GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, who unveiled his 20 percent flat tax Tuesday, said his economic plan will “lower taxes across the board” and pull back every regulation that has been implemented since the 2008 financial crisis. He also dismissed criticism that it would raise taxes on the middle class.
“This is a tax cut for everyone in this country. Those who want to pick this apart, those that want to play class warfare, that’s their business,” Perry said. “Let’s not get down in the weeds here from the standpoint of going and saying this person over here is going to get a little bit different tax.”
The Texas governor is hoping his “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan will help jump-start his fading presidential campaign. He’s now trailing four other contenders for the 2012 Republican nomination in a new CBS/New York Times poll. He stands at 6 percent, Herman Cain is leading the pack with 25 percent and Mitt Romney is in second place with 21 percent.
His plan calls for a 20 percent flat rate on individual and corporate income and has a $12,500 exemption per person. It will keep deductions for mortgage interest, charitable deductions and local taxes.
“We need to get America working,” Perry said. “We need a president who understands that the way to get this country back on track is by lowering the tax burden and particularly the regulatory climate and that’s what this plan does.”
In fact, he plans on “pulling back every regulation that’s gone into effect since 2008.” He would repeal Dodd Frank, section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act—which requires companies to provide an auditor's report on the adequacy of their internal controls—and “Obamacare.”
“Let me tell you, if you do just those things, put this flat tax in place and the stock market would go through the roof,” he said. “But more importantly, there are going to be a lot of people who don’t have a job today that will have one.”
Perry also vowed that his economic plan, which cuts government spending and overhauls the Social Security program, will balance the budget by 2020.
And if you don’t like the flat tax, you can stay in the old system, he said.
As for his rivals, Perry dismissed Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, saying the new sales tax “will not happen.” He said Mitt Romney’s economic plan "nibbles around the edges.”
“We need to clearly put in a tax structure that’s flat, that’s simple, that’s fair,” he said.