains, it delivers the pleasure of a tax-free lifestyle. [Joseph Thorndike]

Jon Huntsman Has a Plan for Tax Reform

Unheard-of GOP Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman isn’t doing so well in the race for his party’s nomination. This is probably due to the fact that he seems like a fairly pragmatic fellow and pragmatism isn’t really something that fits in the GOP agenda. I mean, COME ON, the man believes in evolution and trusts scientists on climate change. Clearly he’s going nowhere with those kinds of policy positions.

So, in what will likely amount to another failed attempt to bring some sense to the GOP narrative, Huntsman will give a speech on tax reform and various other issues in New Hampshire.

Huntsman will lay out his plans for tax and regulatory reform, energy independence and free trade in a New Hampshire speech that’s being billed as perhaps the last best chance for Huntsman, who stands far behind the GOP frontrunners in polls, to establish himself as a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. “Meeting our challenges will require serious solutions, but above all, it will require serious leadership – a quality in high demand in our nation’s capital, and among my opponents on the campaign trail,” Huntsman will say, according to excerpts released by his campaign. The centerpiece of the plan is a proposal to reform tax rates. The Huntsman plan would eliminate all loopholes, deductions and tax exemptions in exchange for establishing three individual income brackets, taxed at eight, 14 and 23 percent. The Huntsman plan would also eliminate capital gains and dividend taxes, do away with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.

Now all he has to do is mention God’s role in all of this and he’ll be the frontrunner.

Huntsman to unveil sweeping tax reform [The Hill]