Herman Cain plugged his 9-9-9 Plan during Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate, while his GOP opponents mocked it. Cain has been picking up momentum since his win in a Florida straw poll last month and a recent poll victory in South Carolina, edging out Mitt Romney.
Cain's 9-9-9 plan would create a 9% flat income tax for all Americans, cut the corporate tax rate to 9% (corps currently pay 35%) and impliment a new 9% national sales tax, an addition to current state or city sales taxes.
Cain claims his plan would give businesses the confidence and capital to create jobs and reduce the tax burden on average Americans.
However, the 9-9-9 plan was ridiculed numerous times.
"I thought it was the price of a pizza when I first heard it," joked former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said it's "not a jobs plan, it's a tax plan." She claimed it would create another stream of taxation for the federal government and added an anti-Christ jab: "You turn the 9-9-9 plan upside down and the devil's in the details."
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney slammed it as well: "To get this economy restructured fundamentally, to put America on a path to be the most competitive place in the world to create jobs, is going to take someone who knows how to do it. It's not one or two things."
Ex-Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum polled the debate audience on Cain's 9-9-9 plan: "Unlike Herman's plan, which could not pass, because…how many people here are for a sales tax in New Hampshire? Raise your hand. There you go, Herman. That's how many votes you'll get in New Hampshire."
Cain defended his 9-9-9 plan when Bloomberg moderator Julianna Goldman pressed him about the details. She said according to a Bloomberg analysis, the plan would raise less money than the current tax code.
He brushed off the criticism with an answer he has been giving often: "The problem with that analysis is that it is incorrect."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared, "I don't need 9-9-9. We don't need any plan to pass Congress. We need to get a President of the United States that is committed to passing the types of regulations, pulling the regulations back, freeing this country to go develop the energy industry that we have in this country."
Perry also attacked Romney on his health care plan as "Romneycare," but Romney shot back: "“I’m proud of the fact that we took on a major problem in our state. We had a lot of kids without insurance, a lot of adults without insurance, but it added up to about eight percent of our population. And we said, ‘You know what, we want to find a way to get those folks insured but we don’t change anything for the 92 percent of people that already have insurance.’ And so our plan dealt with those eight percent, not the 92."
"I’ll tell you this though, we have the lowest number of kids as a percentage of any state in America. You have the highest… We have less than one percent of our kids that are uninsured. You have a million kids uninsured in Texas. A million kids."
Romney held to his moderate frontrunner status by claiming as a business man he had created jobs, a claim that wasn't questioned. As he has before, Romney pressed for more deregulation of Wall Street and business in general. He also promised to stand firm against China's lopsided trading policies against the U.S., echoing the same promise made by George W. Bush and Barak Obama when they were candidates.