Perry says plan will 'free' Americans from lengthy tax code
October 25th, 2011
12:30 PM ET
11 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. Martha in CF

    Forbes just found that Perry would listen to him. Perry doesn't know the first thing of how the tax system works......Also Forbes didn't even get to first base when he ran for president.....

    Obama 2012

    October 25, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. sir_ken_g

    All those flat tax plans are Koch SCAMS. The rich win you lose. Besides Perry is so last month.

    October 25, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Nine

    This tax plan of his will definitely free Americans – of their money. It will absolutely crush the middle class and poor.

    October 25, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. pig in a poke

    If there is a standard deduction, then it is not a Flat Tax.

    Yes something needs done with our tax system, but lets make it so simple, it is easy to understand and adhere to.
    10% of anything you make, including capital gains and dividends.

    October 25, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. tired of the GOP nonsense

    This is yet another huge gift to the riches people in America. The top income tax rates drop from 35% to 20%. No capital gains tax means people that make their living investing in stocks pay nothing. The average person gets to choose between what they're paying now and a flat tax which is generally going to be higher than what they're paying now.

    Tax breaks for the rich have been in place for over ten years now and the so called job creators have not created jobs here in America. We need to raise rates to the levels we had during the Clinton administration and stop giving tax breaks for capital and income gained over seas.

    October 25, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. nytw

    20% is a higher rate than I paid last year. Rick Perry is nothing but a big tax RINO liberal. Hopefully, people will realize an this liberal will go back to his tax payer funded mansion in Austin, TX

    October 25, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Pam

    His plan has everything a rich person would want, and more!!!!
    But for the average Joe, well hey – you can just work longer! and maybe if they keep upping the retirement age, you may never get to retire!!

    October 25, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Still sounds like the same old typical Republican deficit spending that we have seen since Reagan to me. I don't think America is going to buy into the idea that economic growth will balance the budget, anymore. Reagan inflicted two recessions upon the nation. Reagan's own VP called "trickle down economics" by its' rightful name, "voodoo economics."

    Newt Gingrich and company tried force "trickle down" onto Bill Clinton until America voted the Republicans out of Congress, so that Clinton could balance the budget without their deficit spending "to stimulate" the economy. The Bush Tax Cuts, both rounds of them, were implemented to "to stimulate" the economy, which resulted in not small recessions like under Reagan, but one monster Recession that was in full tilt decceleration when Obama was sworn in.

    So, when you look at the history and track record of "trickle down" economics, what middle class voter would even vote to re-ignite that same engine of economic destruction under another Republican administration?

    October 25, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. dcmisty

    So did I miss something here..wasn't the extension of the Bush tax breaks to the wealthy to create more jobs..isn't that what the Repubs said while holding the country hostage. So have I been asleep since last December?? Has anyone seen an increase in jobs from companies who profited from the Bush breaks?? So now Perry wants to give more breaks to the same group that got Bush breaks and hasn't done anything to create jobs?? So what am I missing here!

    October 25, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. diridi

    Totally ignorant of the Tax system. It benefits the rich like Forbs, etc, not the Middle Class. Look, if you make 50,000 your tax is 10,000 where as if you make 500,000 pays only 100,000. Look, who benefits. Rich, not you., middle America....o.k, plus they take all the deductions, they do not even pay 100,000. MAY BE THEY PAY 20,000. OK,

    October 25, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. Tony in Maine

    Plan will also free most middle class Americans of the headaches of trying to figure out how to spend their mney. it'll all go to the government to cover the shortfall caused by yet another big break for the wealthy.

    What this country needs is a good old fashioned revolution – never ind occupying Wall St.. Burn it.

    October 25, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Simple answers to complex issues: today's GOP.

    October 25, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. bcm

    This will is definitely to the benefit of the wealthy. Of course, this man is probably too stupid to figure that out.

    October 25, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. vic

    Another backdoor scheme to reward the wealthy with lower taxes and screw the middle class. Texas is calling you back Perry! Go!!

    October 25, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Theeaglesnest

    When are these people going to listen to the people. Yes, our tax code is very complex and needs to be fixed, but the problem is not that. Jobs are the problem and that is not going to fix the Jobs problem. Businesses are not hiring because the middle class is not spending money. It is not taxes causing them not to hire, it is the economy. Until we find a way to rail in the difference between the one's who have, and the one's who have not, then this economy iis going to stay the same.

    October 25, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    It will also "free" the middle-class of the burdens of existence.

    October 25, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. McCain-in-4

    I'm not impressed with a "Flat Income Tax", because it is a subjective tax on dollars exchanged in goods & services, but does not tax paper exchanged for goods & services. These "IOUs" are in the form of stocks & options given away at the expense of taxpayers whom use their personal taxed income to purchase those same stocks at inflated prices. If I try to spend $1000 on stocks, it really hurts to have those same companies use revenues to outbid me at every corner and hand over tax-free paper.

    A "Flat Tax" is a flat tax on EVERYTHING, including capital gains. That way, since there is such rampant and grotesque abuses, at least I receive something out of those underhanded deals, or else people go to Tax Prison.

    October 25, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    Forbes and Norquist should stay out of our politics.

    We don't need another slow-talking redneck hick as President of our country. We need SMART (like we have now – someone that THINKS instead of listening to others that know nothing).

    October 25, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. McCain-in-4

    I look forward to Texas piloting this program as a way to pay STATE taxes, if Perry "thinks" this is such a good idea. After all, Perry is "President" of the State of Texas.

    October 25, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    lol, another plan to tax the middle class and poor to death and let the corps and 1% pay less. Way to go Repubs. Now you are showing your TRUE face to America.

    October 25, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Kremmers

    Now call me crazy, but I'm from New Hampshire, where there isn't a sales or state tax...this would not make things better in any way shape or form. Now, last I knew the Government was a body of elected offices chosen to GOVERN the country's laws and people – not to tax us of all our money.

    October 25, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. wachmonster

    This is just another way for the rich to hide how they are pampering themselves at our expense in the name of a bold decisive plan.

    October 25, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. EddyL

    It's a TAX THE POOR plan..... Perry go to hell

    October 25, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. Phattee

    Well, GOPers do believe that corporations are people, so I guess it makes sense if you're willing to go through some logical contortions.

    October 25, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. The Republicans are waging class war on the US workers

    The GOP have declared war on workers and the working/middle class. They get their satin undies in a twist when these groups start to stand up for themselves. The GOP are the elites and we need to show them that in a representative democracy numbers count. Vote ever GOP PIG out in 2012

    October 25, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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