Perry To Outline Tax-Code Rewrite In S.C. Visit

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry is in South Carolina, where he'll deliver a speech on economic policy and his approach to a flat tax Tuesday. The Texas governor has brought on some new senior staff and is preparing a new round of TV ads in an effort to revive his campaign.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's hear, now, about Republican presidential hopeful, Rick Perry, who'll be in South Carolina this morning, to outline his plan for a flat tax. As NPR's Mara Liasson reports, it's just one of the moves the Texas Governor is making to revive his campaign.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Rick Perry has hired new staff, prepared a round of television ads and launched a new attack on Mitt Romney for allowing illegal immigrants to get free health care in Massachusetts. And today in South Carolina, Perry will try to show he is the anti-establishment candidate in the race - by laying out a proposal for a radical rewrite of the tax code that he says will create jobs, growth, and investor confidence.

RICK PERRY REPUBLCIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time.

LIASSON: Mitt Romney is on record opposing a flat tax - for many of the same reasons that Democrats do. Romney once called a flat tax plan from Steve Forbes, - who endorsed Perry yesterday - a tax cut for fat cats.

So Perry's plan could set off the first real ideological debate of the Republican primary. Republican strategist Mike Murphy says it also represents an overdue effort by Perry to lay out the building blocks of a presidential campaign.

MIKE MURPHY: So far he's been very light on policy, Romney's put out a pretty detailed plan, but his plan is basic conservative economics, it's not revolutionary, because Romney has one eye on the general election. So, we want to see what the Perry plan is - the balance between ideological purity and policy pragmatism.

LIASSON: In the past, flat tax proposals have sounded good on paper, but when middle class taxpayers get out their calculators they sour on them, because most flat tax plans raise taxes on the middle class.

But supply side conservatives don't value progressivity in the tax code, what they want is economic growth. And this year, a big chunk of the Republican Party is in the mood for bold, even radical reform. Still it might take more than a carefully crafted tax plan to lift Perry's campaign, after entering the race at the top of the pack, he's now polling in single digits in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Mara Liasson, NPR news..

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: