It seems like most GOP politicians only unveil policies that would lower taxes on the rich, and not much else. E.J. Dionne writes in his new column, “Perry, Cain, And Flat-Earth Government”:
It’s one of the strangest things in our politics: The only “big” ideas Republicans and conservatives seem to offer these days revolve around novel and sometimes bizarre ways of cutting taxes on rich people.
Given all the attention that Herman Cain’s nonsensical and regressive 9-9-9 tax plan has received, the Republican debates should have as their soundtrack that old Beatles song that droned on about the Number Nine.
Now, Texas Gov. Rick Perry hopes to pump up his campaign with a supposedly bold proposal to institute a flat tax, which would also deliver more money to the well-off. Perry plans to outline his proposal this week, but has already touted it as a surefire way of “scrapping the 3 million words of the current tax code.”
There is absolutely nothing new about this idea, and candidates who pushed flat taxes in the past saw their campaigns flat-line, most prominently businessman Steve Forbes in 1996 and again in 2000. Politically, the idea falls apart rather quickly when middle-income voters realize that its main effect is to cut taxes on the financially privileged while usually raising them on Americans with more modest incomes.