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Hermanís 9-9-9, with a twist

Do you remember Herman Cainís 9-9-9 proposal? As a Republican candidate for President, Herman created shock waves last year when he proposed that America eliminate the existing tax code and replace it with a 9% tax on personal income, a 9% business tax and a 9% national sales tax.

Forget about the 9ís for a moment Ė they can be tweaked. But wouldnít it make things easier for everyone to understand if we had a system like this in place? After all, the knock on the Democrats is Ďall they do is tax and spendí. The Republicans on the other hand want to Ďtake your money and give loopholesí to the rich.

An argument against the flat tax is that the poor would pay more taxes. This is true. Those making $100 may not be paying today, but would pay $9 under Hermanís plan. So letís make a slight enhancement. Raise the standard deduction Ė to perhaps 9K. Hermanís plan now becomes 9-9-9-9, but the code is simplified, the system is easier to navigate and the accountability becomes more transparent. After all, tax increases would be much harder to hide. The taxpayers would only have to monitor 4 numbers.

The 2012 IRS tax code was 73,608 pages long.  We could fit Hermanís on a post-it. Maybe itís time to take a closer look.

Mark Schuster, Partner

January 27, 2013

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