In response to some of his GOP opponents criticisms that his 9-9-9 tax plan would penalize the poor, Herman Cain has included a provision for his plan that would eliminate the income tax component of the plan for those at or below the poverty level. In other words, for low-income people the plan is a 9-0-9 plan.
Although the 9-9-9/9-0-9 is an improvement over the original 9-9-9, there are a few remaining problems. Phil Klein notes that cutting income taxes for poor folks means a loss of revenue (meaning that rates will likely have to rise to raise the revenue Cain wants) and a loss of simplicity, which was the 9-9-9’s key selling point.
Those are just details, though. For the campaign trail, the larger issue might be that its effects on the poor were only one problem with the 9-9-9 plan. There are many more that Cain hasn’t addressed. Now that he’s addressed one objection, Cain may have committed himself to spending a lot of time revising and defending his plan, when he could be better served focusing on other campaign issues.
Update: See Quin Hillyer’s response.