Japanese Tea Party Leaders Embrace Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Herman Cain’s famous 9-9-9 tax
proposal has inspired international admiration, and two Japanese
activists hope to bring their own version of the Atlanta
businessman’s plan to their country.
During a private meeting Thursday with Tokyo Tea Party leader
Yuya Watase and Jikido “Jay” Aeba of Japan’s Happiness Realization
Party (HRP), Cain agreed to travel to Japan and speak at events to
promote the idea.
“I would love to come and address your event in Japan, if that
is something that you all would want me to do. . . . I would be
honored to do so,” Cain told Aeba and Watase, who have organized
public rallies against government proposals for higher taxes in
Cain’s 9-9-9 plan helped boost the retired restaurant executive
to the top of the polls in October. His proposal — which would
replace the current tax code with 9 percent flat taxes on personal
income, corporate income and retail sales — was praised by the
Wall Street Journal and others who credited Cain’s campaign
with making tax reform a central focus of the debate among
Republican presidential contenders.
Aeba, whose fledgling HRP has made tax reduction and economic
growth a key part of its policy agenda, told Cain he wanted to
adapt his 9-9-9 plan at an even lower rate: 7-7-7.
“We got this idea from the Americans for Tax Reform, Mr. Grover
Norquist,” Aeba told Cain through a translator. When he heard Aeba
pronounce “7-7-7,” Cain laughed approvingly.
“I understood that without translation,” Cain said, and
immediately asked whether the 7 percent rate would be
revenue-neutral. Aeba replied that he hopes to get “more detailed
analysis,” but said he believes the plan would stimulate the
economy enough to produce the same amount of revenue at the lower
rate. “The Japanese people will have more income and … will buy
more goods, so the Japanese economy will recover,” Aeba said.
”I would be honored to come [to Japan] and endorse 7-7-7,”
Cain met with the Japanese activists in his suite at
Washington’s Marriott Wardman Park hotel after addressing
Thursday’s opening day of the 39th Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC). The former Repbulican presidential candidate
drew applause as he told the crowd, “We must outsmart the liberals.
We must outsmart the stupid people that are trying to ruin America.
We outnumber the stupid people. Trust me, I counted them.” Cain
called for a “second American Revolution,” and blamed “gutter
politics” for the sexual allegations that led him to suspend his
presidential campaign in December. He continues to promote his
9-9-9 plan through his Cain
Connections Web site.
Cain’s candidacy drew on his support among Tea Party activists
who had heard him speak at rallies in 2009 and 2010, when the
grassroots movement sparked resistance to the Obama
administration’s agenda. The Tea Party was widely credited with
helping Republicans achieve a historic landslide in the 2010
The American Tea Party movement has inspired similar populist
protest movements around the world. Last year, Tea Party Patriots
Kelli Carender met with Watase and other Japanese activists who
oppose tax-increase plans by that country’s ruling Liberal