Herman Cain clarified and amended his 9-9-9 tax plan today, addressing concerns that it would raise taxes on the poor, who currently pay no income tax. Cain said he wouldn’t change that. “If you are at or below the poverty level, your plan isn’t 9-9-9, it is 9-0-9,” Cain told a crowd in Detroit, according to CNN. “Say amen y’all. 9-0-9.”
Of course, the poor would still face a new 9% national sales tax under Cain’s plan, almost certainly increasing the total amount they would pay. Cain also used the address to add a new wrinkle to the program: “Opportunity Zones.” In certain places with high unemployment, like Detroit, businesses would be able to deduct some amount of payroll expenses from their taxes, in addition to the spending the plan already allows them to deduct.