Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan
Cain's plan puts burden on poor
Under Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, the richest Americans would pay a negligible percentage of their income in federal taxes. Cain is proposing a 9 percent individual income tax, a 9 percent corporate income tax and a 9 percent national sales tax. Capital gains and dividends would be excluded from income under the 9 percent income tax plan, and only charitable contributions would be allowed as a deduction.
The tax cut that those with big incomes would realize under the Cain plan can be illustrated by comparing the average income tax paid by the top 400 taxpayers in 2007 with what they would have paid if the Cain plan had been in effect. IRS statistics show the average tax paid in 2007 by the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes was $57 million, or 16.6 percent of the $345 million average adjusted gross income on these returns. If the Cain plan had been in effect in 2007, the taxpayers in this top group would have paid an average income tax of about $5.5 million, or less than 2 percent of their average income.
Most lower-income Americans would pay considerably more in federal taxes under the Cain plan. Even though the Cain plan would eliminate payroll taxes, a large portion of the income of lower- and middle-income taxpayers would be spent on goods subject to his 9 percent federal sales tax. Also, after deductions and credits, many lower- and middle-income individuals currently pay little, if any, federal income tax. However, under the Cain plan, since nearly all deductions and credits would be eliminated, lower- and middle-income individuals would pay the 9 percent income tax on most of their income.
The net result of the very regressive Cain tax plan would be an enormous shift of the federal tax burden from the rich to middle- and lower-income taxpayers.
Robert Van Regenmorter, Ph.D., CPA, Land O'Lakes
Don't know much about anthopology? Oct. 14
Benefits of liberal arts
I found Gov. Rick Scott's recent comments regarding the liberal arts distressing. An individual in a leadership position should not be denigrating those pursuing a liberal arts education.
I was elected to Phi Beta Kappa while a college liberal arts and sciences major 38 years ago. Though my concentration was in the sciences, I have always believed that the liberal arts portion of my studies added greater breadth to my education. It also added a greater ability to interact with and understand my patients as a surgeon.
David C. Mahler, Sun City Center
Obama's jobs bill
Public supports it
I find it appalling that the U.S. Senate used a procedural vote to keep the Obama jobs bill from being debated. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 63 percent of those polled favored the bill.
There is something fundamentally wrong when a majority wants one thing and the people's representatives will not even debate the issue.
Bill Woods, Palm Harbor
Scott unveils jobs plan | Oct. 13
Prime the pump
Cutting the budget and taxes does nothing to encourage job growth. It's a return to Hooverism. It didn't work then and it won't work now.
We need public works jobs first. Government jobs pump money back into the economy, creating private sector jobs, pumping more tax dollars back into government, and then it begins to spiral up again instead of continuing down.
Mike Wilson, Tampa
Deaths of 8 kids put agency in jeopardy Oct. 9
Impressive care delivered
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is the only agency in our county that specializes in the treatment of severe childhood trauma and, because of this, works closely with Hillsborough Kids Inc. Over the years, I've marveled at the enormous burden that HKI has taken on and I've been impressed by how well it cares for our county's most vulnerable children.
HKI is locally organized and accountable to the people it serves and represents. Its staff, who are among some of the best trained and experienced professionals around, are supplemented by a strong and diverse network of local providers. Of equal importance, HKI is committed to constant improvement.
A few years ago, HKI led the state in the development and implementation of an automated system to track its workers and ensure that children were receiving vital services. That sort of innovation doesn't happen by accident. Without leadership and an incessant drive to do better, both of which HKI possesses in abundance, nothing changes.
I can think of no greater tragedy than the preventable death of a child. The way we ensure such tragedies never happen again, however, is not to replace a local agency that has a 99 percent-plus success rate with an outside organization. A far wiser approach is to strengthen and improve what we have spent the last 11 years building.
W. David Braughton, president and CEO, The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Tampa
Occupy Wall Street
The contrast is telling
As the Occupy Wall Street squatting continues, many are trying to find correlations with the tea party. Maybe there are some, but I have noticed one significant difference. While Occupy Wall Street has gone on for a month nonstop, the tea party protests were typically one-day events scheduled on weekends. The reason: Tea partiers had to go back to work on Monday.
While this group of loitering misfits claims to represent the "other 99 percent," they obviously are part of the 9 percent of America who are unemployed. And judging by their appearances and the words they speak, it's easy to see why.
Doug Williams, Wesley Chapel
Legislator's death row proposal: Shoot them Oct. 13
Waffle House wisdom
State Rep. Brad Drake wants to use firing squads for Florida executions. His statements that the state could provide inmates with a .45-caliber "lead cocktail" or just "throw them off the Sunshine Skyway" are disturbing and ill-advised. Perhaps Drake could benefit from some anger-management courses.
But the scary part of this bill is that he came up with it after listening to a lunchtime crowd at a local Waffle House.
Edward Hotchkiss, St. Petersburg