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. Charles

    Get ride of the income tax and the IRS. There you go, solves that problem.. Ron Paul 2012.

    October 25, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. Old Sailor

    Arbeit macht frei – I think the Germans said this first – if all depends on what you mean by "free".

    October 25, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. MarcL

    You really think that we have SMART now ? Wow .. what planet are you living on ?? Printing more paper money to increase the inflation rate, throwing more wasteful incentives with programs that will not work. Obama Care which is the biggest joke of all ... Am I in love with any of the GOP candidates .. Nooo but I'll take any of em over what we currently have.

    October 25, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. AL in West Palm Beach

    One republican sales person wanted to sell me something for 9 9 9.

    This one wants to ELIMINATE capital gains....that was the punchline of that joke.

    October 25, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. candycane

    Yes indeed! It will set the poor, the disabled, the senior citizens, the middle class, and the low income FREE!! Give me a break!! This tax code overhaul is soooooooooooooo directed at the rich people and big corporations even a kid in kindergarten could figure it out!! The only freedom all of the people I have described will have is to plan on starving to death!!

    October 25, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. DJ

    What a joke – this would once again benefit the rich and do nothing to help the breaking backs of the middle class. This guy does not have a clue what he is talking about – he is reciting what Forbes told him to say and we all know how well he did in his race for President.

    October 25, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. aspires

    This Rick Perry is quite the dullard. Clearly his 20% across the board flat tax favors the wealthiest.

    October 25, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  8. David

    Can anyone name something that congress has done since the tea party candidates were voted into office? It seems like everyone could just go home if they are opposed to negotiating on any issue.

    October 25, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Teacher's Pet

    Time for Forrest Gump to shut up. Just because he copies Ronald Reagan's haircut, and talks like Bush, doesn't mean he knows anything. Of course, anyone with a brain can see that the rich get richer, and the poor are the ones who suffer. Rick should go make love to the guns he loves so much, and realize he is out of his league!

    October 25, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Everyone keeps talking about the rich paying their "fair" share... yet nobody wants to pay their own fair share...

    October 25, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. coy4one

    Of course, all those who like Perry's plan are extremely wealthy and gain the most from the plan. I did not see any middle-class quotes in this article. Or, would that be too negative for this reporter to include.....

    October 25, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Andrew

    I like it. Neat, simple, easy to clean up after.

    October 25, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  13. Larry L

    When the poor pay their taxes they give up food, medicine and fuel to go to work. When the rich pay their taxes they may be forced to have a smaller swimming pool, a shorter yacht or a slower private jet. Eliminating the estate tax ensures that children of the very wealthy will never need to actually work for a living.

    A very critical point the Republicans tend to overlook is the buying power of the middle class. The rich won't stay rich if the middle class goes under.

    October 25, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. jrzydvl

    Obama ? Thinks ? And just where do you think he is drawing his insights from ? Experience ? He NEVER had a budget, ran a business or gained ANY economic experience from personal experience. He is listening to all the other know notings who never did anything in his administration. why do you think he keeps recycling the same old bad ideas. The Dems voted against his jobs bill and he STILL won't give it up as a bad idea. Need anything else be said ?

    October 25, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Rob

    I just saw Tom Foreman's fact check piece on TV where he inaccurately quoted the statistic that 51% of Americans pay no taxes. The 51% refers to federal income tax. To quote the Tax Policy Center, "It does not mean they paid no tax at all. Many shelled out Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. In fact, only 14 percent of Americans didn’t pay either income or payroll taxes. Some paid property taxes and, it is fair to say, just about all of them paid sales taxes of one kind or another. So to say they pay no taxes is flat wrong."

    October 25, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Nine

    NY – Both sides want your money. The liberals just want more of it from the wealthier sector, and the repubs just want more of it from the poor and middle class. To tie Perry's plan to liberals is really misguided and inaccurate.

    October 25, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Zil Zerimar

    Perry the Texan tax plan will set the RICH people free!!! Are you kidding us? America beware!!!

    October 25, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. horsehitcher

    Interest rates for savings are less than 2% (most are less than 1%) and inflation is at least 3.6 by fed standards but really more than that. Those of us whose savings are decreasing by the day and not able to work or find a job for old folks are hurting and this idiot wants more. Maybe it is time for a Grey hair spring! Many of us were in the military in Korea or Viet Nam and might just be able to get the correct message to the elite and rich that it is time to listen to the 95%. It seems that once people get elected they become on of the 1%.

    October 25, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. jrzydvl

    Oh, GI Joe, I forgot. Just how many of the "slow-talking redneck hicks" policies has Obama reversed ? Gitmo – No. Afghanistan – No. Iraq – he iherited and honored "slow-talking redneck hicks" agreement, Tax cuts – No. Gee, beginning to sound like his predecessor. No wonder he lost indepenents and part of his base(extreme left)

    October 25, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Dwayne

    Gov. Perry, This is your tax plan? You have to be kidding, I would have to rate Cain's plan higher.

    October 25, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Charlie

    Steve Forbes is a businessman and knows finance. Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin are entertainers and no nothing about finance. A flat tax for all is the way to go. Imagine a system where ALL Americans are treateed Equally.

    October 25, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. 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 resist the government because if they obey ... they will die! ARE YOU A COMPLETE IDIOT! ARE YOU TRYING TO CREATE A REVOLUTION OR WHAT?????

    October 25, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Big John

    A true flat tax is an equal tax. So, since people hide income, you must instill this tax based on purchases. Every purchase, no exceptions, gets taxed 25%. Then corporations, investors, and individuals pay the same. Do away with ALL other taxes. Give a rebate to those with income below the poverty level. Make it mandatory that ALL embedded taxes be removed from goods and services, and the cost will not rise on anything. The government would have more than enough revenue to balance the budget, and businesses would save enough to create more jobs here. Especially if you make them pay a fine equal to twice what they would save by creating jobs in other countries. It's time to look out for the USA.

    October 25, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. AgónyFlips

    I think therefore I am

    October 25, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Chris

    Pretty pathetic attempt to stay relevant in a race full of irrelevant people.
    Just start repeating the nonsensical ramblings of anybody who's seen mild success by saying the same thing. Yeah, that should do it!

    OBAMA 2012

    October 25, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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