Wednesday, October 26

Republican presidential candidates announce declining flat tax plans

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry announced his “Cut, Balance and Grow” tax plan on Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal. I find it intriguing and impressive that he didn’t fall prey to the current social media trend and announce his tax plan on Facebook.

His “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan sounds very similar to that of my hairdresser’s “You need to cut off at least three inches to encourage healthy hair growth.” Perry’s plan includes personal accounts for Social Security, major spending cuts and an optional flat tax.

The “optional flat tax” phrase is the only part of his economic plan I understand. Regardless of what an “optional flat tax” really means, many of the presidential candidates have finally figured out what all retail stores determined long ago. People like options and choices. That is why there is an entire aisle of juice varieties in the grocery store. Consumers want to exercise choice when spending their money. And, when you get down to it, when people pay taxes, they are inherently consumers because many believe they are spending their money.

Tax payers, defined as consumers, like choice. Presidential candidates run into trouble as they try to address every consumers need for choice. For example, my concept of choice is most decidedly different from that of my husband and somehow the candidates’ tax plans must appeal to both of us. Hence the candidates have proffered the vague but obviously choice-rich term “optional flat tax.” The word “optional” is almost as appealing to me as “clearance.” “Flat” also makes complete sense to me because I spend a great deal of time trying to make sure that my hair is straight, but not “flat.” Regardless of the content of the “optional flat tax plan,” the candidates have successfully secured my attention.

However, closer investigation reveals some candidates optional flat tax plans are actually at a slight incline while others resemble a bumpy road. Perry’s economic plan offers American consumers the choice to pay taxes under the current system (there’s the bump) or optionally pay a 20 percent flat tax.
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has also figured out that he will attract votes if he offers a tax plan titled “optional flat tax.” Gingrich trumped Perry with an optional flat tax of 15 percent. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has not tried to curry favor with an “optional flat tax” plan but has presented what he describes as a “flatter tax plan” (there’s the incline).
I’m hoping that candidates will try and outdo each other, continuing to offer flat tax plans of lower percentage rates so that by Election Day we will reach an optional flat tax of 5 percent.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan sounds to me like an optional flat tax of 9 percent, or 9 percent, or 9 percent. I think a three choice tax plan is a good idea and I like the simplicity of the options. After more analysis, I discovered that it is a non-optional 9 percent tax on income, business transactions and federal sales. If Perry is nominated as the Republican presidential candidate and takes Herman Cain as his running mate for vice president, will he offer a 9-optional 9-flat 9-tax plan?

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