Rick Perry Revives Debate on Flat Taxes

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry. (Getty)

When Herman Cain introduced his 999 plan, it put him in the spotlight and helped vault him to the top of the polls. It was just a matter of time before another Republican presidential contender offered something similar. Within days, Newt Gingrich proposed a 15 percent flat tax. Now Governor Rick Perry has responded with a flat tax plan of his own. Perry's plan centers around a 20 percent flat tax, and offers a choice. Taxpayers can either file under the current system, or opt to use Perry's flat rate.

What's behind Americans' long-standing fascination with flat tax plans? New York Times columnist Joe Nocera puts Governor Perry's plan in context, and Rice University political science professor Paul Brace analyzes what this plan could mean for Perry's campaign — and for the country.

Comments [4]


mountainbiker sums up the opposition nicely.

And our tax system is hardly progressive by any measure. A distributional analysis of all 50 states and local tax systems shows that nearly all of them are actually regressive: lower-income families shoulder more of the burden so receive little or no benefit from the federal offset.

Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy

Oct. 27 2011 11:52 PM
Angel from Miami, FL

I agree with listener's comments (below). The Republican plan to pass the buck to the private sector, as we've been doing, has definitely been working for the country. Well, for 2% of the country at least. For everyone else it has given us the hope that one day we will become billionaires ourselves and have millionaires at our beck and call. The Republican plan also includes funding for Roombas to do all those jobs we won't do ourselves OR won't allow immigrants to do for us OR have not been outsourced to China already. It's a great plan and I dare you, Takeaway-ers, to prove otherwise.

Oct. 27 2011 10:35 AM
mountainbiker from Stillwater OK

For each individual figure the total tax burden from income, sales, payroll tax etc. Divide this by income. Now compare individuals across the spectrum. Progressive income taxes make this number more equitable, flat taxes produce large differences.

Oct. 26 2011 11:04 AM

Who said the flat tax was new?
Isn't a flat tax better to "promote" candidates than simply more spending of borrowed money which is constantly promoted by this President?

In order to promote growth and confidence the economy needs a predictable and stable environment which Republican proposals do unlike the President's expensive and failed policies that have to be paid for by the private sector and breeds uncertainty and stagnation.

Oct. 26 2011 10:34 AM

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