Flat tax proposals have become all the rage within GOP circles ever since Herman Cain rose in the polls on the wave of his “9-9-9” tax reform plan. Today, in South Carolina, Texas Governor Rick Perry unveiled his response, if you will, to the Cain plan by producing his own tax reform plan which includes a variance on the flat tax. Wasting no time, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called out the Perry campaign to compare plans on the average household making $50k a year.
Report from the Des Moines Register:
Rick Perry’s unveiling today of a flat tax proposal is far less bold and will lead to less job creation than one proposed by Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House Speaker said today.
Perry in South Carolina – the state that Gingrich has hung his presidential campaign resurrection hopes on – today unveiled a new optional income tax system that would let people choose a flat tax with a rate of 20 percent or stick with the existing tax code.
Gingrich posted a message to the Texas governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate on Twitter:
“If u r going to bump plans w/ my friend Herman, then you can bump plans w/ me. Let’s compare flat taxes”
Perry’s campaign noted that Gingrich’s plan would not allow people to deduct the costs of what they pay in local and state taxes from their income taxed by the federal government.
“While we have a lot of respect for the Speaker, on this issue he is flat wrong,” said Robert Haus, Perry’s Iowa campaign co-chairman. “Gingrich’s plan would have Iowans paying taxes on their taxes which Iowans have fought against for many years.”
Gingrich has said the deduction is unnecessary because his plan has a lower tax rate.
Perry’s plan, however, includes a standard $12,500 deduction.
Without considering other factors that could influence the total amount paid, a person making $50,000 that pays $10,000 in state and local income taxes would pay taxes on $27,500 of income under Perry’s plan versus the full $50,000 under Gingrich’s plan.
The bottom line: A person in the above scenario would pay $2,000 less under Perry’s plan, the Texas governor’s campaign staff noted.
This entire discussion will lead us nicely in the November 9th CNBC Republican debate which will focus on economic issues in entirety. I actually think the loser in this discussion, at least at this point, is Mitt Romney who has unveiled a plan which is not quite as groundbreaking as what Cain, Gingrich and now Perry have proposed with regard to overhauling the current tax code.
At least four candidates have outlined specific tax reform initiatives they would support if elected. I have linked to them below for ease of access. Bachmann, Santorum and Huntsman have only general statements on lowering the tax burden on businesses and individuals, however, I’d wager they too may provide more specific proposals in coming weeks.
On this point, the race is a little more fascinating as we’re getting more details on these proposals than just sound bites and generalizations.