Herman Cain's Website: The 9-9-9 Business Flat Tax Is a Modified VAT

This should put the argument to bed once and for all.

From page 7 of the Fiscal Associates report (PDF) linked to Cain's website:

A business transactions tax would radically broaden the base for businesses. Each business would pay tax on gross receipts less payments to other businesses. Allowing the subtraction of payments for intermediate goods yields the value added by the company. Subtracting investment as well yields a subtraction method value-added tax.

In keeping with the basic value-added structure, the tax is treated as border adjustable. That is, the tax is on a territorial basis and applies only to sales in the U.S. rather than the worldwide treatment under the current tax system. This approach exempts exports while subjecting imports to the tax. (emphasis and color coding added)

From Cain's description of the business flat tax on his website.

Gross income less all purchases from other U.S. located businesses, all capital investment, and net exports. (color coding added)

Differences:

  • Receipts versus gross income. Receipts implies cash-basis, while gross income implies accrual. There could be other differences as well.

  • Payments to other businesses versus purchases from other U.S. located businesses. The same cash versus accrual question plus a little protectionism thrown in.

So according to Cain's own experts, his business flat tax is a modified VAT.

Also, there's an old but good piece at Forbes where Bruce Bartlett explains what a subtraction-method VAT is and how it is different than a Flat Tax.

The flat tax, originally devised by Hoover Institution scholars Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka, is a subtraction-method VAT with one twist. Businesses are permitted to deduct cash wages paid from the base on which they calculate the VAT.

... a point which has been made countless times here at the HQ.

In summary, Cain's business flat tax and a VAT are like apples and apples.

I encourage you to read the full report (PDF). It doesn't specifically support 9-9-9 as much as it does list several alternatives and say choosing one would be nice.

Posted by: Andy at 12:19 PM



Comments

1 Pizza Man FAIL - Herman Cain is just full of shit....

Posted by: izoneguy at October 19, 2011 12:21 PM (i6Neb)

2 And this is a modified proper usage of HTML.

Posted by: Newt Gingrich at October 19, 2011 12:22 PM (usXZy)

3 Obama is a Stuttering Clusterf*ck of a Miserable Failure

Posted by: Milton Friedman ate Cheerios at October 19, 2011 12:22 PM (nBE5A)

4 And as an added bonus, because your in country purchases are deductable, but your out of country purchases aren't....you get to initate a trade war with 9-9-9.

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:23 PM (OWjjx)

5 Oh nossss, not again!

Posted by: Vic at October 19, 2011 12:23 PM (YdQQY)

6 Color me shocked

Posted by: mpurinTexas, Evil Conservanatrix, supports Rick Perry, bitch at October 19, 2011 12:24 PM (cRsT+)

7 heh

Posted by: Y-not of the booboo finger at October 19, 2011 12:24 PM (5H6zj)

8
let's put an end to this jerkoff fest


Posted by: soothsayer at October 19, 2011 12:24 PM (sqkOB)

9 Never take Cain hunting, the man has no sense of humor.

Posted by: Rick Fucking Perry at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (L8TIZ)

10
reforming the tax code is kinda low on people's list of concerns

Posted by: soothsayer at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (sqkOB)

11
How would you prove that your payments were to "US Businesses".
Almost all major companies have foreign offices and almost all products have foreign made components

Posted by: Ben at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (wuv1c)

12 Oh nossss, not again!
Yes, Vic. Here we go again.
But look at the bright side, Vic.
However often are you and the RINO President for Lifeon the same side?
I might have to make you a general in my RINO Army and give you command of the Lindsey Graham Division!

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (OWjjx)

13 It's much easier to sell people crappy pizza than it is to sell them a crappy tax scheme.

Posted by: mpurinTexas, Evil Conservanatrix, supports Rick Perry, bitch at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (cRsT+)

14 9-9-9 has it's issues, but this is rather simplistic.

VAT is done at all levels of purchases - from manufacturing, to wholesale to retail.

Cain's 9% is simply done at the retail level.

By this description, your state sales tax is a modified VAT as well.

Posted by: Newt Gingrich at October 19, 2011 12:26 PM (usXZy)

15 As the AoS threads squirt out like green apples through a goose.

Posted by: Soap MacTavish at October 19, 2011 12:26 PM (vbh31)

16 Wait till they my new 18 9 scheme.

Posted by: Pizza Pizza Cain at October 19, 2011 12:26 PM (ieDPL)

17
Notice how none of the Democrats or Obama is talking about reforming the tax code?

Notice how they're talking about jobs, jobs, and jobs?


Posted by: soothsayer at October 19, 2011 12:27 PM (sqkOB)

18 10
reforming the tax code is kinda low on people's list of concerns
Posted by: soothsayer at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (sqkOB)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Really? I call bullshit on that.

Posted by: Countrysquire at October 19, 2011 12:27 PM (QB3JR)

19 I might have to make you a general in my RINO Army and give you command of the Lindsey Graham Division!

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (OWjjx)
Only if we are allow to frag the namesake.

Posted by: Vic at October 19, 2011 12:27 PM (YdQQY)

20 Counterpoint by Arthur Laffer:
http://tinyurl.com/3caq8lv
Is Perry talking about tax reform? I know he's talked energy reform, which is good, but also heartlessness, which is bad.
Is Romney? Do you believe him?

Posted by: Lance McCormick at October 19, 2011 12:27 PM (zgHLA)

21
>>>Is Perry talking about tax reform? I know he's talked energy reform, which is good, but also heartlessness, which is badIs Romney? Do you believe him?
Romney put out an economic plan, and Perry is puting one out this week.
To be honest, I don't fully believe Cain. 9-9-9 in it's current form has no chance of passing a Republican controlled House and Senate.
Tax reform, like Entitlement reform will be incremental, not drastic.
It pisses me off because the reform is needed, but it's a simple fact. They aren't going to make major changes overnight.

Posted by: Ben at October 19, 2011 12:29 PM (wuv1c)

22 Cain presser: 9-9-9 Plan to be replaced by Five Dollar Foot-Long.

Posted by: USA at October 19, 2011 12:30 PM (6Cjut)

23 Perry's "jobs plan" had two broad prongs of attack, increased energy production and roll back of regulation.

Rolling back of regulation would do far more right now to stimulate buisness than anything we can do with taxes realistically.

Posted by: Vic at October 19, 2011 12:30 PM (YdQQY)

24 6
Color me shocked

Racist.

Posted by: Clutch Cargo at October 19, 2011 12:30 PM (Qxdfp)

25 Payments to other businesses versus purchases from other U.S. located businesses. The same cash versus accrual question plus a little protectionism thrown in.
A little - I build stuff for DoD under the tight BuyAmerican/Free Trade and security restrictions, so I have very good, ground level knowledge of what I can get from domestic sources (regardless of price). It would be nearly impossible to pull this off. You would have to put a massive import tariff in place to stop all domestic manufacturing from off-shoring immediately, everyone would have to direct sell from websites overseas - economic disaster.

Bestbuy wouldn't be able to write off COGS for TVs from ROK, are you kidding.

Posted by: Jean at October 19, 2011 12:30 PM (WkuV6)

26 Beldar weighs in on 9-9-9 plan, also linking to Big Lizards.

He point out the gimmickiness of the numbers.

Posted by: Y-not of the booboo finger at October 19, 2011 12:30 PM (5H6zj)

27 Seriously-this wasn't the worst of Herman Cain's performance last night-

it was where he literallycalled the prisoners at Guantanamo-

the hostages of Guantanamo. (probably a mistake but it will be used against him.)

Add to that his willingness to bargain with future terrorists(-and/or Al Qaida) that would kidnap a member of the American military -and you have a huge problem.

After the debate he says he-"misspoke"-but some people say he said the same thing during a campaign stop.

No matter how you cut it- our enemies would be more than willing to test herman Cain.

Posted by: tasker at October 19, 2011 12:31 PM (rJVPU)

28 Yeah, good idea tear apart any idea to reform something, anything that has destroyed the economy. If Cain is smart he will now use the focus on his 999 plan to rework it so that a whole new set of jackasses will complain about the new idea he introduces. Meanwhile he introduces the ideas...everyone else talks about them and tears them apart, first the GOP and then the MSM and DEMS

Posted by: Jehu at October 19, 2011 12:31 PM (Tp2RC)

29 Rolling back of regulation would do far more right now to stimulate buisness than anything we can do with taxes realistically.

^This

Posted by: Y-not of the booboo finger at October 19, 2011 12:31 PM (5H6zj)

30 I like my plan: 9-no-no

It's 9% income tax
no corporate
no vat

Posted by: Trench Report at October 19, 2011 12:32 PM (n1YFn)

31 We don't need another tax that will inevitably get out of control. Restructure the old ones, get rid of a few but new ones we DO. NOT. WANT.

Posted by: mare at October 19, 2011 12:32 PM (A98Xu)

32 This blog is too narrowly focused.

(Really, let the VAT thing go. It's not really a VAT. I don't think it's a good idea, but it's not really a VAT.)

Posted by: joncelli at October 19, 2011 12:32 PM (RD7QR)

33 So to sum up, our choices are:

RINO Romney
Shamensty Perry
VAT Cain

What the hell?

Who is next? Santorum?

Posted by: 18-1 at October 19, 2011 12:32 PM (7BU4a)

34 28
Yeah, good idea tear apart any idea to reform something, anything that has destroyed the economy.

Well, it worked for Mitt and Soc Sec.

Cain lost any claim to the adult in the room label when he went after Perry over the rock.

Posted by: Y-not of the booboo finger at October 19, 2011 12:33 PM (5H6zj)

35 reforming the tax code is kinda low on people's list of concerns Posted by: soothsayer at October 19, 2011 12:25 PM (sqkOB) ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Really? I call bullshit on that.
Uh....yes and no.
The economy is clearly on everyone's top list. Now, if you can spur economic growth through tax reform, it would generate additional interest. And to Cain's credit, I think this is what he was trying to do. Also, it is clear that the current system is a SCOAMF Tax Code and is way too complicated and too burdensome and drains away too many resources that could be used for more productive activity.
The debt is also significantly high on people's list. And again, if you can reform the tax code to increase growth (which increases tax receipts) that would generate more interest in the item.
Of course, we could just cut a bunch of spending, eliminate some worthless government programs and eliminate a bunch of needless regulations and get the economy going that way and then address the tax code.....but that is just me.

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:33 PM (OWjjx)

36 So what does a pizza company pay under 9-9-9? All Vats encourage horizontal corporate organization of raw materials through finished product to avoid the many layers of taxes. Organizationally, this was the desire of Corporations during the 1930 through 1960s. It was an inefficient model that was ultimately discardedinfavor of smaller, more focused businesses specializating in one thing and being intensely connected to customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, GM was never able to make the transformation to small andreally good at something and remained big and hard to turn. Now we want to encourage this behavior?

Posted by: Sub-Tard at October 19, 2011 12:33 PM (0M3AQ)

37 Shamensty Perry

Untrue.

Posted by: Y-not of the booboo finger at October 19, 2011 12:33 PM (5H6zj)

38 Why did Cain stake his campaign on a specific, gimmicky sounding tax plan that wouldn't stand a chance of passing even if people liked it? Huge unforced error.

Posted by: Gristle Encased Head at October 19, 2011 12:34 PM (+lsX1)

39 It's not really a VAT because a VAT does not include a large two-topping pizza.

Posted by: USA at October 19, 2011 12:34 PM (6Cjut)

40 38 Marketing? It works in pizza.

Posted by: FlaviusJulius at October 19, 2011 12:36 PM (ieDPL)

41
Newt.
More baggage than the luggage claims at Dulles.

And, just like them, he's got the perfect story as to why it's your fault they lost it.

Posted by: Clutch Cargo at October 19, 2011 12:36 PM (Qxdfp)

42 39 It's not really a VAT because a VAT does not include a large two-topping pizza.
Posted by: USA at October 19, 2011 12:34 PM (6Cjut)

Yeah, but you get cheesy bread with a VAT so it requires consideration.

Posted by: joncelli at October 19, 2011 12:36 PM (RD7QR)

43 like my plan: 9-no-noIt's 9% income taxno corporateno vat

Posted by: Trench Report at October 19, 2011 12:32 PM (n1YFn)
The GDP is about $14T. What percentage of that should the federal government take? I think 10% is about right, and would be sufficient to fund the military and the other parts of the government we need.
Further it seems that the simplest way to get that 10% is a flat income tax rate, but I think this is the direction the Republicans should be going.

Posted by: 18-1 at October 19, 2011 12:36 PM (7BU4a)

44 Huge unforced error.
Posted by: Gristle Encased Head at October 19, 2011 12:34 PM (+lsX1)

That's why candidates generally don't say much of anything.

Posted by: USA at October 19, 2011 12:37 PM (6Cjut)

45 I hate to say it again, but the current setup for corporate income taxes is already a VAT. The main difference between what's current and what Cain proposes are the amount of credits and deductions that can be put in, which probably isn't that much different between the two, and the tax rate itself, of which Cain's proposal wins hands down.

Posted by: SteveAR at October 19, 2011 12:37 PM (ciRLN)

46 Are we up to that time of day when we get a thread that doesn't suck yet?

Posted by: FlaviusJulius at October 19, 2011 12:37 PM (ieDPL)

47 How was Newt's attack on Masscare last night? I read he went after Mitt, finally.

Posted by: Y-not of the booboo finger at October 19, 2011 12:37 PM (5H6zj)

48
That's why candidates generally don't say much of anything.

Posted by: USA at October 19, 2011 12:37 PM (6Cjut)
I agree 3000%.

Posted by: Barack Obama at October 19, 2011 12:37 PM (7BU4a)

49 Ace posted the original version of this out of draft, and it was a work-in-process version.

I just updated the post with the one that should have gone up. It includes a couple more tidbits.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 12:38 PM (5Rurq)

50
the radio talker up here, Todd Feinberg, had an excellent suggestion for Herb Cain:

just say that your tax plan exempts food and medicine.

Posted by: soothsayer at October 19, 2011 12:38 PM (sqkOB)

51
43 - exactly.
1 friggin' flat tax, end of story.
No excuses for corporations, no consumption.

Posted by: Clutch Cargo at October 19, 2011 12:38 PM (Qxdfp)

52 Somehow, I have to believe Palin is behind all of this.

Posted by: Roy at October 19, 2011 12:38 PM (VndSC)

53 That's why candidates generally don't say much of anything

Elect me to find out how I'll govern!

Posted by: Mitt Romney at October 19, 2011 12:38 PM (5H6zj)

54 An oar is a modified stick.

Posted by: FlaviusJulius at October 19, 2011 12:39 PM (ieDPL)

55 Also everyone of these candidates would reduce and eliminate regulations, that is a no-brainer. And Cain's plan does try to address the fact that 50% do not pay any income tax. Most of those vote DEM. If not 999, then something has to be done to insure that everyone has a stake in the game, too long have we had people that get to vote themselves part of other people's paychecks.

Ultimately we need to have a flat-tax, or fair-tax. At least Cain has got the conversation started. And to just re-work the IRS code...that was done in 86 by Reagan, and I remember an accountant friend was laughing about it, he said they do this every 30 or 40 years, rework the tax code, then it becomes impossible after a few decades and they do it again. Interesting to see his observation come to pass.

Posted by: Jehu at October 19, 2011 12:39 PM (Tp2RC)

56 What the hell? Who is next? Santorum?

Don't forget on the couch with Newt.

Shamensty Perry

Untrue.

Fine how about we call him by his Native American name: Suksatdeebait.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose Camellia Sinensis Operative at October 19, 2011 12:39 PM (0q2P7)

57 I am entering don't-give-a-shit territory.

Posted by: Beefy Meatball at October 19, 2011 12:39 PM (yn6XZ)

58 It's not a VAT; it's either a TUB, or a PAIL.

Posted by: Roy at October 19, 2011 12:39 PM (VndSC)

59 55
Also everyone of these candidates would reduce and eliminate regulations, that is a no-brainer.

I like federal mandates on ethanol!

Posted by: Mitt Romney at October 19, 2011 12:40 PM (5H6zj)

60 Youre convincing me that a VAT is a good thing, or at least no worse than an income tax.

Cains VAT is missing two of the major problems with that are traditionally associated with a VAT: it doesnt apply throughout the company, but is instead simple math to company-wide numbers; and it does not require bureaucrats to determine what the value-added is.

Are you sure youre not mixing a term that has different meanings in different contexts here? How is this definition of VAT different from me determining taxable self-employment income by subtracting gross income from gross expenses?

What should we be using to refer to the European-style VAT vs. the VAT thats just income?

Posted by: Stephen Price Blair at October 19, 2011 12:40 PM (QF8uk)

61 Don't let them confuse you with facts or logic, Herman. Stay strong. Stay a true conservative.

Posted by: Christine O'Donnell at October 19, 2011 12:40 PM (f8XyF)

62 Let's keep the same system that has us 15 trillion in debt. Everyone knows that the taxes now in effect are NEVER raised. People who complain about a tax added to the STATE SALES TAX should complain to their own legislature about the tax. This has nothing to do with the Cain proposal. In the Republic of New Jersey we pay a 7 % sales tax. When it was first instituted I believe it was 2 %. The last time it was raised Corslime said it would solve all our problems. Guess what. We need to throw out the entire Federal Tax System and replace it. In NJ we also have a State Income Tax that is graduated. That also works great. The real problem in NJ is the excessive amounts we spend - not how much we tax. We spend over $26,000 per student in Asbury Park. Most of the money comes from those who don't live in Asbury Park. Get real people. We need real change. I would eat SH*T before I vote for Mitt.

Posted by: alans at October 19, 2011 12:40 PM (gf3Qi)

63
56 ...Suksatdeebait
That reads 2 ways and works both.

Posted by: Clutch Cargo at October 19, 2011 12:40 PM (Qxdfp)

64 Just keep attacking any new ideas and eventually, you'll get Romney just like you want.

Posted by: Brainpimp at October 19, 2011 12:41 PM (UQ3Cy)

65 Fine how about we call him by his Native American name: Suksatdeebait.

That's fine. If you pick your potus that way, that's your choice. I don't.

Posted by: Y-not at October 19, 2011 12:41 PM (5H6zj)

66 >> Counterpoint by Arthur Laffer:

Arthur Laffer contributed to the design of 9-9-9. He can't be held out as an objective commenter on it.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 12:41 PM (5Rurq)

67 I think I'm done with Cain. Not so much the plan, which sucks, and would never get past the House, but the political acumen to put something out there that will fodder for opponents.

Posted by: Jean at October 19, 2011 12:41 PM (WkuV6)

68 Why not institute a new Sales Tax on all underwear with super powers?

Posted by: FlaviusJulius at October 19, 2011 12:41 PM (ieDPL)

69 Aw fuck it!!

Let's tear down the man trying to be bold, different and conservative.

Let's push a guy that has increased the size, scope and reach of government.

Let the whole fucking system collapse.

I'm through with RHINO assholes like Romney.

Romeny's going to be the nominee and he's going to lose!!

Posted by: McLovin at October 19, 2011 12:42 PM (j0IcY)

70 Does anyone knows if we'd still file tax returns under 9-9-9? It seems, at least on an individual level at least, there'd be no need.

Posted by: supercore23 at October 19, 2011 12:42 PM (bwV72)

71 Oh good, another chance for me to harp on an old idea: Straight Flat Tax, pick the rate, see how it goes, change the rate to find the peak of the Laffer Curve.

Done. Full Stop. Next Issue.

Posted by: Guy Fawkes at October 19, 2011 12:43 PM (xOy1A)

72 The whole of 9-9-9 is a house of cards built on thin air.

And, it's the first nine that is the shakiest -with the last nine being the most dangerous.

It's simply implausible that Harry Reid's Senate-would vote to decrease the corporate tax rate down to 9%.

(And, it is most likely that the Senate stays in Democrat hands.)

Even if the vote could pass, and that's a huge if- there is no guarantee that businesses would pass on the savings-and if they did-that would take a great deal of time to unwind to the consumer level.

What the government would be bloody efficient at-for once- would be collecting that 9% sale tax.

And the worst of it is we now have a Republican touting a "national sales tax".

That's like when the Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich touted an individual mandate (in response to HillaryCare) and Romney used that to implement Romney Care in Massachusetts -look how Democrats took off to the races with all of that-we ended up with-

ObamaCare.

Posted by: tasker at October 19, 2011 12:43 PM (rJVPU)

73 Reforming the tax code does not mean inventing a new tax.
Taxes multiply just like mushrooms in the dark, and like warts they never go away.
Do not give us a shiny new tax for the money-grubbing statists in DC to start negotiating over (ok we'll lower the VAT but raise the marginal rates on the rich, blah blah blah)
Blast from the past: NO NEW TAXES!

Posted by: Boots at October 19, 2011 12:43 PM (neKzn)

74 Just keep attacking any new ideas and eventually, you'll get Romney just like you want.
The idea behind a primary is to vet and analysis the candidates to determine which one would be the strongest general election candidate who can advance conservative causes.
Simply pointing out the flaws in 9-9-9 is not, be default, an endorsement of Romney.
But to simply sit on the sideline and not say anything and hope the Democrats don't find any flaws in the plan is a bit more optimistic that I would like to be.
And no, many of us who find faults in 9-9-9 are not Romney backers.

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:43 PM (OWjjx)

75 Clean up on comment 69.

McLovin it's going to be okay....we've got the OWS brain trust working the whole "tax reorganization" deal.

Posted by: mare at October 19, 2011 12:44 PM (A98Xu)

76 The good news -- this debate suggests we still think there will actually be an election.

Posted by: USA at October 19, 2011 12:44 PM (6Cjut)

77 (And, it is most likely that the Senate stays in Democrat hands.) No, the Democrats are going to lose the Senate. The math almost dictates that it will happen.

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:44 PM (OWjjx)

78 This post demands to be read in a hectoring Michelle Bachmann voice.

Posted by: Gristle Encased Head at October 19, 2011 12:45 PM (+lsX1)

79 Receipts implies cash-basis, while gross income implies accrual.

Andy, you don't know a damn thing about accounting do you?

This is pure stupidity.

Again, there's plenty wrong with the 999 plan without making stuff up.

Posted by: cherry pi at October 19, 2011 12:45 PM (OhYCU)

80 I'm in the NO NEW TAXES camp.

Get rid of some.

Reorganize others.

But a new one.....pfffffftttttt

Posted by: mare at October 19, 2011 12:46 PM (A98Xu)

81 49 Ace posted the original version of this out of draft, and it was a work-in-process version.

I just updated the post with the one that should have gone up. It includes a couple more tidbits.
Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 12:38 PM (5Rurq)

****

Well-it's flat out devastating-makes you wonder why no one,- not even our own Conservative media has done it.

Posted by: tasker at October 19, 2011 12:46 PM (rJVPU)

82 I don't like it because it will be an increase.

Posted by: FlaviusJulius at October 19, 2011 12:47 PM (ieDPL)

83 Ah, Andy knows a little about accounting.

Careful there.

Posted by: mare at October 19, 2011 12:47 PM (A98Xu)

84 Does anyone knows if we'd still file tax returns under 9-9-9? It seems, at least on an individual level at least, there'd be no need.
The self-employed certainly would. And it would also depend upon how the term "income" is defined under 9-9-9.

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:47 PM (OWjjx)

85 That's fine. If you pick your potus that way, that's your choice. I don't.

1. I HATE Romney. Just in case you think I'm a fanboy.
2. I just don't want to nominate (vote in a primary for) someone who can get beat by Obama in debates with every question designed to puff Obama.

It is a practical consideration. And Perry isn't good (pure) enough in an ideological sense for me to overlook large practical issues.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose Camellia Sinensis Operative at October 19, 2011 12:47 PM (0q2P7)

86
No, the Democrats are going to lose the Senate. The math almost dictates that it will happen.

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:44 PM (OWjjx)
Math is racist

Posted by: The State Media at October 19, 2011 12:48 PM (7BU4a)

87 Careful there.

Bring it.

Posted by: cherry pi at October 19, 2011 12:48 PM (OhYCU)

88 Receipts implies cash-basis, while gross income implies accrual.Andy, you don't know a damn thing about accounting do you?Uhhh...no, Andy is right.
See, IRS Publication 17.

Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:48 PM (OWjjx)

89 The good news -- this debate suggests we still think there will actually be an election.

At this point, I'm discussing 2012, with a "just in case we make it that far" attitude.

Posted by: MikeTheMoose Camellia Sinensis Operative at October 19, 2011 12:48 PM (0q2P7)

90 AS a Romney supporter, I feel it incumbent upon me to day that the Apples/Oranges exchange was dumb or manipulative. If you add a sales tax, but subtract an income tax, you don't necessarily have an additional, higher tax rate.

Posted by: ParisParamus at October 19, 2011 12:48 PM (ddInK)

91 No, the Democrats are going to lose the Senate. The math almost dictates that it will happen.
Posted by: Mallamutt, RINO President for Life at October 19, 2011 12:44 PM (OWjjx)

Mallamutt-man I hope you are right-maybe I should take a second look at it.

I know the Dems have some 23 seats to defend.

But there is the incumbency factor, and the way Republicans have the ability to snatch defeat from the Jaws of Victory....gawd.

I think we are seeing it right now in the Presidential race....

Posted by: tasker at October 19, 2011 12:49 PM (rJVPU)

92
Are we up to that time of day when we get a thread that doesn't suck yet?
Posted by: FlaviusJulius





Hey, at least this thread is getting a lot of page-views from autistic CPAs...

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at October 19, 2011 12:49 PM (/qkBU)

93 "Bring it."

HAHAHAHAHA....Are you high?

Posted by: mare at October 19, 2011 12:50 PM (A98Xu)

94 1. I HATE Romney. Just in case you think I'm a fanboy.
IMO, a Romney victory might be the worst of all possible results of the 2012 presidential election.

With a Republican competently presiding over the Obamaconomy the bureaucratic left can go back to slowly boiling the taxpaying frogs instead of Obama's inept management of state socialism.

Posted by: 18-1 at October 19, 2011 12:50 PM (7BU4a)

95 Raising taxes is not the answer. Cut spending.

Posted by: FlaviusJulius at October 19, 2011 12:50 PM (ieDPL)

96 60
"What should we be using to refer to the European-style VAT vs. the VAT thats just income?"

Usually those in the tax biz use the words "corporate income tax" for that.

Posted by: Sayyid at October 19, 2011 12:52 PM (YoRz/)

97 I noticed that FoxNews this morning really played up the Perry Romney spat last night. They showed the clip over and over. But they always cut the clip off before Romney made his infamous statement about telling his gardener to get rid of the illegals because he was running for office for pete's sake. To me, that's a most telling statement that Romney let slip under pressure from Perry. Too bad no one's playing it up.

Posted by: Havedash at October 19, 2011 12:53 PM (sFD5n)

98 38 Why did Cain stake his campaign on a specific, gimmicky sounding tax plan that wouldn't stand a chance of passing even if people liked it? Huge unforced error.

^This.

Posted by: tasker at October 19, 2011 12:54 PM (rJVPU)

99 My other concern with the plan is that it started from current budgets. I'd start by cutting current govt. spending, not using that as a baseline.

Posted by: Tesh at October 19, 2011 12:54 PM (cnjni)

100 Second look at me.

Guys, for my 8 years in office, I'll never sit on a single couch. Deal?

Posted by: Newt Gingrich at October 19, 2011 12:55 PM (usXZy)

101 33 So to sum up, our choices are:RINO RomneyShamensty PerryVAT CainWhat the hell? Who is next? Santorum?
You are missing Newt dude. Knowledgeable, accomplished, and able to think on his feet.

Posted by: Sub-Tard at October 19, 2011 12:56 PM (0M3AQ)

102 We get this because we do not have candidates that are bold and original. We all know we need to have a flat tax, or fair tax, but instead everyone wants to propose something half way there, or even worse, tinker around with capital gains, or maximum tax rates.

In the same way the candidates all still seem to suck the ass of the MSM. How come not one of them challenged that fucking Anderson Cooper for labeling the TEA Party with a pornographic term as "Tea Baggers." While fawning over the filthy hippies at OWS? Only Newt seems to consistently go after the real enemy. And the Romney/Perry show is disgusting to me. Perry seems like an idiot trying to nail Romney about his leaf-blower issue, this was vetted years ago. Is he stupid? He comes across as stupid.

Posted by: Jehu at October 19, 2011 12:56 PM (Tp2RC)

103 they always cut the clip off before Romney made his infamous statement about telling his gardener to get rid of the illegals because he was running for office for pete's sake.

Yikes, I didn't even think of that.

I was too distracted by his face turning red and his hand shoving Perry's shoulder.

Remember when Lazio and Gore lost their debates because they invaded the other candidate's physical space?

Posted by: tasker at October 19, 2011 12:56 PM (rJVPU)

104 66 >> Counterpoint by Arthur Laffer:Arthur Laffer contributed to the design of 9-9-9. He can't be held out as an objective commenter on it.
Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 12:41 PM (5Rurq)
Fair enough, but in some ways that's even better, since you want well-respected experts designing your new plans, right?
I think it's all moot anyway now, since A) 9-9-9 wouldn't pass even if Cain was elected, and B) Cain apparently comitted (political) suicide last night.
It's time to pin all our hopes on Perry, I guess, even though Romney seems to have the cash and the establishment (and RINO) support needed to get himself nominated. After that, well, I'm already drinking heavily, so who knows?

Posted by: Lance McCormick at October 19, 2011 12:59 PM (zgHLA)

105 If Newt promised to shun anyone who discusses with seriousness any policy proposals about GW I would happily vote for him.

Posted by: mare at October 19, 2011 12:59 PM (A98Xu)

106 You are missing Newt dude. Knowledgeable, accomplished, and able to think on his feet.

Posted by: Sub-Tard at October 19, 2011 12:56 PM (0M3AQ)
I wouldn't kick him off the couch.

Posted by: Nancy pelosi at October 19, 2011 12:59 PM (7BU4a)

107 they always cut the clip off before Romney made his infamous
statement about telling his gardener to get rid of the illegals because
he was running for office for pete's sake.


FF is really a joke on
this this morning. They love the shit out of the controversy and fight, they
bashed Perry for dirty attacks and Gretchen thought bringing up hiring
illegals for lawn work was a low blow because it was covered in 2008.


Posted by: Vic at October 19, 2011 01:00 PM (YdQQY)

108 Also Perry has this disgusted facial expression he puts on while other candidates are talking. Anyone still vested in Perry is wasting their time. He is not ready and this is twice where he said he would have some details about his plans in a couple of days. Shit I am not running at all, and I have ten plans in my head for what needs to be done to unleash this economy.

Posted by: Jehu at October 19, 2011 01:00 PM (Tp2RC)

109 The full-court press on Cain today is pretty funny to see.

I guess some folks are getting desperate.

Posted by: Emperor of Icecream at October 19, 2011 01:01 PM (epBek)

110 Newt is a POS good for only one thing, attacking the press.

Posted by: Vic at October 19, 2011 01:02 PM (YdQQY)

111 Lance @104, no disagreements. I wish Laffer had disclosed his assistance with the design in that WSJ piece.

I found out about his involvement here.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 01:04 PM (5Rurq)

112 Am I going to have to hold y nose AGAIN when I vote for the GOP candidate next November? When will the GOP give me a candidate who's strongest point is something other than, "I'm not as bad as the other guy?"

Posted by: Diffus at October 19, 2011 01:09 PM (HmSSN)

113 The distinction between a corporate income tax and a VAT is so blurry at the margins that it doesn't much matter what Cain is calling it.

Going back to the text:

"Gross income less all purchases from other U.S. located businesses, all capital investment, and net exports."

In other words, the plan is to take the current corporate tax structure, only you can deduct (instead of capitalize then depreciate) capital investments, can deduct purchases from US businesses which don't count as investments, and you can deduct income from exports.

Do those categories of deductions turn an "income tax" into a VAT? Who gives a crap. That's just terminology.

Posted by: Sayyid at October 19, 2011 01:09 PM (YoRz/)

114 Diffus@112: When will the GOP give me a candidate who's strongest point is something other than, "I'm not as bad as the other guy?"

When you stop voting for them? As long as youre going to hold your nose and vote Republican no matter what, they have no real incentive to care what you think.

Posted by: Stephen Price Blair at October 19, 2011 01:11 PM (QF8uk)

115 Do those categories of deductions turn an "income tax" into a VAT? Who gives a crap. That's just terminology.

Other than double taxation of salaries and wages for the first time in history, I guess you're right. Nothing but terminology.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 01:12 PM (5Rurq)

116 Newt is a POS good for only one thing, attacking the press.

I'm also pretty good at welfare reform and balancing the budget.

Posted by: Newt Gingrich at October 19, 2011 01:13 PM (usXZy)

117 I'm going to punch Andy in the stomach at the next Moron Meetup.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at October 19, 2011 01:14 PM (l9zgN)

118 Laffer did say on Bret Baer's show last week that he was consulted on it ahead of time, but yeah, full disclosure is always good.
I actually like a lot of it-- it's designed to hit everyone, because no single one affects everyone the same way. (The national sales tax part encourages savings, and hits those who spend the hardest, etc.)
But the Devil's in the details, and it's not like Cain has some other great plan or other thing to recommend him. "Wonder-CEO" only goes so far when, as Ace said, he seems to have no fricking idea about national security issues and other stuff we talk about all the time.

Posted by: Lance McCormick at October 19, 2011 01:17 PM (zgHLA)

119 115, Other than double taxation of salaries and wages for the first time in history, I guess you're right. Nothing but terminology.

OK, now you jumped off the ledge.

Dude, I am arresting you for impersonating a CPA. Spread em'

Posted by: cherry pi at October 19, 2011 01:19 PM (OhYCU)

120 A "subtraction method VAT" is nothing more than an income tax with a couple of lines scratched out on the tax form. Someone had to dig deep into the accounting bee library to find this one.

A real European VAT laughs in the face of a fake subtraction VAT.


Posted by: cherry pi at October 19, 2011 01:21 PM (OhYCU)

121 "Other than double taxation of salaries and wages for the first time in history, I guess you're right. Nothing but terminology."

So, again, it's the income tax scratching out the ATL deduction for "wages" and adding ATL deductions for "exports" and "capital expenditures."

What's so horrible about this?

Posted by: Sayyid at October 19, 2011 01:27 PM (YoRz/)

122 Any tax plan needs a very very broad base of support so you don't get gutter-sniped by goofballs (ahem).

The 999 plan is DOA anyway. It has no support.

The Fair Tax has been around a while and stands a much better chance of passing.

Posted by: cherry pi at October 19, 2011 01:31 PM (OhYCU)

123 What's so horrible about this?

Nothing, as long as you're ok with taxing labor-intensive businesses at a much higher rate than non-labor intensive businesses under something billed as a "flat tax".

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 01:31 PM (5Rurq)

124 an deduct purchases from US businesses which don't count as investments, and you can deduct income from exports.
1.) What the hell is that???? What is that? 'US Businesses'. ???? How we will handle tax deductions for materials based on their point of origin?
2.) So if I go to the appropriate foreign country I can buy US products cheaper than in the US because it won't have the sales tax?
I thought that was a big plus, that foreigners would pay part of our taxes for us.
Why the hell should we exempt exports when we have a sales tax? That's kindabullshit. Fuck the 'trade balance' I really don't care if we export all or nothing. Why does the damn Cannuck get the same shit for less?
You know I'm just going to buy everything off the Canuck now and save 6%, right?

Posted by: Entropy at October 19, 2011 01:32 PM (XxXUI)

125 Nothing, as long as you're ok with taxing labor-intensive businesses at a
much higher rate than non-labor intensive businesses under something
billed as a "flat tax".

Let's see... 35% or 9%???

Please make it stop.

Posted by: cherry pi at October 19, 2011 01:35 PM (OhYCU)

126 Fuck the 'trade balance' I really don't care if we export all or nothing. Posted by: Entropy

I sincerely hope you don't wonder why people ignore you.

Posted by: weft cut-loop at October 19, 2011 01:36 PM (LHi9T)

127 Anyone still vested in Perry is wasting their time. He is not ready and this is twice where he said he would have some details about his plans in a couple of days. Shit I am not running at all, and I have ten plans in my head for what needs to be done to unleash this economy.
I'm not running at all and I know what the Right of Return is, and I know the US does not negotiate with terrorists.
Perry is not ready compared to whom? Michelle Bachmann? Herman Cain? Mitt Romney?
I'll take Cain or Bachmann without much fuss, but I don't think you have that deal all sewn up there.

Posted by: Entropy at October 19, 2011 01:36 PM (XxXUI)

128 I sincerely hope you don't wonder why people ignore you.
You're really all hard on that the world will fall apart if we don't have the "trade balance" just right?
Please explain to me how the living hell you unbalance trade.
If I give all my money to the Swiss in exchange for gold, they will have all our money.... but we will have all their gold.
There will be a "gold imbalance". Nobody cares about that though. That's irrelevant.
But the paper denomination balance, why, that's sacrosanct. Contradict someone on that, and they're liable to ignore you. Oh noes.

Posted by: Entropy at October 19, 2011 01:39 PM (XxXUI)

129 >> Let's see... 35% or 9%???

See. If only it were that simple.

You realize that a 9% rate applied to a much higher base can yield an effective tax rate in excess of 35% don't you?

As a matter of fact, you can have an accounting loss and still have a tax liability under 9-9-9.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 01:51 PM (HXLDG)

130 So, am I coming to understand that if we nominate Cain we must embrace not only sales taxes, but economic protectionism?

Posted by: Entropy at October 19, 2011 01:51 PM (XxXUI)

131 The information you are posting ACE, is inaccurate. The VAT is not a sales tax. If we are going to critique Cain, let's do it with honest information.

A Value Added Tax VAT, is a tax all along the distribution chain of a product. This sales Tax only taxes at the endpoint retail counter.

There is a reason that Paul Ryan supports the plan...that Art Laffer supports the plan. The Club for Growth Supports the Plan....it is a viable plan, that with refinements will spur jobs and growth in the US economy.

econus.blogspot.com
http://www.econusblogspot.com

Posted by: RBMiller at October 19, 2011 01:52 PM (/vPaz)

132 Thank you, Andy. You summarized that point better than I would have.

Since you seem to understand accounting better than most here, let me ask you a question: if you are allowed to deduct "net exports" from gross receipts, but are in fact a huge net importer of goods and materials (think Walmart), do you now have to pay the 9% on all of your imports?

Posted by: TH at October 19, 2011 01:54 PM (T8AL6)

133 1) You realize that a 9% rate applied to a much higher base can yield an effective tax rate in excess of 35% don't you?



2) As a matter of fact, you can have an accounting loss and still have a tax liability under 9-9-9.
OK, now we are talking facts. Finally. Sorta.

1) Maybe, maybe not. Capex is not expensed currently, so its hard to say if it's a higher or lower base.

2) Again it goes both ways because of capital expenditures being "deductible" under 999.

Posted by: cherry pi at October 19, 2011 02:01 PM (OhYCU)

134 I'd support an 18% flat tax replacing what we have now. Certainly the system we have no is awful.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at October 19, 2011 02:04 PM (r4wIV)

135 LOL, guys read this again...this is just terminology used in an admittedly, awkward way. They are not saying this is a Value Added Tax.

"A business transactions tax would radically broaden the base for businesses. Each business would pay tax on gross receipts less payments to other businesses. Allowing the subtraction of payments for intermediate goods yields the value added by the company. Subtracting investment as well yields a subtraction method value-added tax."

"pay tax on gross receipts less payments to other businesses. "

This represents that is is NOT a VAT.

" Allowing the subtraction of payments for intermediate goods yields the value added by the company."

...same here...not a VAT...

"Subtracting investment as well yields a subtraction method value-added tax."

This again would be good for business...meaning they won't be taxing investment...the independent analysis used a poor choice of words here. But they are not saying it is a VAT, they are explaining from a "value-added tax" perspective.

econus.blogspot.com

Posted by: RBMiller at October 19, 2011 02:14 PM (/vPaz)

136 But they are not saying it is a VAT, they are explaining from a "value-added tax" perspective.

Question: What does VAT stand for?

Look, I'm not really even against a the concept of a VAT inasmuch as a flat tax is one and that's something I'm for. And I'm not strongly against the Fair Tax in principle; I just think it'll be a cold day in hell before the 16th amendment is repealed.

But when Cain's own experts call his business flat tax a VAT, I find it astounding that people continue to argue that it isn't.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 02:26 PM (5Rurq)

137 cherry pi: although capital expenditures are currently not expensed, they are deducted via various depreciation schedules. In any given year, the deductions for capital expenditures made over a number of years probably approximate what they would be if all expenditures were expensed immediately.

In addition, the new non-deductibility of wages under 999 guarantees a higher base for all corporations (but the effect is worst on labor-intensive businesses).

Incidentally, this is where someone upthread gets the double-taxation of wages argument. Wages are no longer deductible, so the corporation pays taxes on the portion of its gross receipts that goes to pay its workers...then the workers pay 9% on top of that.


Posted by: TH at October 19, 2011 02:28 PM (T8AL6)

138 if you are allowed to deduct "net exports" from gross receipts, but are
in fact a huge net importer of goods and materials (think Walmart), do
you now have to pay the 9% on all of your imports?

Wal-Mart's tax rate will necessarily skyrocket.

As I read it, they won't be able to deduct the cost of the Chinese goods they sell in determining their business flat tax liability.

Of course a "US located business" could be a Chinese subsidiary located in the US set up expressly for this purpose. Or not.

From the sketchy details we have so far, there's no way to know.

Incidentally, this leads to another criticism I have of the plan. I think it's fanciful to believe the IRS is going to be shuttered if it is enacted.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 02:31 PM (5Rurq)

139 Perry just came out for a flat tax.

Posted by: Jean at October 19, 2011 02:45 PM (WkuV6)

140 If we can get enough different people to post on ace of spades how bad Cain is maybe we can force republicans to vote for the person of our choice. If we pretend to do it covertly we can at the same time convince our readers that the MSM is trying to promote their particular candidate.

Posted by: our staff at October 19, 2011 02:45 PM (gUGI6)

141 "Modified VAT" = regular fucking retail sales tax...added at the point of sale.
Shit, this blog has more spin than fucking pMSNBC.

Posted by: FreedomFighte at October 19, 2011 02:46 PM (q/891)

142 "Question: What does VAT stand for?"

That's a circular argument. They are describing the perspective...as they analyze it. You show me in a non defining section of the document, say in the summary...where they say the 999 Plan is a VAT. They do not, because it isn't.

The real question is not what does VAT stand for. The question is what does a VAT do.

A Vat taxes all along the distribution chain...which clearly, as described above, the 999 Plan does not do.

econus.blogspot.com



Posted by: RBMiller at October 19, 2011 02:46 PM (/vPaz)

143 >> "Modified VAT" = regular fucking retail sales tax...added at the point of sale.

Can you read?

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 02:57 PM (HXLDG)

144 #141 and #14 have it. This post comes across as a lame attempt to smear Herman Cain.
That said, it is fair to understand that income tax reform is incremental, not epic, and to disagree with Herman Cain accordingly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at October 19, 2011 02:58 PM (ujg0T)

145 And as an added bonus, because your in country purchases are deductable, but your out of country purchases aren't....you get to initate a trade war with 9-9-9.
You say "trade war" (with Red China) like that is a bad thing....

Posted by: Curmudgeon at October 19, 2011 03:00 PM (ujg0T)

146 Yeah, you caught me.

I smeared Cain by linking to his website.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 03:10 PM (HXLDG)

147 You say "trade war" (with Red China) like that is a bad thing....
That would be an unmitigated fucking disaster.
Can you say 9% employment?

Posted by: Entropy at October 19, 2011 03:18 PM (XxXUI)

148 Hey Andy, I think we are talking past each other on this terminology...like the site....

So, who do you support?

Unless Perry can resurrect his campaign, he's done. Which leaves Romney or Cain. Cain is kicking ass in the polls. That's not a tough choice for me.

econus.blogspot.com

Posted by: RBMiller at October 19, 2011 04:04 PM (/vPaz)

149 I'm on Team Perry. If it came down to Cain vs. Mitt at primary time, I'd vote for Cain.

It'll be a cold day in hell before I vote for Mitt. Might as well leave the SCOAMF in there if the best we can do is appoint Mitt as caretaker of the liberals' welfare state.

Posted by: Andy at October 19, 2011 04:28 PM (5Rurq)

150 Glad to see you are not on the Mittens Kittens club lol.

I was Palin and then had to decide between Perry and Cain...Perry's Fosberry flop out of the gate made me a Cain leaner.

Perry is far from done though...but he has a lot of work to do....he has the organization and money. I think both Perry and Cain are legitimate conservatives and relative to Romney, outstanding conservatives.

RB
econus.blogspot.com

Posted by: RBMiller at October 19, 2011 04:37 PM (/vPaz)

151 Yup.
Perry ain't done and wishing won't make it so.
But if it comes down to it, I'll be more than happy to go with Cain.
They're both lighyears better than Romney or Obama.

Posted by: Entropy at October 19, 2011 04:40 PM (XxXUI)

152 ... except that when asked, over and over, and including on the website, he clearly, over and over, states he would REPEAL the income tax FIRST. It's intellectually dishonest Read: LYING to claim Cain is for a VAT tax.

Posted by: Schlippy, Gun Toting Capitalist at October 19, 2011 04:48 PM (xm1A1)

153 Just because Cain isn't quite ready for President is no insult to this great guy.

He speaks some core truths with refreshing sincerity. But he's obviously not the right guy.

I think this is part of why he's unwilling to truly criticize Romney. He's not secure in his political abilities.

Not meant as catty here. I just don't think he's the right nominee. And Romney clearly isn't.

Newt or Perry, IMO.

Posted by: Dustin at October 19, 2011 05:01 PM (fF625)

154 999% genetically altered VAT hybrid apple/orange

Posted by: didn't take long at October 19, 2011 05:11 PM (lpWVn)

155 Obama is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a miserable failure.

Posted by: steevy at October 19, 2011 05:55 PM (fyOgS)

156 You really make it seem so uderstandable with your presentation but I find this topic before really hard to understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.

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157
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159 I hope you never stop! This is one of the best blogs Ive ever read. Youve got some mad skill here, man. I just hope that you dont lose your style because youre definitely one of the coolest bloggers out there. Please keep it up because the internet needs someone like you spreading the word.

Posted by: The Rare Find ePub at October 19, 2011 11:25 PM (EEm/+)

160 Andy, first, thanks for posting this.

Second, when you say "... a point which has been made countless times here at the HQ," I'd just like to point out I've been trying to follow this VAT thing here all week and this is the first time I've seen this explained. (Though you did briefly mention this in the 'heat' thread earlier.)

True, once a new thread comes up, I haven't gone back to the old ones, so maybe the excellent explanation I was hoping for was posted after that.

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