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During his speech at the National Press Club on Oct. 31, 2011, Herman Cain addressed a criticism of his 9-9-9 plan thusly.

...and some of the criticism has been, well it is a VAT [value added tax].  I don't care what you call it, but if you want to call it a VAT on that sales tax piece, it's one rate, one point.  We are simply taking invisible taxes and replacing it with one visible tax.

When you buy a loaf of bread, it is estimated that that loaf of bread contains at least 30 to 40 percent more cost because of all of the taxes that have to be paid along the way.  You just don't see them. 

The farmer pays taxes on his profits, if he makes a profit.  The flour miller pays a tax.  The baker pays a tax.  The truck driver that delivers the bread to the store pays a tax.  And the grocery store, if it makes a profit, pays a tax. 

Who do you think pays those taxes?  We do.  The consumer. 

We are simply taking out the embedded taxes, which are invisible, and replacing it with a 9-percent retail sales tax.