Herman Cain’s Fuzzy Math

Guest Blogger: Mike Sax

CNBC seems to be rather smitten with Cain as he has won some unexpected straw polls and his numbers have risen nationally. At present he is now ahead of presumed main challenger to Romney, Rick Perry.

Mr. Cain, who has had some very nice things to say about low income Americans and the Occupy Wall Street protests — like if you’re not rich it’s your fault and that the protesters are “un-American” — now claims that his tax proposal will benefit these same low income Americans who are so ignorant of their own interests.

His proposal-described apocalyptically enough as the only one that will “blow up the tax code” — he dubs the 9-9-9. Basically, it’s a flat tax. He claims that it’s not regressive which means that he is mistaken on at least one count. As a flat tax is inherently regressive it can’t be both flat and not regressive.

His rationale for saying it isn’t regressive is fairly spotty too it must be said, “No, it is not regressive,” he said. “First of all, by putting it on sales tax — that third ‘9’ — we are going to pick up revenue that we are not getting today. That helps to lower the rate for everybody including the people that are making the least amount of money.”

For his fully laid out proposal see http://www.hermancain.com/999plan

A sales tax, “that third “9” ” how does a sales tax make his plan not regressive? A sales tax is by definition a regressive tax. He also claims that it will raise revenue. Sure, it’s gonna raise revenue while lowering the corporate tax rate to 9 percent and eliminating the capital gains tax. The usual supply side delusions.

Only thing missing from his plan is a proposal to square the circle.

Cross-posted at Diary of a Republican Hater

Projecting Wishes and Dreams onto the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Guest Blogger: Joan Ruaiz

Initially, the Occupy Wall Street movement was ignored by the corporate media. The networks and cable outfits figured that perhaps after a few days, the movement would simply go away. But it didn’t, and in fact, the movement gained more sympathy than scorn from various factions for different reasons.

It’s been almost humorous watching the media insist that OWS needs to “define” itself in order to “achieve” their (unstated) goals. They need to have a list of clear demands, news anchors on the six o’clock news bellowed. But once again, the corporate media misses the obvious mark. For one, “Occupy Wall Street” is a moniker that speaks for itself. No explanation is needed, if one reflects on the current turmoil that our nation is experiencing. In a Twitter-oriented society, it helps, not hinders, to label a movement with a general descriptive tag that is short and inclusive.

It is not a mystery that there is a general consensus that Wall Street’s gains have not alleviated the misery of those on Main Street. “The 99%”, which is a self-conferred name, has also provided a connective link to the general public. What could be so wrong about a movement that calls itself the overwhelming majority? After all, most folks know doggone well that they aren’t part of the 1%. So both the name of the movement as well as that of its participants have allowed a visceral kinship to ordinary Americans without even trying, something the media doesn’t quite yet comprehended. The OWS’s truth in labeling is its connective strength that could be key to its eventual success, however that success materializes.

Also, the recorded acts of police brutality perpetuated upon the young, peaceful protestors certainly helped foster public sympathy early in the movement’s plight. As YouTube provided visual footage of inexplicable police action against peaceful protestors, that pitiful sight allowed a large segment of the public to side with the defenseless. This has always been the case in prior successful movements. Americans who might have otherwise paid no attention realized that the young women being pepper sprayed could be their own daughter or granddaughter who showed up to protest their lack of finding a job after graduating from college. These events had an impact.

Continue reading