It wasn't enough that Herman Cain's "Nein! Nein! Nein!" plan was soundly ridiculed by everyone from the National Review to any number of economists. Perry had to double down on teh stoopid.
Now, in fairness to Perry, there's some interesting wrinkles to his tax plan. For example, the Alternative Minimum tax was devised way back in the 1960s as a way to force the rich to pay their fair share of taxes (funny how often that pops up in American economic history.) It was never indexed for inflation, meaning that any hikes in the floor income level were done manually, such that now, if you live in a high tax state, own a home and have a couple of kids with both parents working, you likely are affected by the AMT. It really needs to be re-indexed at least, or eliminated altogether.
But here's the thing: a flat tax that maintains mortgage interest deductions, charitable contributions, and state and local tax deductions is not a flat tax any longer if those deductions are income-dependent.
In effect, all Perry is doing is lowering the top rate of taxation...WHILE RAISING THE BOTTOM RATE FROM 15% to 20%!
Plus, he's eliminating the Earned Income credit for low-wage workers, education and dependent care credits, which will force millions of people to pay more in taxes, those least able to afford to.
All while cutting taxes for the wealthiest among us.
I term this an Epic Fail.