Cain Vs. Obama: A Comparison of Economic Issues

A breakdown of the numbers and the issues

Face off. (Image: Getty)

If you think Herman Cain versus Barack Obama is not possible, think again.

Just as President Obama defied the odds when he scored a decisive 2008 election victory, so too is Cain so far defying the odds with his unlikely status as the Republican Presidential frontrunner.

A mid-October 2011 Rasmussen survey of likely U.S. voters even showed Cain garnering 43% support, while Obama earned 41%. So again, anything can happen.

Whether or not Cain can maintain his popularity and ultimately earn the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012 remains to be seen. Meantime, here’s a look at how Cain stacks up against Obama, based purely on economic issues.

Taxes

Cain: His tax and economic policy can be summed up as the “9-9-9 Plan.” Under this proposal, Cain would overhaul America’s current tax code with a 9% personal income tax, a 9% business transactions tax, and a 9% federal sales tax. Cain has touted his plan as one that “expands the base” of taxpayers, thereby allowing the “lowest possible” rate of taxes for everyone.

But others have challenged Cain’s figures and assumptions, arguing instead that the poor would bear a greater tax burden. Other critics have even ridiculed “9-9-9” as lacking in merit and substance. In response, Cain recently tweaked his plan to carve out exclusions for low-income Americans. Nevertheless, Cain is steadfastly defending his idea, which would ultimately involve abolishing the IRS as we know it, removing all payroll taxes, reducing capital gains taxes, and eliminating the death tax.

Obama: The President has consistently called for “comprehensive tax reform” via greater tax breaks for the poor and middle class and increased taxes on America’s wealthiest citizens – especially millionaires and billionaires. At a fundraiser in Dallas in October, the president told the crowd: “I’ll tell you what, if asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher or a bus driver makes me a warrior for the middle class, I will wear that charge with honor.”

Highlights of other tax-related proposals by Obama include: allowing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for upper income earners to expire ($866 billion); limiting deductions and exclusions for those earning above $250,000 annually ($410 billion); and closing corporate loopholes and eliminating special interest tax breaks (roughly $300 billion).

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  • John Prine

    Your description is obviously bias toward Obama. You fail to point out that Cains plan would collect money from all the drug dealers, illegals, people who work for cash under the table ect. with the consumtion tax. It would also eliminate the freeloaders who get a refund paid for by the tax payer when they have done nothing but taken from the system and not paid anything in. Everyone should pay something if it’s only $100.

  • Gene Poole

    The Presidents spend, spend and more spending plan will eat up any tax increases, even if we take everything the Rich own.

  • Dennis Nelson

    Well Both Obama And Cain Tax Plan Will Sure Get A Close-Up Look From The People Who Are The So-Called Tax Experts And Hopefully Their Analysis Will Give One Of Them Other The Thumps-Up!

  • Deb Plackett

    This article is fruitless, as neither Cain or Obama will be an issue come 2013. The American people have seen and experienced enough from two mouth pieces that have no real concerns for America but instead for their own personal power. You can thank Mr. Obama for making the first “black” president a farce.

    • Catalina

      Regarding the rate … why is our current inmcoe tax rate acceptable, but the proposed FairTax rate isn’t? Because you’ll see it all the time rather than once a year? The rate is designed to be federal revenue neutral (i.e., to raise the same amount of revenue as the federal inmcoe tax et al. does now)–so the cost of government on the country is already equivalent to the FairTax rate. If the FairTax’s proposed rate is too high, what that really means is that the cost of government is too high. Of course we already knew that … but at least we’d be reminded of it on every purchase we make, and maybe at last work up enough consistent outrage across the country to actually do something about it. The cost of government should be out in the open and in our faces, not hidden by being divided up and rarely seen as it is now.

    • Marjolein

      Just whom do you have in mind as someone who could eialsy beat a sitting president by attracting votes from the center? Attracting the right wing is necessary but not sufficient. The always frowning Republicans in Congress or the governors attacking their own workers and immigrants who do so much of the nation’s work? All the pandering to the social conservatives doesn’t do much to attract the center voters who want economic solutions other than the trickle-down ideas of cutting the tax burden on the rich and corporate. Don’t the supply-siders ever learn? Not if they spend their time in an echo chamber. People who are hurting and scared would prefer leaders who are trying to do something.