From the Blogmocracy. Read the whole thing, but here is a preview
When reading Rick Perry’s economic plan, it may seem very familiar to you. That’s because it is. For anyone who doubts Perry’s conservative bona fides, a review of this plan should immediately alleviate those fears. This plan is a comprehensive list of the very things we free marketeers have been saying for years. It is also very similar to what has been offered both by Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Right off the bat here are my main impressions of the plan, the highlights so to speak. Perry introduces his idea for a flat tax, proposes balancing the budget by statute and by cutting spending. He seeks to eliminate special tax breaks for behaviors approved by government, and a massive roll back of onerous regulation inflicted by a bloated Executive Branch. You may recall that yesterday I came out in favor of Newt Gingrich based on his 21st Century Contract With America, but I also hedged somewhat by stating that any of the Gingrich, Perry, Cain trio would be O.K. with me. With that in mind, I will give Perry’s plan an overall grade of A-. There is room for improvement, but all in all, it is Red Meat for us Conservatives.
Perry starts out by pointing to a little talked about government statistic. It costs American Taxpayers $483 Billion per year to comply legally with our current tax code. Remember that figure for later, it will be important. If you log onto the IRS website, you will see an estimation from the IRS as to what percentage of Americans who pay taxes, in fact overpay. This percentage usually hovers around 90%. According to the IRS’ taxpayer advocate in testimony before congress, this is due to the fact that the tax code has become too complicated for even the IRS to follow anymore.
Last year, I called a CPA on behalf of a client. I asked about a specific deduction a client wished to take. The CPA gave me a negative response, saying, “that’s ridiculous.” The client pressed on, so I called the IRS help line. The IRS told me sure, the deduction is good, and here is the publication that I found that info in. I called the CPA back, feeling somewhat not confident in the info, first being conflicted, and also the IRS’ own disclaimer about their answers not being guaranteed. As it happens, they were both wrong. The CPA, graciously followed up by reading the entire publication and not just the first paragraph, or even only the first sentence as I suspect. As it happens the deduction was allowed, but with very severe caveats. The client was not Warren Buffett, but an average American tax paying citizen.
Why does this happen? Over the last decade, there have been 4428 changes in the tax code. There will be 350 changes for 2012. 60% of Americans employ the help of paid professionals to file their personal returns. One mistake Perry makes here is one that I have noticed personally. Many of the professionals hired have no actual training or expertise in tax law or preparation. There are a lot of people who operate tax preparation businesses with no more expertise than the software they purchased at their local book store. While I do not wish to disparage the fine software products being sold, It is not the same as paying for the services of a CPA or an Enrolled Agent.
Perry also points out that the Average Corporate Rate paid in the United States is the second highest rate of any industrialized nation. While most of the other industrialized nations around the globe are lowering their rate of confiscation, our government is seeking to increase our corporate tax rates. Perry has also done his homework and refers to a graph originally produced by Art Laffer. In this particular chart, Laffer pointed to the past, and noticed that no matter what tinkering occurred with the tax code, revenues were consistently around 18% of GDP. Fluctuations in tax rates only served to affect GDP in the long term, while increases or decreases in revenue were only affected by increases or decreases in GDP.
As I said go read the entire piece. This plan, along with Perry’s conservative stances on many other issues, guns, life, energy, small government, States rights, is a big reason I am endorsing Perry for president.