Rick Perry hit the campaign trail with renewed energy on Wednesday, saying he'll soon unveil a plan to scrap the entire federal tax code and replace it with a simple, flat tax that all Americans would pay. Perry didn't say how his tax would differ from Herman Cain's highly scrutinized — and controversial — 9-9-9 plan, although the Texas governor said his system would be "flatter and fairer" than Cain's. Will Perry's tax proposal revive his stalled campaign?
This could make him a frontrunner again: This is Perry's chance to differentiate himself from "the two other real candidates in the race at this point — Cain and [Mitt] Romney," says Freedoms Truth at RedState. Romney's tax ideas lack ambition; "Cain's 9-9-9 is the hot, bold plan," but its regressive 9 percent national sales tax makes it a hard sell. Perry appears to be "leaning on flat tax proponent Steve Forbes for advice," and if he follows through, this could be Perry's "path to victory."
"Perry's path to victory: The flat tax"
The details might not be so impressive: Let's reserve judgment until we see what Perry actually proposes, says Jonathan Chait at New York. "Tax reform has historically meant cleansing the tax code of special breaks and loopholes, especially those inserted at the behest of powerful lobbies." But before Perry even unveils his ideas, he's meeting in Washington with representatives of special interest groups. "Nothing says 'reform' like 'ask lobbyists to help write my plan.'"
"Rick Perry knows just who can help him reform the tax code"
Perry knows he has to be bold: Perry's flat tax promise is part of his aggressive new image, says David Weigel at Slate. Before he teased the plan in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Perry "literally ran onstage," and later "left the stage as if he'd been spring-loaded," proclaiming, "Let's roll!" The "message: I'm the scrappy, ass-kicking underdog," the anti-Romney. It's worth a shot — but only time will tell if it works.
"Rick Perry comes alive!"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Why does Fareed Zakaria still have a job?
- 4 simple steaks you can cook in a pan
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Save the world... by changing how you pee
- 7 common estate-planning mistakes
Subscribe to the Week