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Flat Tax

October 25, 2011 | By James Oliphant
The reviews are coming in on Rick Perry's flat tax plan - and even some conservatives are giving it a thumbs-down. Take Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. He finds the plan confounding in several ways. First, there's the idea of giving taxpayers a choice to stay in the current system or opt for Perry's 20% flat tax. So much for the idea of junking an unpopular tax code rife with loopholes and tax breaks, Viard said. “It makes no sense from a policy perspective,” Viard said.
October 25, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
Rick Perry's tax plan, which he is to unveil Tuesday in a speech in South Carolina, calls for an optional 20% flat rate, something that the candidate says will allow Americans to “file their taxes on a postcard,” and will spur innovation and job creation. Perry released details of the plan in an Op-Ed article in the Wall Street Journal. “By eliminating the dozens of carve-outs that make the current code so incomprehensible, we will renew incentives for entrepreneurial risk-taking and investment that creates jobs, inspires Americans to work hard and forms the foundation of a strong economy,” Perry wrote.
October 25, 2011
Three major Republican presidential candidates want to replace all or part of the byzantine federal tax code with a "flat tax" that collects a fixed percentage of one's income, with no brackets and few exemptions. The change would give Americans more incentive to save and invest, and less incentive to cheat. But there are other ways to obtain the economic benefits promised by a flat tax without asking the middle class to shoulder more of the tax burden now borne by those at the top. Originally proposed in 1981 by Stanford University scholars Robert E. Hall and Alvin Rabushka, the flat tax is a variation on the value-added taxes imposed in Europe.
October 24, 2011 | By Michael A. Memoli
Mitt Romney said Monday that he favored a simplified tax code that would lower the tax burden for the middle class, seeming to stop short of embracing the kind of flat tax proposals being offered by his chief GOP rivals. "Make them flatter," Romney told reporters after a rally at the New Hampshire state house. "As to what a particular tax system looks like -- you've got to look at the details and see, does it help middle-income Americans or not. " The former Massachusetts governor filed his paperwork this morning to become an official candidate in the state's primary, saying he hoped "that this time it will take," referring to his failed 2008 bid. He praised New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner for working to preserve the state's "richly deserved" tradition of hosting the first-in-the-nation primary, after Nevada Republicans moved their caucuses back to February.
October 24, 2011 | By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau
The original flat taxer, Steve Forbes, has endorsed Rick Perry's presidential bid the day before the Texas governor plans to unveil his own flat-tax plan during a speech in South Carolina. “It's going to be very exciting,” the former presidential candidate told Fox News. “A very low rate, generous exemptions for adults and for children, make it worthwhile to invest in America again, drastically simplying the tax code, lowering the corporate tax rate.” Forbes called it a “win-win all around” and praised its “radical simplicity.” That simplicity, of course, is what fueled Herman Cain's rise from near-anonymity to first-tier candidate.
October 22, 2011 | By Seema Mehta
Rick Perry previewed the economic plan he will roll out on Tuesday, saying he would call for trashing the current tax code and replacing it with a flat tax, ending all earmarks, enacting a balanced budget amendment and reforming entitlements. "It's time to get Washington out of the way in order for us to preserve the American way," Perry said. "The American people may be bruised but they're not broken and they want a new president who can deliver the hope and change that this one that we have today promised.
October 21, 2011 | By James Oliphant
Rick Perry, the candidate who loves to dump on the nation's capital as the source of most of the evil in governing, comes to Washington on Friday to do a meet-and-greet with lobbyists, trade association representatives and other Beltway insiders. The afternoon event will be held at the National Assn. of Wholesaler-Distributors, reports National Journal. The group's president, Dirk Van Dongen, is a Perry supporter. Perry, who wears his skepticism of federal power as a badge of honor, is not a well-known quantity in Washington, but he has enjoyed a comfortable relationship with the business community in Texas.
October 19, 2011 | By Michael Finnegan
A day after his ferocious clash with Mitt Romney in a Republican presidential debate, Rick Perry took a more subtle approach this morning to casting the former Massachusetts governor as a creature of the party establishment who lacks core convictions. Speaking to party loyalists at a Western Republican Leadership Conference here at the Venetian casino resort, the Texas governor challenged the notion that Romney was the inevitable White House nominee to run against President Obama next year.
October 18, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan would probably be seen as just another cockamamie tax scheme were it not for his surprising ascendance to front-runner ranks in the Republican Party primary. Yet one of the more interesting questions raised by the plan hasn't gotten much attention: What accounts for the enduring popularity of such tax nostrums, when they never pencil out? Cain's proposal, which purportedly would replace today's federal tax code with a flat 9% personal income tax, a flat 9% corporate tax and a flat 9% national sales tax, has the surface appeal of an advertising slogan.
October 13, 2011 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
Presidential candidate Herman Cain has made a splash with his "9-9-9" tax plan, which drew the focus of much of this week's Republican debate on the strength of its catchy simplicity. The plan — were it to surmount dead-on-arrival predictions — would amount to a dramatic benefit to wealthy Americans and a greater burden on the poor and middle class, according to one analysis. But it is proving a hit with voters who say they're fed up with loopholes and tax breaks for corporations, and with many tea party activists who want government out of their affairs.
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