Seeking to reinvigorate his Republican presidential campaign, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will unveil next week his plan to simplify the federal tax code with a flat income tax rate – a proposal that has energized conservatives in the past but failed to gain mainstream support.
Perry, who entered the presidential race to great fanfare in August but stumbled in his first few debates, is hoping his plan will help recapture the early momentum of his campaign much in the same way that Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan helped vault him to the front of the GOP field. But Cain’s plan has come under intense scrutiny and criticism ever since, forcing the former pizza company executive to redefine the plan to make it fairer for the poor.
Perry campaign aides have offered no details of his plan yet but Perry said this week his plan will be “flatter and fairer” than Cain’s.
“I want to the make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time,” he quipped, poking fun at the treasury secretary’s late payment of $34,000 in payroll taxes last decade.
Perry is borrowing a page from the playbook of Steve Forbes, a longtime flat-tax advocate who is advising the campaign.
“The nightmare on Main Street is about to end,” said Forbes, a wealthy businessman who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000.
Perry’s plan “will rip out this 10 million-word monstrosity,” Forbes told Fox News, referring to the current tax code. Forbes said Perry’s plan will “lower the price of good things like risk taking, success and productive work.”