GOP presidential primary candidate Herman Cain recently released his “999 Plan,” which would immediately install business, individual, and sales flat taxes of 9 percent, while the country transitions to a “Fair Tax,” or a single national sales tax
At a recent event with Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) that was posted on YouTube by one of Scott’s campaign accounts, Cain elaborated on his tax plan and revealed another mechanism by which he plans to keep it in place.
Responding to an audience question about how he would ensure that Congress wouldn’t change his plan once it was enacted, Cain said that he is going to ask Scott and other congressional sponsors of the plan to put in a requirement that would only allow it to be changed with a two-thirds vote of the United States Senate:
CAIN: I’m gonna ask Congressman Scott and the other sponsors of the bill to put in the requirement that you have to two-thirds vote in the United States Senate before you can change the 999 Plan. Two-thirds supermajority before you can make a change. What that does is that the American people are gonna know about it because it’s going to require a two-thirds vote.
Currently, there are only a handful of votes that need two-thirds of the Senate in order to pass, such as approving treaties, overriding a presidential veto, amending the Constitution, or removing a president. Requiring a two-thirds vote to change a particular law without a constitutional amendment would likely be unconstitutional.
Additionally, one state that has such two-thirds requirement for raising taxes — California — has faced major budgetary problems thanks to the hurdles that the requirement places in the way of raising revenues. It hardly seems like a desirable model.