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Rick Perry: My Plan Will 'Jolt This Economy out of the Doldrums'

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(GRAY COURT, S.C.) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday unveiled an economic plan he argues is the kind of “bold reform” needed to revive the economy, presenting an optional 20 percent personal income tax, the lowering of the corporate tax rate to twenty percent, and offering his most specific proposals yet to reform entitlement programs.

“My plan doesn’t trim around the edges, and it doesn’t bow down to the established interests. But it’s the kind of bold reform needed to jolt this economy out of the doldrums, to renew American prosperity. And those who oppose it will wrap themselves in the cloak of the status quo,” Perry said Tuesday at ISO Poly Films, Inc., a plastics manufacturing company in South Carolina.  “Americans, though, they aren’t searching for a reshuffling of the status quo, which simply empowers the entrenched interests. This is a change election, and I offer a plan that changes the way Washington that does business.”

Perry’s plan, called “Cut, Balance and Grow,” proposes a simplified tax code which offers an optional 20 percent personal income tax, allowing for people to fill out their taxes through a simple postcard. Taxpayers would have the choice to stay under the current tax code or opt for this new flat tax.  

“The size of the current code, which is more than 72,000 pages, is represented by this pallet and its many reams of paper,” Perry said pointing to stacked reams of paper to the right of the stage.  “The best representation of my plan is this postcard, which taxpayers will be able to fill out to file their taxes.”

Perry’s team passed around an example of an individual income tax return postcard taxpayers could use to select the flat tax option.

The tax reforms in the plan also include a 20 percent corporate tax rate and eliminations of the death tax, dividends tax and capital gains along with ending taxes on Social Security.  Perry pledged to balance the budget by 2020 and vowed to work for a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Perry also stressed the burdens placed on business by current federal regulations, and said he would put a freeze on any pending federal regulations and review any regulations implemented since 2008.

Perry vowed to eliminate taxes on Social Security and presented five proposals on how to fix the entitlement program. Perry's plan includes:

- Protecting benefits for current retirees while working with Congress to determine an age to  
  grandfather those approaching retirement age into the program
- Keeping Congress from using the Social Security Trust Fund
- Creating private accounts for young workers
- Allowing state and local governments to allow employees to opt out of the federal program and    pay into locally run retirement programs
- Raising the retirement age for younger workers

On Medicare, Perry recommended providing patients with greater flexibility to choose plans that fit their needs, gradually raising the age of Medicare eligibility, implementing a sliding scale for distributing Medicare benefits, and tackling waste and fraud in the program.  Perry’s plan also restructures Medicaid by turning its administration over to the states.

Perry touted his plan as a direct contrast to President Obama’s stimulus plan, arguing “It’s the kind of economic stimulus that President Obama could’ve achieved if he wasn’t so hellbent on passing government schemes that have failed American workers.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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