The first question of the night asked of the candidates was "What's your position on replacing the federal income tax with a federal sales tax?" After asking the general question to all the candidates, CNN's Anderson Cooper specifically asked Congresswoman Michele Bachmann why she believes Hermain Cain's 9-9-9 plan, which calls for a 9% sales tax, a 9% income tax, and 9% corporate tax, would destroy our country?
Essentially, Bachman makes two points. The first is that if we were to give Congress a 9% sales tax, then it would only be a matter of time before Washington increases it. She continues saying "we also have to be concerned about the hidden tax of the value-added tax, because at every step and stage of production, you’d be taxing that item 9 percent on the profit. That’s the worry." When asked whether she "would raise taxes on the 47 percent of Americans who currently don’t pay taxes," Bachmann said "I believe absolutely every American benefits by this magnificent country. Absolutely every American should pay something, even if it’s a dollar. Everyone needs to pay something in this country. That’s why with my tax plan, I take a page out of not theory but what’s provable and what works. What is provable and what works was the economic miracle that was wrought by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. That’s the plan that I look at. I also want to completely abolish the tax code. I want to flatten the tax for all of Americans, simplify that tax for all of Americans. And that creates job growth, which is exactly what we need to have."
Santorum is asked if Cain's Tax Plan will raise taxes, and Santorum says "reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan. That's the analysis. And it makes sense, because when...you don’t provide a standard deduction, when you don’t provide anything for low-income individuals, and you have a sales tax and an income tax and...a value-added tax, which is really what his corporate tax is, we’re talking about major increases in taxes on people." Santorum also criticizes the plan as taxing single Americans as much as a family of three. According to Santorum, "since we’ve had the income tax in America, we’ve always taken advantage of the fact that we want to encourage people to — to have children and not have to pay more already to raise children, but also pay that additional taxes — we gave some breaks for families. He doesn’t do that in this bill."
Anderson Cooper tells us Texas has a 6.25% sales tax, and then asks Governor Perry "would taxpayers pay more under the 9-9-9 plan?" Perry responds by saying "you don't need to have a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire where they don't have a sales tax and you're fixing to give them one. They’re not interested in 9-9-9. What they’re interested in is flatter and fairer...right here in Nevada you’ve got 8-plus percent. You want nine cents on top of that, and nine cents on a new home — or 9 percent on a new home, 9 percent on your Social Security, 9 percent more? I don't think so, Herman. It's not going to fly."
Cooper states Paul called Cain's plan dangerous and wants him to elaborate. Paul says it is "because it raises revenues, and the worst part about it, it’s regressive. A lot of people aren’t paying any taxes, and I like that. I don’t think that we should even things up by raising taxes. So it is a regressive tax. So it’s very, very dangerous. And it will raise more revenues. But the gentlemen asked the question...what are you going to replace the income tax with? And I say nothing. That’s what we should replace it with. I do want to make a point that spending is....
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