Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain arrives onstage to address the...

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain arrives onstage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. (Sept. 23, 2011) Credit: AP

Newsday nailed Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan as "not worthy of implementation but . . . worthy of discussion" ["Nein, nein, nein to Cain's 9-9-9," Editorial, Oct. 13]. Like Cain, the Occupy Wall Street demonstration seems also to be groping for some type of fundamental tax change, albeit one that expects more from the wealthy and which is less onerous for the poor and upwardly mobile.

The so-called fair tax is an extreme example of radical reform that seeks to replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax. Cain's mathematical and political genius comes from a bold suggestion to fix the income tax inequities with a single rate of 9 percent for all, and to join it with a 9 percent national sales tax rate (rather than the 23 percent suggested by fair tax proponents).

What is missing from this much-needed discussion of tax reform is a serious intellectual consideration of including a net wealth tax in the mix. My "2-4-8 You May Appreciate" plan offers one way for tax equanimity to be achieved: Let the federal government tax net individual wealth at 2 percent, consumption or sales at 4 percent, and income at 8 percent, with a deduction only for state and local taxes.

Wall Street must continue to make wealth and the Occupy Wall Street protesters should come in from the cold and consider uniting behind a plan to tax individual net wealth. Unlike 9-9-9, the 2-4-8 plan would bring in much more than the current $2.2 trillion, and I am confident that the extra money could be put to good use.

Eugene Patrick Devany, Massapequa Park

What arrogance Herman Cain and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) show in characterizing the anti-Wall Street demonstrators as "jealous" Americans who "play the victim card" and "mobs" who have pitted "Americans against Americans" ["Cain: Protesters are just 'jealous,' " News, Oct. 10].

When the crooks on Wall Street -- which is obviously not everyone who works there -- in various financial institutions defrauded tens of thousands of Americans out of their homes and savings, nobody questioned their patriotism. Wasn't that a clear manifestation of greedy, evil Americans having no regard for the rights, interests and well-being of many other Americans?

Cain and Cantor are fortunate to be wealthy. Poor Americans are no less "American" than they are, even in the plutocracy that Cain and Cantor conjure up. Their world view is reminiscent of the queen in France just before the French Revolution who, in response to being told that the poor people cannot even afford bread, is said to have responded, "then let them eat cake."

Protesting, lobbying and demonstrating are perfectly legal forms of expression in a democracy.

Howard Mandell, East Northport