Herman Cain's Latest Video: No Smoking, But Still Light on Substance

In an attempt to get his campaign back on track, and back to its original economic-based message, the Herman Cain campaign released a new video this morning called: “9-9-9 The Movie”

Unlike Cain’s previous forays into campaign web video, there are no cowboys riding with yellow flowers or campaign managers blowing cigarette smoke into the camera.

Instead, it’s a more serious attempt to answer the questions and criticisms raised about

Cain’s “9-9-9? economic plan.

In a style reminiscent of the documentary “Inside Job”, this video uses cartoon graphics and easy to understand language to try and deconstruct the 9-9-9 plan.

Even so, the video fails to lay out any serious analysis of the plan to back up claims like this one:

“We would add two trillion dollars to GDP, and create six million jobs. Business investment would increase by a third. Wages would go up 10%, at the same time federal revenues would go up 15%.”

And then there’s this defense of the implementation of a 9% national sales tax.

“Anyone nervous about introducing a national sales tax should realize we’re essentially paying one right now. It just isn’t visible. Once these taxes are out in the open it incentivizes savings,” according to the ad.

This explanation doesn’t address the fact that if you are in a state that currently has a sales tax already, you will be taxed twice. The non-partisan political fact-check website Politifact.com wrote earlier this fall that “the national sales tax, which would help fund the federal government, would be on top of state and local sales taxes, which fund state and local government. In Florida, that would create a hypothetical tax rate of 15 percent in most parts of the state.”

The overall goal of the video seems to be a tool for supporters than a detailed defense for skeptics. It’s the kind of thing that Cain backers can email out to friends and family as an easy to follow primer on how they believe 9-9-9 would work.

What it isn’t, is a serious, analytical defense of a plan that most objective observers on the right and left will disadvantage poor people while helping the wealthiest Americans.