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. NC Mom

    I actually was reading the plan. Giving young people ownership of their contributions basically will decimate the trust fund for payouts to those collecting benefits. Can't imagine how that could work. Also, the cut in corporate taxes needs to be made up somewhere as does inheritance, capital gains, etc. I don't see it, which means it will fall to the majority which is low and middle income people to offset it no matter what percentages he is saying now the reality will differ... Sounds good...I don't trust it.

    October 25, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Steve

    Get rid of tax exemptions for religious groups and I would be for it.

    October 25, 2011 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. james darnley

    perry should get himself a box three cups and a pee and set up shop in times square where he can fllece the tourists with his shell game.this is just a smoke screen to give the rich a tax beak the rest of us will have to pay stupid is he to think this economy could whitstand a 15 % cut for corporations who shipped our jobs away overseas for cheaper labor and then downsized laying prople off so they could get richer and richer while the rest of us got poorer and poorer. we don;t even have enough people to do the job properly where i work and every worker has two bosses.

    October 25, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. thomas

    It's a great concept , it would be nice if Rick spent more then a weekend on the details !

    The US post Office will love the Post Card idea !

    October 25, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. CJeffery

    Lets talk number here. First off flat tax would work but where you star ttaxing as to be higher like anything above 35,000. Second this would raise taxes for a lot of people. For example a couple making 50,000 a year with 2,000 paid into a 401k. Would pay around 3500 in taxes. Under this plan the 50,000 -12,500 would put there tax liability at 7500.. Of course making more would choose this tax.because it would save them money on there taxes and save them money on accountants.

    October 25, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. SLynn

    Funny how "income" never seems to include capital gains or interest . . . just catering to the billionaires again...

    October 25, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. taxed

    His plan would set people free all right. The 47% of income tax filers who are now getting a free ride on the backs of the 53% paying the taxes would continue to get a free ride.

    October 25, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Seeya in Texas, Rick.

    October 25, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Daniel in bama

    Obamas plan to give the banks our money to loan us to get more debt was either really stupid or he likes big banks. Hey BOA loan that unemployed guy some money and he will buy a car or mayne a house and get the economy going again . Sure we will mr. President he he . Hard to support that.

    October 25, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Thomas, Baton Rouge, LA

    We can't help what Forbes and Nordquist think or say. We need to vote out the politicians who listen to them.

    October 25, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Derp

    You people are morons. The rich already pay less than 20% in taxes, to them that rate is actually an increase. Meanwhile the rest of us probably do pay more than 20%. We need to lump in FICA as taxes too, because they are. I lose more than 20% of my paycheck in taxes, and I'm solidly middle class.

    October 25, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Will

    Sadly government is in the back pocket of the wealthy and special interest groups/ lobbyist with deep pockets. The average American is just a pawn in the grand scheme of things. We will all be lucky just to be making it paycheck to paycheck.

    October 25, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. ddblah

    Really? I can only those working middle class will pay. Everybody else will get exempted by claiming the income is a capital gains and dividends. In the end, only working class will pay more, a lot more.

    October 25, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. ed galbraith

    When it comes to complexity, Perry draws a blank...take a CLOSE look at him in debate...doesn't have a clue. And "his" tax plan is clearly not his. Love to have him defend debate. It'd make SNL.

    October 25, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Successful

    Funny. I got a text message from Virginia GOP yesterday telling me that it was the Democrats who are all about increasing my taxes. For one, I don't live in VA anymore, but even as a member of the GOP, I'm not a fool to know that all these GOP plans would increase taxes for those who can't afford to pay more. For me, sure, I'll gladly take a bigger tax break so that I can SAVE even more money, not spend it.

    October 25, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Cambob

    The middle class IS America. Those uber rich 1% control paper wealth, but the middle class controls 90% of the land. (farms, homes, small businesses). When the middle class stops acting like victims and realizes they have ALL the power then the banks, government and wall street will listen. But how do you convince 200 million middle class people that they need to stop whining and take control?

    October 25, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. Telly Joe

    I don't know why "flat tax rates" are always slammed as being great for the rich, bad for the poor. These rates are percentages of what someone makes, not a bottom-line dollar amount. If you make more money, you'll pay more money because 20% of a million dollars is a lot more than 20% of 40 thousand dollars. It really seems like this is the most fair why to tax.

    October 25, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Drew

    The only people who this will "free" are the wealthy. Everyone else will be hit with higher taxes.

    But that's just the Republican way: help those who already have the means to help themselves, and set the rest of the country on fire.

    October 25, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Asturiano

    How do you spell...R E P U B L I C A N T A X I N C R E A S E

    October 25, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. ahetch

    Perry will make us free? Free from food is what will happen. He is dead set, as the rest of the TP, on social security. He is finding ways to kill it and medicare also.
    Nothing he says will help the middle class.

    October 25, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. KW

    Perry is clueless. That tax code he points to on the pallet was written by his fellow Republican robber-barons. Those tax cuts did not create jobs. They did, however, run up a huge defecit. Even if you don't approve of the current president, do not vote in any of these Republican clowns. They are too stupid to realize their policies caused the problem, and they surely will be unable to fix it.

    October 25, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. H in Texas

    Man alive, is there some problem with a TRUE flat fair tax? How about 15% on every dollar made, no matter how it was made. Stock market to bare hands. You made one dollar you give 15 cents to Uncle Sam. Done. No deductions, no loopholes, no nothing. You want to give to charity, great, you are a good person. You own a house. Wonderful for you, hope you enjoy it. You make your money FROM money? Great, pay your taxes like everyone else. You only made 5 bucks last month? Wonderful, you owe us 75 cents. We can still have our social programs etc. so people can still be taken care of on the bottom. Heck, we would probably have more money to do it with.

    October 25, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. rob

    I mean how do people so out of stupid get into positions of power oh ya, ENRON, World Com, Madoff, TYCO...and on and on.

    October 25, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    It's still George W. Bush's fault!

    October 25, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. lloyd roberts

    Check out this morning's Market Watch website, a Murdoch publication. They list Flat Tax Countries. Quoting from the article, " the list is dominated by former Soviet Bloc nations." The list is unbelievable when you read it, Iraq, Kyrgystan, etc. If Obama had proposed this, he would have been brought up on charges of treason. Problem is, Rick Perry is too stupid to even know what former Soviet bloc means. Check out the flat tax list and tell me who's calling who a communist, tea party punks

    October 25, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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