Sorry, Herman Cain, SimCity Had 9-9-9 First His plan is a lot like the one in the virtual game: Huffington Post By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Oct 13, 2011 4:30 PM CDT 31 comments Comments Herman Cain speaks during a Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth Tuesday. (AP Photo/Daniel Acker, Pool) (Newser) – With Herman Cain atop the latest polls and his 9-9-9 tax plan getting extra scrutiny, the Huffington Post is happy to point out that a similar plan first appeared in SimCity years ago. Under that system, residents of the virtual city had a 9% rate for commercial taxes, 9% for industrial taxes, and 9% for residential taxes, writes Amanda Terkel. (Cain wants 9% rates for corporate income, personal income, and a national sales tax.) Game maker Maxis is thrilled with the publicity and explains the rationale: The "design team thought that an easy-to-understand taxation system would allow players to focus on building their cities ... rather than be buried by overly complex financial systems." The Cain adviser behind the plan didn't respond to a query on whether he was a SimCity fan. At Salon, meanwhile, Steve Kornacki thinks Cain has proven again that a "tax plan gimmick" can catch attention, though things usually end badly for the candidate proposing it. Click for the full column.