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Perry to unveil economic plan featuring "flat tax"

(Xinhua)

17:05, October 20, 2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said Wednesday that he will unveil his economic plan which includes replacing the federal tax code with a "flat tax."

"(The plan) starts with scrapping the three million words of the current tax code, starting over with something simpler: a flat tax," Perry said at the Western Republican Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The current federal tax code is a progressive tax system with higher-income earners being taxed at higher rates. The idea of a flat tax system, which means all taxpayers, regardless of income, will be taxed at the same rate, has long been criticized by liberals as unfair to lower- and middle-income taxpayers.

The Texas governor did not provide details about the economic plan, scheduled to be delivered on Oct. 25. But he said his plan would also include a ban on congressional earmarks and passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.

The plan comes at a critical time for Perry's presidential campaign, which has seen volatility since it began in August. Perry quickly surged to the top of the national polls after joining the race but declined dramatically in recent weeks to a distant third behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain. A latest CNN poll showed that only 13 percent of Republican voters and Republican-leaning independents said they would like Perry to be their party's nominee, half of that in September.

The poor performance was in part due to his uneven performances in recent Republican presidential debates, as well as controversial stance on issues like illegal immigrants and Social Security.

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