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(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.
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