Perry says plan will 'free' Americans from lengthy tax code
October 25th, 2011
12:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry says plan will 'free' Americans from lengthy tax code

(CNN) - Rick Perry said Tuesday his plan of giving Americans a choice between their current income tax rate or a 20% flat-tax would "set our people free" from burdensome tax law.

"The size of the current code is more than 72,000 pages," Perry said to a crowd at a plastics company in South Carolina. "That's represented by this pallet right here and the reams of paper. That's what the current tax code looks like. The best representation of my plan is this postcard. This is the size of what we are talking about right here. Taxpayers will be able to fill this out and file their taxes on that."

Perry's proposal, which also lowers the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and eliminates the estate tax, includes provisions for taxpayers to maintain their deductions for mortgage interest and charitable donations. The standard deduction would increase to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

The plan would also eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends.

In his speech, Perry characterized his proposal as a jobs creation plan, saying the proposed reforms would encourage businesses to hire American workers.

"It is time to create incentives for American companies to invest in American workers," Perry said. "It is time to end the corporate loopholes, end the special tax breaks for special interests, end the gravy train for lobbyists and tax lawyers."

Perry also said he was committed to balancing the federal budget by 2020, saying reforms to entitlement spending and ending special interest payments would help close the cap between American spending and revenue.

Political Notebook: Listen here as Perry supporter Steve Forbes talks with CNN’s Bob Costantini about Perry's new tax plan.

He spelled out a number of specific proposals for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, including gradually increasing the retirement age and allowing state and ending wasteful spending and fraud.

Perry's flat-tax plan, the specifics of which first came to light Monday evening, has been drawing both praise and criticism.

In a statement circulated Tuesday, Pres. Barack Obama's re-election campaign slammed Perry's plan, saying it would hurt middle class taxpayers.

"The belief that middle class Americans will benefit if we just give another special break to those at the top was long ago discredited which is why the President is fighting to create jobs now, restore economic security for the middle class and extend a tax cut that would give the typical middle class family $1500 per year," Ben LaBolt, Obama's campaign press secretary, said in a statement.

Businessman Steve Forbes, who himself proposed a flat-tax when he was running for president in 1996 and 2000, told CNN Tuesday the Perry plan was superior to Herman Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan, which proposes levying a flat 9% tax on income.

"The Perry plan is cleaner and just takes the existing code, starts over with a single rate, generous deductions," Forbes said. Forbes formally endorsed Perry on Monday. "And you're literally going to be able to do it on a single sheet of paper."

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey also voiced support for Perry's plan Tuesday, saying on CNN that it was the "best plan standing."

"The governor's plan is a very bold plan by way of comparison with anything else that's out there, and I think it is possible that it could achieve the growth of the American economy and the job creation that would follow that growth," Armey said. Armey is currently the chairman of FreedomWorks, a large conservative political group.

Also see:

Perry to meet with S.C. governor

Perry on Obama: 'It's fun to poke at him'

Perry to meet with DeMint


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry • South Carolina
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Guitar

    One question never brought up to the 'campaigners' is, if their jobs back at home, (Governors, Senators, Reps, etc) are so important, pressing, and time consuming when they are at those positions, then how are they able to spend so much time away, (over a year) from those jobs while on the campaign trail? Yes, yes, we'll hear, "I am kept constantly abreast of all matters in my state"....blah, blah, blah. It's my contention, that is they're able to run those jobs 'part time' while out away and far from their respective states campaigning, then they should be paid accordingly: with PART-TIME Compensation from their respective states – if at all. Aren't they needed at the office IN their Capitols DAILY for votes, legislation, important matters of state? Guess not!!

    October 25, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. middle class runs america!

    Stupid liberals on here. If the new Tax is higher than what you pay now than you can pay the old tax. READ the actual plan not one sentence of it. If we are all equal why do we pay different rates? Not saying this is the greatest plan but better than what we have now. The more you tax the rich the less money they invest. I work for a small business owner and he is begging for less tax burdens so he can hire more. He has enough business for more workers but not enough money. The rich men give us jobs just face it. You may not like it but the rich feed the economy so dont punish them too much. Let them invest, remember every fancy thing they buy gave someone work.

    October 25, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Joe

    Maybe they could define capital gains and dividends better to eliminate the way some Hedge fund managers take compensation currently which lowers their tax rate to 14% because it now sounds like they will not pay any taxes on that portion of thier income. If you believe Rich Perry came up with this plan by himself, then you probably believe the Aggies will win the SEC next year. Keep the cheerleader in Texas.

    October 25, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. AccountingDude

    What I hate about these, "File your taxes on a postcard" plans is how uninformed these candidates are of the tax code. It didn't start out at 72,000 pages, lawmakers grew it that way in an attempt to gain more equality. What do you think will happen to the "flat tax" in 10, 20, or 30 years? As long as you keep some sort of itemized deduction and negative tax we'll be hearing some sort of "fix the flat rate tax" from our candidates in 2040.

    October 25, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Tough USA

    20 flat- 9-9-9 or 9-0-9. I'm getting dizzy. Why all the tax talk and no big cuts in washington. Cut fed agencies and bring the military home. Protect our country and not the world. WOW, sounds like somthing RON PAUL would say. OOP's Sorry, he did say that. These sheep herders are getting deperate. LOL.

    October 25, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. jamesnyc

    What rich guy is going to pay 20% when they are effectively only paying 4%? Didn't think so.

    October 25, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. TheOneIndependent

    I have to say that everyone before me said everything I could've and for once it was good to see all in agreement.

    October 25, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Mikey

    It will set you free....if you are wealthy. And it will make slaves out of the impoverished. They will work for nothing more than food and pay taxes. Means more people on welfare, more people begging for food and more burden on the middle class to support the poor. Great plan if you are wealthy enough to run for president. I think it should be setup like child support. The total cost of raising the child is then divided by the 2 parents, if parent 1 make 75 percent of the total and parent 2 makes 25 percent, then parent one pays 75 percent of what it cost to raise the child (fair is fair). If the 1 percent of the wealthiest people make 99 percent of the wealth. Then they should pay 99 percent of what it cost to run a government. (fair is fair) How can you complain about that plan, unless you are wealthy and dont want to pay your fair share of raising a child.

    October 25, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. George

    NO! Every ethical tax policy I have ever seen that was thought out, states that the rich must pay higher taxes than everyone else (see ethics of taxation ... Plato etc) .... or you get revolt and a society that most people do not wantt to live in! It is not equal but it is fair.... Tax a person making 1,000,000 at 50 % they still have 500,000 to live on .... tax a person making 18,000 at the same equal 50 % and they have 9,000 to live. Which for the person making $18,000 is taxation that causes starvation and / or homelessness. Do you understand? You are putting people in a position that they have no other option but to disobey ... ARE YOU A COMPLETE IDIOT! ARE YOU TRYING TO CREATE A REVOLUTION OR WHAT?????

    October 25, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  10. HoustonSteve

    Flat taxes are ultimately the most fair tax. The more you make, the more you pay.

    October 25, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. foreverwar

    I will free people from having money mostly.

    October 25, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. sdmco

    Yea. Corporations and the wealthy get even greater payoffs and the middle calls gets crushed. Added bonus! You get to work until your 75 or 80 before your social security benefits kick in, then die shortly thereafter while the wealthy enjoy a long and heavily padded retirement. 20% of $80,000 is a helluva lot greater burden than 20% of $200,000. Same GOP line as always (and the one that created this mess): Take care of the wealthy and hopefully they'll deign to shop periodically and thereby "create" jobs for the rest of us. A demonstrably failed theory. Insulting. Infuriating.

    October 25, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Straight talk

    All I hear is blah, blah, give to the rich, blah, blah, more to the rich, blah, blah, flat tax!

    October 25, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Paul

    Blah, blah, blah freaking blah. Smoke and Mirrors. The sum total of all Personal Income Tax taken in by the IRS each year cannot even pay the interest on the $15 trillion the government owes. If you taxed the rich 100% it wouldn't change that. Any discussion involving "saving Americans from the Tax Man" sounds really good, but is a giant pile of bank-funded, smoking feces. BIG GOVERNMENT SPENDING, from both the Dems and Republicans, is the problem. For years, our government has been borrowing to even make the interest payments. How well would that work in your house. WAKE UP AMERICA! I want Mr. Romney to speak on what he plans to do about that. Ron Paul is the only one in the running with any sense, and most Americans either don't know his message, or are hypnotized by the constant barrage of garbage coming out of the other 6 GOP candidates. VOTE RON PAUL 2012! END BIG GOVERNMENT!

    October 25, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. pmangr

    You can tell this will screw the middle class. The only ones praising this idea are the wealthy!

    October 25, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Daniel in bama

    A flat tax based on income level would be better. Obama double talks about banks and nig biz. If they are so bad why give them trillions of dollars? Political show for taxes to pay for jobs plan but banks have over a trillion dollars in reserve at the fed. Get it and invest in all forms of infrastructure. 700 billion of our tax money spent on our communities would spur a lot of growth.

    October 25, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Cory

    This guy is starting to make W look smart!?!?

    October 25, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Any candidate who tells you that you can pay your taxes by sending in a postcard is dangerous.This is the man whio says our Social Security plan of some seventy plus years is a scheme and then comes up with this postcard nonsense needs to be avoided. His own state of Texas in not doing as well as he would have you believe and he is scary when he comes up with some of his wild ideas.I'd pass on this loony!!!!!!

    October 25, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. pmangr

    I wish someone would force all congressmen to sign a pledge stating "I will never take a penny from a lobbyist or a special interest group. Ever!" Let them choke on that!

    October 25, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. ray

    I don't get all the responses. Who cares if it lowers the taxes for the rich. It makes it so everyone pays the same rate. Souns fair to me.

    October 25, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Alex

    I'm not all that politically saavy, but as I listened to Perry trying to point out the "wins" in his proposed tax plan, even I could see that it would be a LOSE scenario for everyone but the rich. Capital gains, dividend tax, death tax, 20% income tax. The only people that would benefit from this would be his oil buddies and the rich. He must think we're as stupid as he is.

    October 25, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. rob

    what a fool...its like he has no understanding of basic economics...shocking

    October 25, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Joshua Ludd

    Yes, I know a huge increase in my tax burden (me being quite poor) would definitely set me free. I'll take the more complicated tax code, thank you... just start taxing those wealthy job creators that have not been creating jobs with their huge tax breaks for decades.

    October 25, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. max

    how is adding a flat tax simplification? the old system remains but now you need to read another booklet...

    October 25, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Rev Mkell,

    Since the only people Perry, Obama and the rest of the nuts the clown car in DC ever listen to are in that 1% how do feel they could understand the problems of the poor and the middle class! Don't give me the 'I grew up po' line, that dog don't hunt! Times were different then! If they and all their friends never leave the penthouse how will they see the rot in the beams in the basement!

    October 25, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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