Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rick Perry Flat Tax Plan: Don't Expect a 9-9-9 Retread

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Rick Perry Flat Tax Plan: Don't Expect a 9-9-9 Retread

Article excerpt

Rick Perry says his flat tax plan is a major part of his broad prescription to revive the economy and create jobs - a move he hopes will also revive his campaign.

Fresh off Tuesday night's rollicking GOP presidential debate, Rick Perry says he'll soon be unveiling a flat tax proposal.

"It starts with ... scrapping the three million words of the current tax code, starting over with something simple: a flat tax," the Texas governor told GOP activists at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas Wednesday.

Like businessman Herman Cain, whose 9-9-9 plan came under fire at Tuesday's debate, Mr. Perry wants to do away with the current tax system. Although Perry won't reveal the details until a speech scheduled for next week in South Carolina, the similarities likely end there.

"Herman, I love you, brother, but let me tell you something: You don't have to have a big analysis to figure this thing out. Go to New Hampshire, where they don't have a sales tax, and you're fixing to give them one," Perry told Mr. Cain during the debate. "They're not interested in 9-9-9. What they're interested in is flatter and fairer."

Perry added, "I'll bump plans with you, brother - and we'll see who has the best idea about how you get this country working again." (The Twitterverse, by the way, burbled with questions Wednesday about why Perry twice referred to Cain, who is African American, as "brother." Had it anything to do with Perry's recent problem over his family's hunting camp once having a racist name?)

It's expected that Perry's flat tax plan will be a major part of his broad plan to revive the economy and create jobs. The New York Times reports that Steve Forbes, who ran for president in 1996 and 2000 on a pledge of implementing a single flat tax on income, has recently joined Perry's campaign as an adviser.

Perry told the Republican gathering Wednesday that he "will put forward a plan that balances the budget," and he pledged to "barnstorm all 50 states to generate support for a balanced-budget amendment that will require the necessary tough choices year after year. …

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