Rick Santorum: Herman Cain's Tax Plan Would Be Terrible For Birth Rates

The very beginning of Tuesday's GOP debate was devoted to Herman Cain's 999 tax gimmick, or at least, devoted to tearing it down. All of the candidates on the stage were ready to pull out their sharp teeth and even sharper claws after Cain
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The very beginning of Tuesday's GOP debate was devoted to Herman Cain's 999 tax gimmick, or at least, devoted to tearing it down. All of the candidates on the stage were ready to pull out their sharp teeth and even sharper claws after Cain catapulted into the limelight this week as a (temporary) frontrunner.

However, it was Rick Santorum who wins the prize for the most creative arguments. They fit right in with his obsession over abortion and "saving the children", which we should all understand to be saving the white children because Santorum is deeply, deeply afraid that whites will someday become the minority in this country. But really, it's a huge stretch to leap from Herman Cain's plan to a decrease in the birth rate because of taxes..

COOPER: Senator Santorum, will his plan raise taxes?

SANTORUM: Herman's well-meaning, and I love his boldness, and it's great. But the fact of the matter is, I mean, reports are now out that 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes under his plan. That's the analysis. And it makes sense, because when -- when you don't provide a standard deduction, when you don't provide anything for low-income individuals, and you have a sales tax and an income tax and, as Michele said, a value-added tax, which is really what his corporate tax is, we're talking about major increases in taxes on people.

He also doesn't have anything that takes care of the families. I mean, you have -- you have a situation where, under Herman's plan, a single person pays as much in taxes as a -- as a man and a woman raising three children. Ever since we've had the income tax in America, we've always taken advantage of the fact that we want to encourage people to -- to have children and not have to pay more already to raise children, but also pay that additional taxes -- we gave some breaks for families. He doesn't do that in this bill.

And we're going to -- we've seen that happen in Europe. And what happened? Boom, birth rates went into -- into the basement. It's a bad tax for -- again, it's bold. I give him credit for -- for starting a debate, but it's not good for families, and it's not good for low-income...

Hmmm. A value added tax in Europe, and boom! Birth rates decline? Really?

No, not really. This UPenn study (PDF) is a pretty good analysis of why birth rates are on the decline in Europe. There are many reasons, some social and some economic. Women waiting until later to have children, for example, is one reason. Another is the economic instability young people are experiencing. Costs of having children alongside difficulties getting stable housing or being able to buy a house are others. But I didn't really see where taxes were a huge issue.

Who among us decided to have kids because it meant we got a deduction for them on our tax returns? I promise you it wasn't even close to the first thing on my mind at the time.

Rick Santorum has a one-track mind. His pony is abortion and making babies. Preferably white babies. But even for Mr. Frothy, this one is a bit out in the twilight zone.

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