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Perry Commits to Flat Tax, Reforming Entitlements

1:46 PM, Oct 19, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Las Vegas
In a brief speech this morning at the Western Republican Conference, Texas governor Rick Perry announced that in six days he would reveal an “economic pro-growth package that will create growth” and encourage investment in America. The plan will involve major tax reform, entitlement reform, a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, an abolishment of earmarks, and a recommitment to energy exploration in the United States.

Rick Perry photo portrait, August 28, 2004

“Our long term growth requires a fundamental tax reform,” Perry said. Therefore, his plan “starts with scrapping the three million words of the current tax code—starting over with something simple: a flat tax.”

“I want to make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time,” the Texas governor said, taking a jab at the treasury secretary who had major errors in his tax returns that were revealed after he was nominated by President Barack Obama for his present job.

“The second part of my plan involves the serious commitment to spending, realizing alternatives” to the path taken by Europe, Perry said. In this vein, the Texas governor went on to affirm his commitment to “reforming entitlements, preserving those commitments to those who are on Social Security … and those approaching the age of retirement.”

Perry did not give further details on what the new flat tax rate would be (or how it might work) or on how he would reform entitlements.

On the balanced budget amendment, Perry committed to campaigning in all fifty states, if necessary, in order to get the provision added to the Constitution.

And he promised to end earmarks: “My plan is to end earmarks for good.”

In revealing tidbits of his economic plan, Perry played up his anti-establishment credentials.

“I’m not the candidate of the establishment,” Perry said, taking an apparent swipe at his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. “You won’t see a lot of shape shifting from me.”

Much of Perry’s speech was dedicated to promoting his already released energy plan. Perry asserted the importance of energy independence and exploration in order to bolster economic growth. And he said that the Environment Protection Agency played too large a role in Americans’ lives, suggesting instead that more localized, state-based solutions to environmental problems would solve the problem of the EPA’s overreach.

“Let’s get Washington out of the way in order to save and preserve the American way,” Perry enthusiastically concluded, punching the air. “Let’s do it. Let’s roll.” 

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