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Word on the Street

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It almost sounds like something out of the movie “Dave,” in which the accidental president enlists his accountant friend, Murray Blum, to help him figure out the federal budget.

 During Tuesday’s Washington Post-Bloomberg debate, Herman Cain, the former chief executive of Godfather’s Pizza, named Rich Lowrie of Cleveland as “my lead economist” who helped develop Cain’s signature “9-9-9” plan for overhauling the federal tax system. “He is an economist, and he has worked in the business of wealth creation most of his career,” Cain said.

 Actually, according to Lowrie’s Linked-In profile, he has a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Case Western Reserve University, not economics. Lowrie, in an e-mail, said he did not consider himself an economist, just “senior economic advisor” to the Cain campaign. Donor information maintained by Opensecrets.org shows he has donated $1,500 to Cain in 2010 and 2011, but also contributed $2,300 to Mitt Romney in his first run for the presidency in 2007.

Okay, so Cain may have exaggerated the qualifications of his economic guru. But he has forcefully defended his ‘9-9-9’ plan, both during Tuesday night’s debate and on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” on Wednesday. Many readers have asked us to examine the plan and explain it, so let’s take it for a test drive.