Entries in Flat Tax (4)


Herman Cain Calls Perry’s Economic Plan ‘Flat Tax Lite’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- At a private fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas Wednesday night hosted by the Nueces County Republican Women, Cain told the group how his ’9-9-9′ plan measured up against Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent ‘Cut, Balance, and Grow’ plan.

Cain said, “Bottom line, Gov. Perry’s flat tax lite is no competition for 9-9-9.”

“Every interview that I do now till the end of the week, they’re going to want to compare it to the 9-9-9 plan,” said Cain, who elaborated on the many differences between his plan and Perry’s plan.

“It’s not a true flat tax.  It’s flat tax lite.  The reason it's flat tax lite is because he still retains some favorite deductions -- which means the lobbyists are still going to work hard to get their favorite deduction put back in.  So that defeats the purpose," he said.  "Secondly, it doesn’t take out embedded taxes.  The embedded taxes are still there.  Why?  Because the 20 percent flat personal tax and the 20 percent flat tax on businesses still causes business to pass those taxes onto consumers.  So he didn’t remove embedded taxes.”

Cain joked about the popularity of his 9-9-9 plan saying, “When I’m walking through airports, TSA agents say hello Mr. Cain, 9-9-9!  It’s my new last name.”

Cain then faulted Perry’s plan for not eliminating loopholes inherent in the current tax code.

“He just basically collapsed all of the tax brackets into one.  That’s all it is.  That’s why I call it flat tax lite,” he said.

“Here’s the other big difference.  It doesn’t expand the base.  As long as you’re only taxing income, the only way to raise revenue is to raise taxes.  The reason he ends up with a 20 percent rate versus a 9 percent rate is because with 9-9-9 we expanded the base.  We have income tax and we expanded the base by adding the national sales tax.  And when you expand the base you can get the lowest rate possible for everybody,” Cain said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Flat Tax Outpaces 9-9-9 in Poll, Notably Among Conservatives

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A flat tax like the one proposed Tuesday by Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry engenders a split decision in public opinion -- if not the warmest reception, a better one than the public’s broader disapproval of his rival Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan.

While a flat tax divides the nation overall, it resonates most strongly in a group of particular interest to Perry -- “very conservative” Americans, a key GOP voting group. They hold favorable views of a flat tax by a broad 68-28 percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll, suggesting a strategic rationale for Perry’s initiative.

More broadly, there’s greater division: Americans overall split by 47-48 percent on the notion of a flat tax -- that is, removing most income tax deductions and charging all taxpayers the same tax rate, instead of charging higher rates on higher incomes. That’s almost identical to the 48-48 percent split on a flat tax in a different ABC/Post question back in August 1996.

Views are more lopsided on Cain’s idea of setting the federal income tax, business tax and a national sales tax at nine percent each. Americans by a 20-point margin, 56-36 percent, hold an unfavorable opinion of the 9-9-9 plan. And intensity runs against the idea: it’s seen as “strongly” unfavorable rather than strongly favorable by a 3-1 margin, 35 percent vs. 12 percent.

While partisan and ideological divisions mark these views, so do other factors in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. In both cases, for example, the new tax approaches are significantly more popular among better-off adults, those in $100,000-plus households, vs. those with annual incomes of $50,000 or less.

In the better-off category, 58 percent favor a flat tax system; that drops to 44 percent among people with incomes less than $50,000. And while fewer than half of wealthier adults, 49 percent, like 9-9-9, that falls to 33 percent in the lower-income group.

Politically, favorable views of a flat tax peak at 56 percent among Republicans, but subside to 46 percent among independents and four in 10 Democrats. The 9-9-9 plan, for its part, doesn’t win majority backing in any of these groups. It’s seen unfavorably by 50 percent of Republicans, rising to about six in 10 Democrats and independents alike.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


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


Perry Views Romney as a ‘Fat Cat’

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry has braced himself for potential criticism of his economic plan’s flat-tax component, sending a message directly to Mitt Romney, who rebuked the flat tax in 1996.

Asked in an interview Monday with John Harwood of CNBC how he would respond to possible criticism from Romney of a 20-percent flat tax, which Perry introduced Tuesday, Perry said, “I’d say he ought to go look in the mirror, I guess. I consider him to be a fat cat.”

During Steve Forbes’ 1996 presidential run, Romney chided the flat tax as one developed for “fat cats.” Forbes helped Perry develop the economic plan that he unveiled in South Carolina on Tuesday.

Perry defended his plan, which creates an optional 20 percent tax and eliminates dividends, capital gains and interest income taxes in the country, saying it should be lauded as a “tax cut across the board,” not one that benefits the wealthiest in this country.

Perry’s plan proposes a 20 percent corporate tax, to cap spending at 18 percent of GDP, to change Social Security by raising the retirement age, allowing young individuals to start personal retirement accounts, and to change the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

“I’ll take the criticism if that’s what comes,” Perry said. “I’ll take that criticism because what I’m interested again is getting America working.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio