The Big Story Blog

Republicans beat up each other and some facts, too

Posted at 7:38 AM on October 19, 2011 by Jon Gordon
Filed under: Politics

Facts took a beating in last night's Republican presidential debate, as did Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan. Viewers were also treated to heated exchanges between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

Read more in this AP analysis of last night's debate.

Excerpt:

HERMAN CAIN: "It does not raise taxes on those that are making the least."

THE FACTS: An independent analysis of his tax plan, released Tuesday, concluded otherwise. The Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank, said Cain's plan would increase taxes on 84 percent of U.S. households, hitting low- and medium-income households the hardest. The analysis said that households making $10,000 to $20,000 would see whopping tax increases averaging $2,705 _ an increase of nearly 950 percent.

The rich, however, would get big tax cuts, the analysis said.

Cain's plan would scrap current taxes on income, payroll, capital gains and corporate profits. He would replace them with a 9 percent tax on income, a 9 percent business tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.

The study is in line with economic theorists _ whether on the left or right _ who note that sales taxes tend to hit low-income families the hardest because they spend more of their income than wealthier families do.

Unlike most states, Cain's plan would not exempt food or medicine from sales taxes. Used items, however, would be exempt.

Cain said his plan would create zones where people and businesses could get additional tax deductions, which would reduce taxes for low-income people. The Tax Policy Center said it did not take the zones into account because the Cain campaign did not provide any details on how they would work.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.