In an apparent effort to revive his flagging presidential campaign, Herman Cain's campaign on Monday released an animated video tutorial touting the candidate's "9-9-9" plan to overhaul the tax code.
The video, "9-9-9 The Movie - Slaying the Tax Monster," clocks in at nearly six minutes, and, in the vein of a Schoolhouse Rock video, pairs digestible language with simple cartoon illustrations to lay out Cain's now-famous tax reform plan in what is meant to be a simple, clear-cut manner.
Blasting the current tax code as an uncool "overgrown monster," the video presents Cain's plan as the "flat" and "simple" alternative - and one which the narrator claims will get the economy accelerating "faster than Barack Obama on his way out of town."
Cain's 9-9-9 plan was seen by many as the force behind his short-lived surge in the presidential polls. But amid a slew of sexual harassment allegations, and conflicting statements about his position on abortion, Cain has fallen to third place in the polls - a drop he recently attributed to "false accusations and confusion about some of my positions."
In Monday's mini-movie, the Cain campaign attempts to reignite the spark that may have led to his initial surge.
"The federal tax code is an overgrown monster -- but it's not even a cool monster, it's a dorky, mechanical monster held together by a bunch of tattered red tape and driven around by squirrelly bureaucrats," a narrator intones in the film. "The scary part is that we've been slaves to something this ridiculous as long as we have. So what would happen if we scrapped all 82,000 pages of the current tax code and simplified things with Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan?"
The narrator goes on to contend that the 9-9-9 plan "would add $2 trillion to GDP and create 6 million jobs. Business investment would increase by a third. Wages would go up by 10 percent. At the same time, federal revenues would go up 15 percent."
When it comes to analyzing the basis for Cain's claims, however, that the 9-9-9 plan would be a simple route to economic success, the film falls short.
When attempting to allay fears about a national sales tax, the video notes that "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."
It doesn't note that under the 9-9-9 plan, Americans who live in a state that already has a sales tax would effectively be taxed twice. The plan is also regressive, taxing those at the bottom of the scale more than those at the top.
One criticism with the candidate's plan is that it is naively simplistic - and that, as his presidential rival Mitt Romney, "simple answers are always very helpful, but oftentimes inadequate."
In "9-9-9 The Movie - Slaying the Tax Monster," the Cain campaign continues to hammer home the idea that a simple plan is the best one.
"The 9-9-9 plan is simple enough to vanquish the ineffective bureaucrats that lurk in the dark crannies of complexity; transparent enough to deter cronyism, and fair enough - fair being the dictionary definition, not the president's class warfare definition - to level the playing field and keep the government from picking winners and losers," the video's narrator says.