Texas Governor Rick Perry’s decision to propose a flat tax offers the type of bold and realistic leadership that could help him regain his footing and get back some of the traction that he lost in the weeks following his entrance into the Republican presidential nomination contest.
Before becoming an official candidate for President, I saw great potential in Perry’s campaign. I even believed that his bold declaration to make government as inconsequential in our livesas possible, to be a good sign of a brave, new, conservative leader who was willing to think outside of the box and provide voters disenchanted with the establishment, with a promising new leadership alternative in the 2012 election. Unfortunately though, what I can only describe as a poorly orchestrated campaign strategy, Perry seemingly squandered his chance to maintain the level of support and faith in him that he began his campaign with.
Part of the reason for Perry’s slide from the top was due to his extremely poor debate performances, most notably his charge that those who disagreed with his desire to reward illegal immigrants with reduced tuition fees for their college educations were heartless. But a big part of the Perry slide was also his campaign’s inept ability at damage control, something that is bound to be needed even in the best ran campaigns. And the other major factor was the degree to which Perry seemed to be unprepared to run.
When asked a question about jobs and the economy during a debate, Perry actually stated that he would have a plan soon. That was an incredibly inadequate answer to a question dealing with what is undisputable the most important, immediate issue facing the nation he seeks to be President of. In many ways, the manner in which Perry has handled himself, especially in the debates, allowed people, to put it nicely, to question how bright Perry is. How smart Perry is is something which I too have been forced to question.
But it is by no means too late for Perry to get back in the game and his intellectual capacity is not a foregone conclusion yet. We all make mistakes. Bedsides, Perry does actually have good political instincts, even though he has not shown them recently, he has been thrice elected Governor of Texas. He has the ability to raise levels of money that will allow him to be competitive if he spends itwisely, he has an effective team of knowledgable political consultants and strategists who have the ability to run an effective campaign, and he has the opportunity to seize the support of a broad spectrum of Republicans who remain either dissatisfied with the existing field of Republican presidential candidates or are not yet fully uncommitted to any one of them. But to take advantage of this, Governor Perry now needs an angle that will provide voters with a simple and solid reason to still consider his candidacy. His proposal of a flat tax does that.
I have argued that like Herman Cain, Mitt Romney needed to propose something bold and contradict the status quo of the political establishment. I argued for Romney to propose a simple, straightforward, flat tax. It has been my opinion that since Romney is largely viewed as an establishment candidate in what is an anti-establishment environment, he needs to come up with solutions that are new and different and could allow voters to see him in a new light. But thatis not how Romney has acted. Instead, Romney proposed a plan that even though it is undoubtedly a solid, pro-growth economic policy, it still did little to help him capture the needed impression of being more than a status quo politician. What he did do was present a 59 point plan that simply created the impression of his being a typical bureaucrat.
My reasons for arguing that Romney use a flat tax plan to show himself to be a reform minded, anti-establishment leader, has always been primarily based upon the merits behind a simplified flat tax code.
As the federal government continues to participate in excesses that have its roots in and endless increase in its size and scope, it operates in a vicious cycle. The more it seeks to control the people, the more expensive it becomes to enforce those controls. And as they incur those costs to legislate our lives away, they turnaround and raise our taxes to pay for it. In this cycle not only does the federal government take more control over us, they take more of our money away from us, thereby taking more control away from us by inhibiting our individual economic opportunities and freedoms.
This cycle must stop.
Our current tax code is unfair and unjust. It penalizes success, deters wealth, stunts economic growth and employment opportunities, and feeds the bureaucratic monster of a behemoth federal government that infringes on our freedom more than it defends it.
Under the current arcane tax structure, nearly 50% of the population pays nothing into the federal system. Yet this same 49 or so percent of the population are the ones who are either in part or entirely, sustained by the federal government. This socialist style system of federal sustenance has eroded our free markets, the American entrepreneurial spirit, and is undermining our economy and people. It perpetuates a culture of dependency and promotes an entitlement society, that takes more than it gives.
That is why we need real, major……….. in fact, dramatic tax reform.
Herman Cain understands that. Hence his 9-9-9 plan.
But Cain’s hybridized flat tax creates too many problems of its own, not to mention a new national sales tax. Not only does that fly in the face of “no new taxes”, it creates more new ways to tax the people. And while there are many statistical metrics that can be manipulated to promote or oppose the sales tax and Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, the bottom line is that I do not want to give government the authority to abuse a new and additional form of taxation.
That is why I have long proposed what I call a National Tax Equity Bill that abolishes our current failed tax code and replaces it with a flat tax.;
Roughly stated, my flat tax plan consists of the following major components
A flat tax rate on individuals and businesses as outlined below with a rate of 18%, that, after three years, will level off at 15.5% of what’s left of the total annual income from all wages, salaries, and pensions after subtracting a personal allowance.
Those four allowances would be:
– $26,600 for married filling jointly
– $16,850 for single head of household
– $13,650 for single
– $5,300 for each dependent child
Other aspect of my plan include;
- -Rais or reduce the flat tax rate
- -Extend or eliminate allowances
- -Create any new penalty taxes
- Borrow money to pay for general expenses
All of this may be too much to hope for in Perry’s plan. But at least Rick Perry is prepared to to put himself forth as a mainstream American politician who is willing to do what most other mainstream or establishment politicians are not willing to do……stop tinkering with a tax code that is a lemon and replacing it with a better, more reliable, and more equitable tax system, that is devoid of loopholes and significantly reduces the size and invasiveness of the I.R.S.
The advantages of a Flat Tax are endless and undeniable. The principal arguments in its favor are growth, fairness, how it will dramatically lower rates and put an end to the tax code’s bias against savings and investments, and will boost the economy’s performance when compared with the present tax code.
One of the most persuasive arguments for a flat tax is its fairness. The current convoluted tax system with all its complicated documents, manuals, and forms, would be replaced by simple instructions and a simple, small postcard-like form. Furthermore its simplicity does not allow for the type of loopholes which give special advantages to those who wield political power.
As stated by Daniel Mitchell, Ph.D. of the Heritage Foundation, if enacted, a flat tax would yield major benefits to the nation, including faster economic growth, simplicity, fairness, put an end to micromanaging and political favoritism, produce increased civil liberties, and increase our edge in global competitiveness. And unlike those arguing for a national sales tax by calling it a “fair tax”, a flat tax is just what it calls itself. It is flat and it is also proven. Over the last 20 years, those nations which have adopted a mild flat tax rate, account for the fasting growing economies in the world.
And speaking from a political standpoint in the sense of both the Republican nomination contest and the general election, a flat tax offers an incredibly powerful and unifying message of the creation of an equitable tax code that is one rate for one nation. No one is asked to pay a higher percentage for their citizenship than anyone else and being successful is not penalized.
Given Perry’s willingness to endorse and propose a flat tax, while I can not say that it is enough to make me endorse him at this point in time. It is enough to make me willing to still consider him as a viable option.
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