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October 25, 2011 09:32 PM UTC

Who Can Dumb Down The Tax Debate More?

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Los Angeles Times reports, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s latest stab at poll recovery involves a tax reform proposal even simpler than Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” pizza special plan:

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 has settled on a flat-tax plan to try to jump-start his flagging campaign, which saw an initial burst of enthusiasm but has since dropped in the polls. It’s a bid to try a steal some of the thunder from Herman Cain, whose 9-9-9 plan has drawn massive interest and sparked a debate over tax policy.

Perry’s plan would slice the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and eliminate taxes on dividends and long-term taxable gains. He would drop the corporate rate even further temporarily to encourage repatriation of income from overseas, and would tax companies only for income generated in the United States. Perry also would eliminate the estate tax, a longstanding bane to Republicans, and do away with taxation of Social Security benefits.

Amusingly, the Times reports Perry’s 20% sort-of flat tax plan comes along with a pledge to “balance the budget by 2020”–with the caveat that balancing the budget will be, do not blink, impossible if they pass Perry’s tax plan! So even though you get both promises delivered now, you’re pretty much guaranteed by arithmetic to only get one promise, you know, kept later.

But folks, really now. This isn’t about making promises anybody intends to keep.


26 thoughts on “Who Can Dumb Down The Tax Debate More?

  1. can’t wait to hear what the numbers crunchers will have to say about his flat or stick with your old rate mish mash and there’s no reason to believe that the public is any moe more willing to take a chance with privatizing chunks of SS than they were when W was pushing it.

  2. about who can dumb down the tax debate more, has Bachmann come up with a detailed plan yet?  I know she was a tax lawyer by but a colleague pointed out that she litigated two cases and spent most of her time on maternity leave so, it’s not out of the question that hers could be dumber.  

    She did recently complain that Obama went into Libya first and then sent troops into Africa. That’s pretty dumb.

    She thinks the President has the power to cut the gas price to $2 a gallon. That’s pretty dumb.  Of course Cain gives her a run for the money by offering to sign an anti-abortion amendment.

    She has at once complained that Obama should have scared Iraq into accepting our terms for troops remaining with immunity and at the same time claimed that the Iraqi’s should pay us back for every dime we spent on the war because shouldn’t they pay us for liberating them? Holding those two views at once is pretty dumb.  How liberated can they be, and leaving aside they never invited us to invade and liberate them in the first place, if they are still supposed to do whatever we say or else?

    I have a suspicion that if you were getting audited,  you might want to consider someone else to advise you, tax lawyer or no.

    This is a tough one. Cain, Bachmann and Perry are pretty much heading for a photo  finish in the dumb ideas race in general, not just tax policy.

    1. Keep talking down to the people of CO, they’ll have your answer next November. I’m personally hoping for a Romney Perry ticket in either order. You guys are so toast

      1. (oh wait, wasn’t Moderanus suppose to post right after redzone? something not right … redzone & moderanus stitched together like a trolling Human Centipede).

        anyway … I’d love to see those 2 egos fight over who get’s to the dias first or better yet Parry’s smirk behind Mittens during a State of the Union.  

        Truth is I’d be scared for Mittens if coyote-plinking Parry was ever 2nd in line for POTUS ’cause ya just never know when one of ’em old Colts is gonna misfire.  

      2. Orlando, Florida

        During Thursday night’s debate, Rick Perry was asked the toughest and most substantive foreign policy question of the evening. Moderator Bret Baier wanted to know what Perry would do first, as president, if he received a 3 a.m. phone call “telling [him] that Pakistan had lost control of its nuclear weapons at the hands of the Taliban.”

        Here was Perry’s response in full:

        Well, obviously before you ever get to that point, you have to build a relationship in that region. That’s one of the things that this administration has not done. Just yesterday, we found out through Admiral Mullen that Haqqani has been involved with, and that’s a terrorist group, directly associated with the Pakistani country. To have a relationship with India, to make sure that India knows that they are an ally of the United States. For instance, when we had the opportunity to sell India the upgraded F-16s, we chose not to do that. We did the same thing with Taiwan. The point is, our allies need to understand clearly that we are their friends, we will be standing by there with them. Today, we don’t have those allies in that region that can assist us if that situation that you talked about were to become a reality.

        Not easy to make sense of it but the upshot, near as I can make out, seems to be he wouldn’t be able to do much but whine about the fix he was in. Oh and last time I checked, India was still our ally.  Not sure what Taiwan would have to do with this particular situation. There are words here but mostly they don’t connect into coherent completed thoughts.  Makes GW look erudite. Hard to imagine this guy ever getting it together to get, say, Bin Laden.

        1. Perry’s quietly been receiving public speaking tutoring from noted Republican jibberish-master, Sarah Palin.  She did say she was going to stay involved in shaping the course of this election.

  3. E.J. Dionne had a great explanation for this in his column “The GOP’s latest tax gimmickry: Soak the poor”:

    The Republican fixation on taxes dates to the mid-1970s, when supply-side economics began taking hold. The late Jude Wanniski, an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal who campaigned indefatigably on behalf of lower marginal tax rates, came up with the “Two Santa Clauses” theory. He argued that if Democrats earned support by giving voters benefits through government programs, Republicans should play Santa by giving people tax cuts.

    Unfortunately, the race to pander to the wealthy has gotten completely out of control.

    But Republicans have a problem now. In the Kemp-Reagan days, they were selling across-the-board tax cuts. Most of their benefits flowed to the rich, but almost everyone got a piece. Today, many Republicans complain resentfully that less prosperous Americans don’t pay enough in taxes – overlooking the fact that citizens who don’t pay income taxes still shell out a significant share of their earnings in payroll, sales and (directly or through their rents) property taxes.

    Time for all of us the pay our fair share.  The problem being of course, convincing everyone exactly how much that is.

    Commonsense-wise, Willie “Why do you rob banks? Because that’s where the money is” Sutton has it all over the GOP candidates who think robbing penny gumball machines will balance the budget.

  4. And, of course, the hard part of taxes is figuring out what your taxable income is, not applying the tax rate once you have it.

    So, let’s see who he thinks needs tax breaks?

    Profitable publicly held corporations.  Check.

    People with net worths in excess of $10 million per household.  Check.

    People who have lots of stock market investment income and no income from actually working.  Check.

    Meanwhile, Americans who currently pay 0%, 10% or 15% income tax rates, i.e. the working class and lower middle class.  Clearly, they need a higher marginal tax rate.

    What about this plan is in any way popular?  It is far beyond me to understand it.

  5. without discussing his other major headline of the day — his not-sure-if-Obama’s-birth-certificate-is-real-or-what-his-grades-are fun-poking.

    The latter is clearly a Texas version of dog whistle politics — or is it Perry’s version of new Republican politics which might be called N$*@#&head politics?

    Please!  I want to wake up tomorrow and all these bizarro Republican candidates will be GONE! — replaced by . . . by . . . McCain?  A reincarnation of Nixon?  Reagan?  

  6. Even if his ridiculous plan were in any way plausible, Americans are creatures of habit. So given the choice of doing their taxes the way they’ve been doing them for decades, or attempting to figure out Parry’s new plan, which are they gonna choose? Only the rich will go for it, and it’s no secret they’re in the minority.

    God Bless the laziness of Americans!!

      1. for not making enough money.  If you were more of a multi-millionaire job creator, your choice would be patently obvious.

        Hey, I guess this is how Perry’s plan incentivizes prosperity . . .  

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