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Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 10/18/2011

Herman Cain’s national sales tax conundrum


After rhetorically spanking Republican presidential front-runner Herman Cain for his “stupid” defense of his  “9-9-9” plan — especially his advocacy of a 9 percent national sales tax on “new goods, not used goods” — I’m beginning to wonder if maybe I’m the one who’s stupid. See, I saw something this morning that has me wondering.

The worst idea is a proposed national sales tax, which is a disguised VAT (value added tax) on top of everything we already pay in federal taxes.... A national retail sales tax on top of all the confusing and unfair taxes we have today is insane! It gives the out-of-control bureaucrats and politicians in denial one more tool to lie, deceive, manipulate and destroy this country.

The reason I’m feeling stupid is because the author of the words above is one Herman Cain in an opinion piece for the Daily Caller on Nov. 22, 2010. He was railing against the idea of a national sales tax as proposed by the Bipartisan Policy Center. So, if it was a bad idea nearly a year ago, why isn’t it a bad idea now?

This confusion reminds me of when Gov. Rick Perry (R-Tex.) and his campaign tripped all over his accusation that Social Security was a Ponzi scheme in his book “Fed Up!” At first, his campaign tried to put distance between Perry and a book published the same month Cain came out against a national sales tax. But at his first debate as a candidate, Perry doubled down on the Ponzi scheme assertion.

Tonight, we’ll see if Cain doubles down at the GOP debate in Las Vegas. The pressure will be on since this will be his first debate as the undisputed front-runner for the presidential nomination and since his garbled “9-9-9” explanation on “Meet the Press.” All I want is for Cain to clear up whether he is for a national sales tax or not. And while he’s at it, he can clear up this “new goods, not used goods” thing, too. As Cain has said, “Stupid people are ruining America” because they “are uninformed” and “will not look at an alternate idea.” With Cain’s help, my goal is to be less “stupid.”

By  |  01:00 PM ET, 10/18/2011

 
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