Politics

Perry promotes flat tax as part of new economic plan

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer

LAS VEGAS — Texas Gov. Rick Perry supports a flat tax, he said, giving a hint Wednesday of what the economic plan he will release “in six days” will look like.

“It starts with scrapping the 3 million words of the tax code, starting over with something simpler: a flat tax,” Perry said at the Western Republican Leadership Conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

“I want to make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time,” Perry said, taking a shot at President Obama’s Treasury secretary.

The second part of his plan will be a serious commitment to spending cuts and the passage of a balance budget amendment.

“I will barnstorm this country from day one, going to all fifty states if that’s required, to generate support for a balanced budget amendment that will require — that will demand — the necessary changes be placed in our Constitution and make tough choices year after year,” he said. “We must have a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

“We must reform entitlements,” Perry added, saying that he would preserve Social Security for today’s retirees and those approaching retirement.

The final part of his plan will be to “change the way business is done in Washington.”

Perry said he wants to end the “do as I say, not as I do entitlement mindset” in Washington “where Congress borrows from future generations to fund lavish projects that are non-essential.”

“My plan is to end earmarks for good,” he declared. “It is time to bring some tough medicine to Washington. No longer are policies going to be set by K Street — they are going to be mandated by main-street.”

Perry also said that he would seek to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reforms.

In an implicit shot at his rival for the GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Perry declared, “I am not the candidate of the establishment. You won’t see a lot of shape shifting from me.”

“It’s time to let America be America again,” Perry concluded. “Let’s get Washington out of the way to save and preserve the American way. Let’s do it. Let’s roll.”

Follow Jamie on Twitter