TPM News

We've been reporting on the shortcomings of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan since before it was cool. The plan wipes out the current code and creates, in effect, a nine percent flat income tax, a nine percent value added tax, and (somewhat redundantly) a nine percent national sales tax. Even generous assumptions suggest it would leave the government short of the revenue it will need to fund key government services and programs like Medicare and Social Security. And, by dramatically lowering income taxes, and replacing them with taxes that hit consumers, it's regressive.

But we didn't know just how regressive until now.

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New data from the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows that 59 percent of Americans agree with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, while 31 percent say they disagree and 10 percent said neither.

“What’s more, many people are paying attention to the rallies. Almost two-thirds of respondents—65 percent—said they’ve heard “a lot” or “some” about the rallies, while 35 percent have said they’ve heard or seen “not too much” or “nothing at all” about the demonstrations,” the National Journal wrote.

Americans also supported a surtax on millionaires, a proposal by Democrats to fund possible jobs legislation, by a huge 68 – 27 margin, consistent with other polling on the issue.

Sen. John McCain is sending out an email calling on voters to support Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown’s reelection campaign, the Boston Globe reports.

In the message, McCain says “Democrats are coming after Scott with everything they’ve got.”

Reuters reports:

The Department of Justice is planning to hire an external lawyer to help in its antitrust case against AT&T Inc’s proposed $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA, according to media reports.

Despite soaring profits, Apple stock sank on the eve of the company’s tribute to its late CEO, Steve Jobs, Reuters reports.

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain has taken a lot of dings lately about his lack of foreign policy understanding. However, slips he made just before and just after Tuesday night's GOP debate may turn out to be narrative-defining for his recently surging campaign.

The mess started on CNN's Situation Room, when host Wolf Blitzer asked him about Israel's recent deal to exchange one lone soldier - Gilad Shalit - for many Palestinian prisoners. Blitzer quickly moved to ask whether Cain would act similarly to Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu and free the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay for a single American soldier.

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Tonight's red-hot Republican debate has so far delivered several soundbites per candidate (Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson notwithstanding), mostly swiped at each other. But one candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, took a direct hit at President Obama- or rather, his family- in a personal and profoundly unnecessary hit for having family members with immigration status issues.

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