- The Washington Times - Friday, October 7, 2011

While Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has attracted attention with his “9-9-9” plan to overhaul the nation’s tax and pension structure, GOP rival Rick Santorum has a “zero-zero-zero” idea to boost the economy.

Mr. Santorum discussed his “zero plan” — a rebranding of his proposal to eliminate the corporate tax rate for manufacturers who invest in infrastructure improvements — before a major gathering of social conservatives at the Values Voter Summit in Washington Friday.

“I know there’s a plan out there, the 9-9-9. I’ve got a better one; it’s the zero-zero-zero plan,” said the former senator from Pennsylvania.

“Twenty-one percent of the people working in this country when I was growing up were involved in manufacturing. Now it’s 9 percent. We need to get those jobs back,” Mr. Santorum said.

Highlights of the plan include: reduce corporate income taxes on manufacturers to zero; eliminate taxes on funds invested overseas that are brought back to the United States; and “zero out and repeal every regulation the Obama administration has put in place.”

Mr. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan calls for setting the personal income tax, including Social Security and Medicare, at 9 percent for everyone, reducing corporate taxes to 9 percent and establishing a new national sales tax of 9 percent.

Mr. Santorum, who is trailing badly in the polls, used much of his 26-minute speech to burnish his conservative credentials, touting his push to make abortion illegal and his opposition to gay marriage.

He brought his family up on stage, then recalled a decision he and his wife Karen made several years ago not to to have an abortion when doctors said the pregnancy threatened her life. The baby died two hours after he was born several weeks premature.

“We are committed to the cause of life and family and American exceptionalism,” he told the crowd of hundreds. “Please join me in that fight.”


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