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The Planner Who Crafted Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan

‘Simple Truths’ From a Man Who Isn’t an Academic ‘Simple Truths’ From a Man Who Isn’t an Academic

“You don’t need a Ph.D. in economics to explain simple economic truths to people,” says Rich Lowrie, managing director of wealth management for Wells Fargo Financial Advisors in the affluent town of Pepper Pike, Ohio. “Not surprisingly to us, the American people understand economics a lot better than Washington gives them credit for.” Or, as GOP presidential contender Herman Cain has put it, “Rich has more common sense than many who call themselves economists.”

The Joy of Obscurity The Joy of Obscurity

Lowrie claims no interest in the spotlight. He recalls a decision he made in the early ’90s to refocus his business to carve out substantial time for new pursuits, including politics. “When my oldest daughter Rachel was about 2 and my youngest daughter Ryann was still on the way, I thought to myself, ‘OK, in five more minutes, I can put her down and then dig into those research reports,” recalls Lowrie, who’s now divorced and whose daughters are now 13 and 11. He caught the thought before acting on it. “It was almost like God sent one of those lightning bolts down and it hit me and that was the turning point. I thought I’ve got to get out of this transactional approach to business and build something with more value for my clients.”

Seduced by the Words of Cain Seduced by the Words of Cain

While at an organizational gathering of the Club for Growth in 2004, Lowrie says he heard a talk by Cain, then a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Georgia. “I thought this guy really gets it,” Lowrie recalled. “If he has half the impact on the American people as he has with me, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

What They Believe What They Believe

Lowrie says he and Cain agree on three guiding principals. The first, as they see it: Production drives the economy, not spending. “We all have to produce first and only then can we consume,” Lowrie says. “Production pulls along consumption like a caboose and people get that backward all the time.” The second, in their view: Risk-taking drives growth. “If you need to expand the economy by one more unit this year, then you need to take a risk, whether that’s one salesman making one more phone call or one company making one more product.” The third: The dollar must hold its value. “Ask people what it would be like to wake up every morning and have to ask how many inches there are in a foot? It would be chaos. The dollar has to hold its value in the same way that there are always 60 seconds in a minute. Instead, it’s up and down like a yo-yo.”

The Roots of 9-9-9 The Roots of 9-9-9

Lowrie says he and Cain first began discussing how to overhaul the country’s tax code earlier this year while driving together on the campaign trail. “'How bold do you want to be?'” Lowrie asked Cain. The candidate replied with a big smile and a booming voice. “Bold,” Lowrie says Cain replied. “I want something that will tax everything once and nothing twice.”

Wells Fargo’s Rich Lowrie helped craft the tax proposal that’s driving political debate. Here’s a closer look at the financial planner and the rationale behind GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax proposal.

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