Did SimCity Inspire Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan?

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Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan has been getting a lot of buzz lately. It calls for a flat tax of 9 percent on income no matter what you make in a year, so millionaires would pay the same rate as someone working at McDonald’s. It would also impose a national sales tax of 9 percent and lower the corporate tax from its current 35 percent on corporations that make over $18.3 million in taxable income to just 9 percent. Cain claims that he got the idea from a rank-and-file investment advisor by the name of Rich Lowrie that works for a Wells Fargo branch in Cleveland, Ohio.

The plan has remarkable similarities to a video game released by Electronic Arts: SimCity. As reported by the Huffington Post last week, SimCity 4’s default tax settings are 9-9-9 for residential, commercial and industrial taxes. Cain has refused to name any of his economic advisors other than Rich Lowrie, who is not a known economist. Whether or not SimCity was the inspiration for the plan, Electronic Arts is running with it in a bid to spur game sales. They have reduced the game’s price to $9.99 and released a humorus video (see below):