Did Presidential Candidate's 9-9-9 Plan Come From Videogame?


Herman Cain, who has enjoyed a recent and sudden surge in Republican presidential polls, has found some unexpected support from a Redwood City, Calif., videogame maker. It turns out that Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is eerily similar to an element of SimCity4, released in 2003 by Electronic Arts.

SimCity allows players to build their own virtual "society," with businesses, farms, cityscapes and highways. The game's default tax plan assesses virtual citizens with three flat taxes of 9 percent. Sound familiar? In SimCity, the taxes help "fend off typical municipal issues like crime, pollution and giant lizard attacks."

Cain has insisted that his 9-9-9 plan came from Rich Lowrie, an employee of a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Pepper Pike, Ohio, outside of Cleveland.

Meanwhile, EA, which has sold more than 100 million units of its SimCity franchise, is having some fun with Cain's popularity.

"The team here is glad that he chose to build a platform off of our tax system, but there are so many other serious issues in SimCity," said Kip Katserelis, an EA game producer.