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BLITZER’S BLOG: Cain’s 9-9-9 plan vs. Perry’s 20-20-0 plan
October 25th, 2011
01:39 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: Cain’s 9-9-9 plan vs. Perry’s 20-20-0 plan

(CNN) - It’s clear that Texas Governor Rick Perry needs to jump start his presidential campaign.

The new CBS/New York Times poll has him coming in fifth nationally among Republican voters. Herman Cain is at 25%; Mitt Romney 21%; Newt Gingrich 10%; Ron Paul 8%; and Perry at only 6%.

Perry was at 23% and winning in that same poll among Republican voters in mid-September.

According to the same poll, he also comes in fifth among tea party supporters – a group that he once inspired.

Cain wins that group with 32%; Romney is at 18%; Gingrich 15%; Paul 9%; and Perry with only 7%.

Perry was at 30% and winning among tea party supporters in that same poll back in mid-September.

His collapse in the polls has been swift, probably the result of his less-than-spectacular debate performances. But now he has beefed up his staff and come out with his new tax and spending plan.

Herman Cain has his 9-9-9 plan for tax reform – 9% federal income tax; 9% corporate rate; and 9% national sales tax.

In contrast, Perry proposes what I’m calling his 20-20-0 plan for tax reform – 20% federal income tax; 20% corporate tax rate; and no national sales tax.

But Perry’s flat tax is not as simple as it sounds. Unlike the Steve Forbes flat tax proposal of 1996 when he was running for the Republican nomination, Perry allows individuals to keep the current tax system if they prefer. Does that mean that all of us will have to prepare two separate tax returns in order to see which one results in less payment to the federal government?

Writing today in The Wall Street Journal, Perry says: “The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.”

Republicans have regularly accused President Obama and the Democrats of engaging in “class warfare” by having higher tax rates for richer Americans. Is Perry now engaging in “class warfare?”

Get ready for lots of fact-checking of his plan even though he’s only at 6% in the polls. He still has millions of campaign dollars and there’s still a lot of time to come back.

RELATED STORY: Perry says plan will 'free' Americans from lengthy tax code

Post by:
Filed under: 2012 election • Herman Cain • Rick Perry • Taxes • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Lexis

    Neither Elvis nor Bob seem aware that, up until 1986, legally ainodvig the highest tax bracket was easy, and pandemic. It didn't discourage earning. The highest marginal rate may have discouraged outrageous over-compensation, via manipulated or backdated executive compensation and stock options. The "Code" still provides legal avoidance, for encouraging investment, employment, housing or research, but why bother, if you can be paid $125 million for some deal, and only pay 35%? Bob doesn't sound like a high bracket guy to me; more like a dupe. He and Elvis should seize more books on economics and history before they blog-comment.

    April 7, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  2. jj

    The tax structure is admittedly complicated. Let's simplify it so the rich pay their fair share.

    November 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  3. chuck

    Neither of these guys have the answer. They are not in this for the people but for themselves and the special interests they represent.
    Dr. Ron Paul knows more about the economy and foreign affairs than both of them put together.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Pete

    If you want to live in America you need to be part of the process. Why are only 50% of tax payers paying all of the bills? Every adult needs to be responsible and accountable. The current system only benefits the lawyers. No matter which simplified system becomes law it won't help until all elected politicans stop spending money they don't have. Who is John Gault?

    October 26, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • leroy jackson

      john galt is a fictional character in a book- the 50 that do not supposedly pay taxes are the one's w/o money

      October 27, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  5. Asq

    So, Perry's plan is another raise taxes on the poor and elderly while giving further tax cuts to the rich. Gotcha.

    October 26, 2011 at 6:06 am |
  6. Big john

    A true flat tax would never be able to be implenented on income. Earned or unearned ( to me, its all earned anyway, either by sweat or brains). People have to much variety in earnings level. If you want a flat tax that's a fair tax, then go with a 25% sales tax. That's it. People pay a tax on what they spend. This way, all pay equally. If you do this, add these provisions: a rebate equal to a standard living expense to everyone below the poverty line. Make corporations pay a fine equal to twice the dollar amount they save by outsourcing labor to foriegn markets. Force a removal of all embedded taxes in goods & services. This would mean the poor would not be hurt, corporations would have no profit from outsourcing, overall costs for goods & services would not increase, the economy would improve as demand rose, and the government would have the income to balance the budget, and eventually create a surplus. The only downside is the rich couldn't cheat, which is why it will never happen.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  7. scott bennett

    WAKE up America can't u see all the GOP contenders are the same when it comes to who there 4 the rich and super rich screw the poor and middle class oh thats right there is no more middle class but the rich seem to get richer

    October 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  8. skarphace

    Republicans have just came out with their theme song, which is a variation of a song from the Beatles:

    Feed the rich. Starve the poor. 'Till there are no poor no more.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Joe Q

      Wow Skarphace, so who is "rich"? Who defines that? The government? So government can take more money from someone they deem "rich" and give it to someone they deem "poor"? That's socialism.

      October 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  9. Paganguy

    You think your taxas will go up? Senior citizens' taxes will go from zero to 20%. But senior citizes have already payed taxes on FICA contributions. It is clear that Cain and Perry are working for the rich, just like most Republicans.
    Corporate tax: Make corporations pay 1% administrative fee (on gross income) and 0% tax on net income if distributed to stock holders in the USA. Otherwise keep the 35% tax. With all the dividents being payed out, the stock market would soar to new levels.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Sebastian

      Of course engvroment employees pay taxes just like everyone else should, And IRS employees must file their tax return on or before April 15th, and full pay the amount they owe. If a engvroment employee owes at time of filing, they may be granted an installment but for 36 months, and most of the time IRS will rather take it out of their paycheck.

      April 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  10. scott bennett

    I AGREE REP are only thinking of the rich

    October 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  11. Rich

    Same old deal no matter which way the republicans slice it the rich get richer...AS USUAL...America seems to be dumbing down just like the republicans want with their cuts to education...and also widen their base...

    October 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  12. roscoe

    Will Perry's son have to lose his job to campaign for the new tax code? How many times will he have to quit?

    October 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  13. Derek

    OMG! This guy is pure lunacy! Uh Oh polls are looking bad, hey that Cain Thing is working for him, I'll try it! God this guy is worse than Romney at chasing polls. These guys give new meaning to Follow not lead.....

    Besides who the hell will pay taxes if it weren't for the affluent!!!! And what a bubble any flat tax plan would create....everyone would buy everything they ever wanted before the sale tax sky rocketed. Sure it would help that year but I would sell every stock I just bought before that ballon popped!!!

    October 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  14. concerned

    Neither of these plans will work. The strange thing is that both Cain and Perry's plan seem thrown together at the last minute and not thought all the way through. If Pres. Obama had put this out there when he was running for president the media would have laughed him out of the race. The rich don't need any more money, they aren't hurting and they are sitting on most of the money. The rich need a dose of patriotism, empathy and reality. When nobody can buy, but the wealthy, the companies that made rich will not survive. There are too few wealthy Americans for them to support the entire economy by buying. This is crazy! The problem is not taxes. The problem is do nothing Americans that are too selfish to help their country by keeping their companies in our country, paying their fair share of taxes, and hiring to put Americans back to work.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  15. Richard S.

    The only ones who would benefit are those in the upper brackets, those now paying more than 20%. There is no way that this will b e better for the lower brackets or for the country. It would be a huge tax break for those currently in the higher brackets with nothing to offset it. Perry may be as dumb as he has been portrayed if he seriously thinks that this is a good plan.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Jae

      Heres why its bad. For everyone paying taxes this is a benefit no doubt. U will pay at least 10% less in taxes. Can u imagine all the money u keep? If u make $80k per year as a family u get to keep at least $8000 more a year. And now with no sales tax u get to "spend" it, i mean invest it on more "stuff" HELPS THE ECONOMY MORE THAN JOBSSS. Now, imagine this, how much would u "save" from the govt if u make $300,000 or more per year. Thats at minimum $30,000 right? Do u think at least a hundred people in th US makes that? Thats $30 MILLIONS of tax "savings" do u think 200, 300, 400 people in the US makes that?
      Why is this bad? WHO GETS CUT? NPR? PLANNED PARENTHOOD? DEFENSE? NATIVE AMERICAN LAND? ELDERLY? HEALTHCARE FOR EVERYONE? CORPORATE TAX BREAKS? SCHOOLS FOR ALL KIDS TOGETHER?
      There are some that wants to treat govt as a business. Thats fine. But if i am not mistaken, doesnt business run better when making money? Not cutting?

      October 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  16. IndependentinWI

    All of you that claim Perry's plan will INCREASE taxes on the middle class & poor – I'd like to know how you come to that conclusion, when Perry's plan is OPTIONAL. If you pay more under the flat tax, then choose to file your taxes under the current system. Please explain to me how that means anyone pays more!!!!!!

    If all of you nay-sayers enjoy completing your federal income tax return each year & don't mind how our tax code has been overtaken by special interest groups via deductions, credit & exemptions...then by all means, re-elect Barack Obama and keep the mess of a tax code we have today. But, if you would like to eliminate the special interest influence over our taxes, then vote GOP. And if you want to see those that scam the tax system today by working for cash off the books (like drug dealers, illegal aliens, prostitutes, etc.), and those that use every loophole to avoid taxes (like GE) – if you want all of these people to pay something in federal tax, then support Cain's 9-9-9 plan.

    But if you like everything the way it is today, by all means, vote for Obama again. Oh, but don't be surprised when your taxes go up in a few years, because Obama has spent us into oblivion & he realizes there aren't enough "rich" people out there to tax more in order to stop the deficit bleeding.

    Your choice.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Jae

      This will not make the middle class pay more in taxes. That is a lie. Both plans, the middle class will pay less. This is what nobody is talking about that kills me. THESE PLANS WILL KILL THE POOR. IT WILL KILL THE ELDERLY. IT KILL POOR KIDS!!! THIS WILL MAKE EVERONE THAT MAKES MONEY, MAKE MORE MONEY BY PAYING LESS. WHO CAN THE GOVT NOT TAKE CARE OF FIRST? WHO WILL DECIDE?

      October 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
      • Seito

        Bob, you are clearly have lttile understanding of how taxes are calculated. I suggest you educate yourself before spouting off with an ignorant opinion. If you happened to be "just under" the 92% tax bracket and then you make a lttile bit more money to put you in the 92% bracket the 92% isn't applied to your entire AGI. It is only applied to the dollars made from where the bracket begins and upward. The dollars you earned before you hit that bracket are taxed the same way the already were. For instance in 2007 your first $16,050 is taxed at 10%, the next 49,050 is taxed at 15% etc. So a person whose AGI is $400,000 and has a taxable income of $360,000 (thus putting them in the "35% tax bracket") actually only pays 24.45% of their $400,000 in taxes.

        April 6, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • leroy jackson

      you must not truly pay attention to what is going on- taxes are lower than before and besides the prez doesn't write the tax code- congress does (the legislative branch) so these guys are talking nonsense anyway – taxes will go up no matter who is in office W. left a really big hole that is going to need to be filled- those wars and stuff are expensive

      October 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  17. Jim from Kansas City

    Taking a look at the plan Cain has raised. After deductions i pay roughly 7.5% of my Gross in taxes. losing the deductions under Cain and stepping my taxes to 9% would raise my effective income tax rate by 1.5%. Capping it with a 9% federal sales tax gives me an ACTUAL tax increase of 10.5%. Meanwhile, the over $250,000 crowd gets a decrease from 35% to 18%, and less. I can't believe that a family earning income of over $250K has to spend and be taxed on every penny. It is hard enough to come up with money to invest on a middle class income. A much greater portion of the lower and middle class incoome would wind up subject to the federal income tax under either plan. As much as I dislike Perry's plan, I dislike Cain's more.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  18. Justaminit

    If you are middle class it will "free you of your money" in support of the wealthy. With the Bush tax cuts for 10 years, where are the jobs? Wake up America!!!

    October 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  19. Justaminit

    The class warfare label belongs to the Tea Party and Republicans. "Why can't people keep what they make?" they ask. Because you have a responsibility to support the government within which you make that money. 15% of $40,000 is $6,000 and leaves that family with S24,000 (without State & local taxes). 15% of $400,000 is $60,000, leaving a measly $340,000 for that family. Is that fair, hell no! Even if they pay 35% tax, they are left $240,000, boohoo. with Wake up America and know who your real enemy is, the corporate sellouts. A flat tax hurts the poor and middle class and makes the rich richer, at your expense.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Benji's Dad

      You messed up there a little bit on math. For one thing, Perry's flat tax is reported in the article as 20%, not 15% so this will strengthen your argument even more, except $40,000 – $6,000 is $34,000, not $24,000. You also completely ignored the standard deduction per individual that helps the poor much more than the rich. For sake of argument, I'll use the 15% flat tax you used. Now say you have a family of three (husband, wife, & 1 child) who make $40,000/yr. With the standard deduction of $12,500 x 3people = $37,500. Thus they only pay 15% on $2500 = a whopping $375. They are left with $39,625 for other taxes and expenses. Now another family of 3 making $400,000/yr would still have a standard deduction of $37,500 so they pay 15% on $362,500 = $54,375. Yes they still have a lot of money left: $345,625. But how can you say this system is unfair to the poorer family when they pay $375 in taxes vs. $54,375 paid by the richer family.

      October 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • marcus

      Life isn't fair. My mother taught me that a long time ago and I worked hard was smart and sacrificed. Now I make a little over 100K a year and people tell me I should pay more because its fair. I think if everyone except the extreme poor had to pay a little more they would feel the pinch and stop asking the government to spend so much blasted money. Only then could taxes really go down for everyone. Now that would be fair. I live in a world where you can give 50% effort all your life and then wine about class warfare while stealing from people that worked hard to get where they are. I'm just outside the 1% and I know I'm next, when will enough be enough. We feed the poor, give them healthcare, pension, housing, education, security and even outright money (yes when your refund is more than what you paid that came from somewhere). Yet they look at what we have get jealous and ask for better services of all categories listed plus want us to pay for all of it.

      October 25, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  20. jmscmt

    All of this scares the hell out of me. It's just my husband and I and we work our asses of for barely $36000 a year. We don't own our home, have no kids and only a couple credit cards and a car payment. Right now after takes we bring home maybe $26000/yr. at the current tax rate. No investment–we live paycheck to paycheck and I'm paying back student loans which only give me maybe $1500 deduction for the interest. We are the working poor. Buset we still pay our taxes every year, faithfully. We also don't receive any assistance because we're over the maximum income limit. These tax rates are outrageous.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • IndependentinWI

      Then you should like Cain's plan, which has you paying only 9% income tax, and then 9% sales tax on new items only. Actually, you might be exempt from the 9% income tax under Cain's plan. Or, under Perry's plan, just keep paying what you do now, if you think you pay less than 20% after deductions. There is really no downside to you. What both of these plans do is weed out the people who avoid paying taxes because of special interest deductions, exemptions, credits and loopholes. And Cain's plan actually get illegals to pay into the tax system via the national sales tax.

      October 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • SD

      Keep in mind that you're not really paying taxes. You have a 12K standard deduction so your Federal tax bill is zero. What you are paying is going into SS and Medicare which you will get back in benefits when you retire. Unless the Republicans kill those programs.

      October 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • kjsm

      @JMSCMT, There is no way your current situation is realistic. If you both have a combined income of $36k, you can't be paying $10k in taxes; that's a 28% tax bracket when you would be more around 10% or less. Add to that the $800 MWP credit and you could drop your tax bracket another 2%. You have to be getting a huge refund at year end.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  21. Jim from Kansas City

    Just a little rough figuring here. With all my deductions I paid roughly 7.5% of my GROSS income in taxes last year. I'm in roughly a 15% tax bracket. That means that under Perry's plan, unless I opt out, the increase to a 20% bracket would raise my taxes after deductions to 12.5% of my Gross income. I'd be stupid not to opt out, (an option that would last maybe one session of congress if the republicans remain in control of the purse strings). In the meantime, those with a concentration of wealth at the top get a 15% tax CUT. What the heck, I'm not voting for either one of these clowns.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  22. robert

    why should the american people pay a flat tax of 20% for a issue that the gov has caused. the gov bailed out the banks that means they where paid off for there so called loss. if the gov wanted to help the people they would supend all forclosures for a 2 year period do to the banks where paid off.creat another WPA project and not stimules's that local goverments pocket there share first with the WPA revamp it could be monatored better and and put people back to work fixing our failing infrastructer. this will give a break for the people and allow funds from payroll back in to the econmany its simple yet no one address this. and why is ron paul not being menchioned in the polls ? he is taking lead in 90% of the polls where is the news that needs to be reported?

    October 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  23. Jeff

    Wow. Bobby Jindal keeps saying the tax code punishes success – is that what you call it when it asks they simply pay their share? The rich have all the loopholes and avoidance techniques by far.... Pretending that succes is being piushed – please. Success itself is reward enough – that is the definition of success! Warren Buffet is the rare statesman amoing the rich – I am getting so tired of the GOP calling black white and pretending the rich are mistreated! Really? Tax breaks for the ones who need them the least – how does the hogwash sell?!?!? Perry's flat tax does not even get us to the supposed goal – he is selling smoke.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  24. Tom

    Just variations on a theme: lower taxes for the wealthy and higher taxes for everyone else. Call it any catchy name that you want, it's all the same. We cannot solve the debt problems without the wealthy paying more than they do, it's that simple.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  25. Sharon Adelmann

    Both plans are designed to make the poor and middle class pay more and benefit their rich cronies! It all sounds good when they talk about it but people better put pencil to paper and see how much they will be paying, a majority of the people that cannot afford it will be paying a lot more!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • SD

      In a nutshell, it establishes an Alternative Maximum Tax. If you're GE or Exxon or an of the 47% of America that doesn't pay Federal taxes, you can keep paying zero. But if you are a high income earner that for some reason can't deduct your way down to that, now you can at least cut it to 20%. Our debt and deficit will explode if he wins. So much for the Tea Party being the voice of fiscal responsibility.

      October 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  26. Veritas

    Now, why would anyone of the lower 80% earners want to payer higher federal taxes to subsidize further tax cuts for the extremely wealthy? Is the American really that stupid or does the GOP clowns only think so?

    October 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  27. Mike C

    Doesn't having a choice of tax codes defeat the purpose of a flat tax? In this case, isn't Perry's plan basically just lowering all brackets above 20% down to 20%? Doesn't Perry have an accountant working for his campaign? This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  28. theLeftWing

    Just another way of shifting the tax burden to the poor and middle classes and away from the wealthy. All you poor and middle class folk that think the wealthy will save you, cheer!

    October 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  29. Publius Novus

    1. Perry's proposal is not a flat tax. A flat tax is a single rate tax on gross income, with no exemptions and no deductions. The very idea is stupid, which is why Steve Forbes' proposal could not withstand scrutiny.

    2. Perry does not propose to keep the entire Internal Revenue Code. He wants to scrap the unified estate/gift/generation-skipping taxes, which occupies sections 2001 through 2704 of the IRC and employment taxes, which are sections 3101 through 3322.

    3. The elimination of "capital gains" taxes is a serious flaw (and another disqualifying characteristic vis-a-vis a flat tax). Any tax lawyer, CPA, or financial planner can and will tell you that the introduction of any differential in tax rates between ordinary income and unearned income is a seminal point for tax avoidance and evasion.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  30. Vesstair

    This should be funny to watch. Those feet are gonna have to move mighty fast to try and explain how his plan won't:

    1. SIGNIFICANTLY reduce revenues 4 months after he railed against the deficit.
    2. Be a tax break EXCLUSIVELY for people (i.e, individuals) making 50,000/year and more (and presumably families in the same bracket- about $75,000/yr). That's gonna go over REAL well with the whole populist anger thing going on.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  31. Linda Thrsher

    When is congress going to do something with the banks in this country? We have repeatedly tried to refinance or do a loan modifiction(making homes affordable ha ha) with Wells Fargo because between our first and second our interest is 7%. Their response to a refinance is "we don't have the income to service the mortgage and our monthly expenses." Their response to a modification is " we have the income to service our mortgage and our monthly expenses." Does this make sense to you when we are not one of the many that are underwater on their house loan? Not us. We have a small construction company in North West Montana and would like to know when the government is going to start supporting small businesses and not the large corporations and the banks they have had to bail out. We fought a war against the monarchy in England for independence. Didn't work so well did it? What happened to "We the people of the Unites States in order to form a more perfect union" and the Bill of Rights? We have no rights and our union isn't so perfect is it. Disgusted in Montana

    October 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  32. MaryM

    BOTH plans raises taxes on the Middle Class and Poor and LOWERS TAXES for the RICH. Now who and what does that tell you THE GOP/TP ARE working for?

    October 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  33. Beth Miletti

    This new "postcard plan" submitted by Perry, is not new. President Clinton offered the same
    plan, and it was declined by the House and the Senate.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  34. Arn

    These clowns propose their simplistic, bumper-sticker simple tax plans as if they hold fiscal water. Cain's was proven to be yet another giveaway to the wealthy. Do you doubt Perry's will be any different with 20% for everyone? That certainly impacts the middle and lower class much, much more than the wealthy. It don't take a weatherman to see which way that wind blows.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  35. Chris

    The big GAPING HOLE in this "reporting" is that both plans will give 0% capital gains and 0% inheritance tax rates, which is the primary income of the wealthy. In other words, if you work for a living you pay 9% income tax.... if you're a millionaire making money on investments and inheriting from your relatives, you pay NOTHING. Cain's plan should really be 9-9-9-zero-zero: the "you pay while we laugh all the way to the bank" plan.

    October 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  36. godott

    The fact that both plans set the capital gains tax to 0% is a slap in the face to the Occupy Wall Street movement. The richest 1% pay the majority of their tax through capital gains, so you are effectively giving them a 3 trillion dollar per year handout and making them practically tax free. These GOP candidates are just re-confirming they are in the pocket of the 1% not the 99%.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  37. Pam

    A few years ago, due to multiple circumstances, my husband ended up taking very early retirement. If my husband and I are fortunate enough to be living solely off of investment income, as we have since 2008, does this mean that under Perry's 20% "Flat" tax rate, we won't have to pay a dime anymore, so long as we only post income under $500K? Is he kidding? Any income we post now is capital gains or dividends, but according to what was described, there would be no tax on any of it?... If you can imagine a family of 4 lucky enough in this economy to not be desperate to have a job, with a home not under water, and kids in private school, you can imagine we currently pay a lot more than zero in income tax every year. But none of it is "earned", and we don't even get to use most regular deductions for kids, charity, health, etc., because of the AMT. How on earth would this plan not drastically reduce revenue the government desperately needs, if every household like mine, not quite in the '1%' but close, could "choose" to pay under Perry's plan, and get off without paying taxes at all? Wouldn't this encourage anyone who could do so to just quit their jobs and live off investments? I don't think this is going to encourage any job growth, but quite the opposite. Anyone with the means to start a business and hire anyone would just stick all their money in investments, instead, and go home. What am I missing?

    October 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  38. Garrett Lustig

    Wolf, your statement in the next to last paragraph is completely incorrect. Republicans do not accuse Obama of engaging in "class warfare" simply because wealthier Americans pay higher tax rates. Wealthier Americans have always paid higher tax rates yet it is only recently that the accusation of "class warfare" has surfaced. The true reason that they accuse Obama of "class warfare" is because Obama constantly says that wealthy Americans "don't do their part" and that the nation is suffering because of their "greed". He constantly promulgates the dynamic of rich vs. poor. That Perry is proposing a new tax code with a flat tax does not indicate by any means that he is engaging in "class warfare" like Obama has for a long time.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  39. Charlie

    It is clear the current system is not working and both the OWS and TEA party are unhappy with it. We need something new and both candidates have made proposals. Democrats seem to rely on the same old failed tax the rich more propaganda. I prefer the Perry plan to the Cain plan, but both are better than what we have now.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  40. Dan

    It seems to me that all of the proposals with a new tax code have one fundamental problem, they all try to combine tax and social issues. Taxes should be separated, they are to support the common government. Everyone should pay with no deduction. Social support programs should give support where needed, housing, food etc.. Combining the two leaves you with 76,000 pages of code no one understands and can never be socially fair and no one can agree upon.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  41. George Washington

    Why all these crazy plans.
    Make first 14,00 of income taxed at 5% per person, no marriage penalty (include dividends, interest, hedge fund managers compensation, all compensation, Including stocks)
    Make next bracket 14,001 to 250K taxed at 10% or 15%
    All other taxed at like 25 to 35 %
    No deductions except adult dependents (like taking care of your old aged parents, aunts uncles, etc...)
    No housing, no foreign taxes, no charity deductions.
    Corporations taxed at 20 to 30% (20 with absolutely no deductions, 30 with some basic deductions)

    October 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  42. Harry Wortz

    Cain's plan eventually becomes a 30% federal sales tax. Why does the media keep saying 9-9-9 with no mention of the end game? Regardless though, both plans are regressive and will put more of the burden as a percentage of income on the lowest wage earners while giving tax breaks to the more wealthy hoping for "trickle down".

    Something is trickling down my back and Can and Perry keep telling me it's raining.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  43. Larry L

    Both of the Republican "plans" ignore capital gains and dividends – the real money-maker for the rich. Any flat tax would simply cause the rich to disguise their income in these and other areas. Both of these plans are regressive and would cripple the middle class and poor.

    Cain plans to pay for his plan with trickle-down economics and by effectively increasing taxes for everybody but the rich. Such a good Christian man...

    Perry's plan sounds like the "I'll-tell-you-whatever-you-want-to-hear-plan". Perry plans to pay for this plan with cuts to Social Security, Medicare and the Environmental Protection Agency. Are Republicans that stupid?

    October 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  44. John R.

    The Perry 20-20-0 plan is a non-starter. Without making this tax simplification mandatory all it will do is make the current tax system even more complex. I think a graduated flat-tax with only mortgage, charitable, state and local tax and standard deductions makes sense and is much simpler. Keep 4 tax brackets <50K<250k5M with 12%,15%, 18%, 20% respectively (or some similar percentages) so that low income individuals aren't hit too hard. This really would put most tax returns on a post card and would allow to greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the IRS at a $12B+ / year savings.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  45. Joe Taxpayer

    Perry spoils his plan two ways (1) by retaining the existing system; and (2) allowing deductions for charities etc. It is simple, if you want to support a charity fine – use your own money – don't force other tax payers to support it as well (which the charitable deduction makes us do because other tax payers make up the short fall arising from the charitable deduction).

    October 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  46. Carl W.

    Here's some simple facts that prove that Perry's plan has no substance when it comes to actually doing something about the tax code when you look at his "postcard form":

    1) He doesn't even understand the standard deduction. The "standard deduction" on his application is really the exemption amount. You don't get the standard deduction and things like mortgage interest right now. This might be the one thing I do like about his plan.

    2) Is he going to tell those poor small (unincorporated) businesses that the Republicans are always talking about that he's going to be raising their taxes? Nowhere on his postcard is there a Schedule C, so I guess there's no writing off expenses, capital costs, wages, etc. I guess small businesses have to pay 20% on their total revenues, not just their net profits.

    3) No more Social Security tax? Yeah, that's going to help keep Social Security solvent (of course, we know you really think it's just a fraud anyway).

    4) What about foreign income? Or if I owe foreign taxes? Neither one is on your postcard. Sounds like we're going to get double taxed now. Thanks, Rick.

    5) Alimony? I guess anyone who has to pay it is going to first have to pay taxes on it. That's going to thrill a lot of people.

    I could go on and on, but I think this just shows how little thought has actually gone into this so-called plan.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Abdul

      If your question is pilaosophichl- then no, people that work for the government do not contribute a net amount to the total revenue collected. If you are paid $1000 as a city worker 100% of that $1000 was collected as a tax from citizens, so if you are "taxed" $200 then you are simply returning tax dollars back into the pool of tax dollars collected. So, yes, appox 13% (approx percentage of the population that works for l/s/fed agencies) add no net revenue to the pool of tax dollars- they simply keep less tax money.If your question was not pilaosophichl- then of course they pay taxes.

      April 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Gracine

      "My point exactly. If I earn just under the 92% brkacet, why would I do anything productive to take my earnings into the 92% brkacet."You could still make that much money, you'd just have to find another way to get rid of it, such as investing it or paying your other employees higher wages, so your personal income isn't hitting the 92% brkacet. That's the beauty of it "spreading the wealth around". That may sound like socialism to you, but it makes the economy work a lot better than one guy (or 2.5% of the population) hording all the wealth.

      April 7, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  47. Ron

    When commenting on the % of Americans who pay no taxes, please specify INCOME taxes. Almost all Americans pay taxes of some sort so it's unfair to make folks like senior citizens, many living on SS only, to feel as if they're freeloaders. They pay property taxes, school taxes, sales taxes, personal property taxes such as car tags, etc. in many cases. Thanks.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  48. SR

    Why doesn't anyone mention that Perry's plan has 0% capital gains tax? Friedman's flat tax included all types of income, not just wages. By my calculations Warren Buffet would have paid 4% on his $69M income, instead of the 17% that he had to pay. Hail to the job creators!

    October 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  49. John Blevins

    What a shame that these political types play games with the lives of regular people. They should all be locked up for fraud and misrepresenting the truth. Either of these tax schemes would only benefit the wealthiest amoung us. I know because I spent my entire working life studing the US tax system. I am truely freightened for the future of my country. People are so easily duped and politicians so willing to lie to get elected.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  50. rally2xs

    Neither plan is any kind of answer for America, as they both retain the income tax. We absolutely must nuke the income tax if this country is to prosper. Its the income tax that is and has been killing us for the last 50 years, all the way from losing our electronics industry to the Japanese through the damage done to the auto and steel industries and now the massive outsourcing of American jobs. None of it would have occured except for the income taxes.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  51. Bert Orn

    You are too generous in describing the Perry tax plan. It is a dangerous plan by gutting the entire system of government. No taxes and no regulations!

    October 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  52. MightyMo

    Typical Republican, come up with some ridiculous idea that does absolutely nothing but cater to the dumb voter. What exactly is the purpose of a voluntary flat tax? Even worse, what is the purpose of a voluntary flat tax with all the same deductions that millions of us use right now? The purpose of a flat tax is to do what the name implies, make it a flat tax; no deductions, no need to file a tax form, everyone pays the same! What in the world is the reason to keep individual and dependent tax deductions if you plan on implementing a flat tax!?!

    October 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  53. gmccpa

    This literally has to be a joke. What is Perry...Santa Claus. Anybody can pass out tax reductions. Why even bother calling it a tax plan...just send out money. But...how do you pay for it? Let him explain that. Otherwise its just a piece of garbage.

    October 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  54. Ken - Kingsport, TN

    Rick Perry is just another part of the plutocracy that has infected our govenment. I could possilby support his cute little scheme except for the fact that he doesn't tax ALL income at 20%. Once again, that top 1% makes the huge gain with their capital gains, etc... Have the politicians in America lost their everloving minds? Someone needs to tell these people from BOTH PARTIES that the middle class is being eliminated, empires implode from within when the plutocracy gets to a certain part, and BOTH PARTIES are inviting another American Revolution. Look no further than at the Tea Party and OWS, then you should begin to get the drift of where this government is taking this country.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  55. v_mag

    When talking about the fairness of a flat tax, the right wingers always point to how much is paid, not how much is kept. If there's a 10% tax, the guy making 50K gets to keep 40K, while the guy making 500K gets to keep 400K. The rich guy still keeps 10 times what the poor guy keeps. How is that fair?

    Why should I have any sympathy for the rich guy? I'd swap places with him in a heartbeat, and so would anybody else. I can only have sympathy for someone worse off than me, not someone with whom I'd gladly trade places.

    A flat tax is inherently unfair because it always hits the poor person much harder. And the fact is that middle class folks like me are just 1 serious illness away from poverty.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  56. ThinkAgain

    Cain and Parry are both simpletons when it comes to the economy. They are also delusional: only a fool still believes that trickle-down (I prefer tinkle-down) economics works. Heck, even David Stockman, the guy who invented it, says it's a failure!

    What this country needs is real investment in its people and its infrastructure. That's what helped us experience a 40-year economic expansion as a result of FDR's New Deal; that's what put us on the moon; that's what made us into an economic super-power.

    Today's wealthy only care about the almighty buck – and they certainly don't care if making it means abandoning the country and the people that gave them the opportunity, educated populace, monied Middle Class and infrastructure that allowed them to make their wealth in the first place. They've just taken their tax cuts and run, all the while spending millions trying to convince folks to continue to vote for them, even as they screw us.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  57. Warren

    Max, that's so true

    I agree. this is weird. The latest poll clearly reveals that almost 75% of American support the idea that corporations, millionaires and billionaires in America needs to pay their far share of taxes, which means just paying a little more. Rick Perry is apparently going against the will of the American people by increasing taxes on the middle class and decreasing taxes on the rich and affluent.

    It is no wonder that I Rick Perry has fallen from first position to fifth position among the eight contenders in just one month. He certainly MUST return to the drawing table on this one.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  58. Max

    Class warfare

    This is a genuine example of class warfare, however, this time it is war on the middle class and workers of America. It is a shame to witness a republican presidential candidate declaring war on the masses. Why would Perry choose to increase taxes on the workers who build this country and lower taxes on the rich corporations who export jobs abroad to maximize their profit? Is not this clearly class warfare?

    Is there an honest answer to this question

    October 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  59. George Guadiane

    (BIG SURPRISE) BOTH plans benefit the rich at the expense of the working class.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  60. Yuri

    The avant garde approach as the 9-9-9 and the flat tax rates seem largely unconvincing if not downright unproven. Since economics is NOT hard science, anyone, saying his or her own plan will promote jobs, has another think coming. But then all politics is Machiavellian, and not just local.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  61. Corey

    Funny how the tax nothing cut everything party is debating about how best to take money from you? Republicans historically spend more and do less for the majority of Americans. I am personally tired of hearing that cutting taxes for the rich will create more jobs... no... it hasn't... ever. Read all about it

    October 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |

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