Rick Perry on Tax Reform

Republican Governor (TX)


Lower taxes & less regulation made Texas a job leader

Rick Perry gave a fiery speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit, calling for the nation to embrace the kind of tax policy and economic plans that made the Lone Star State a leader in creating jobs.

He boasted that he signed seven balanced state budgets in Texas and created the best economic climate in the country. He said Texas has adopted "smart regulations," improved its educational system and "stopped frivolous lawsuits at the courthouse."

But Republicans can't simply criticize Democrats. They need to offer a positive agenda and a vision, he said.

"The time has come to usher in a new era of reform and American revival," Perry said. He got enthusiastic applause and cheers for his criticism of President Barack Obama's administration and his calls for lower taxes, less government regulation and tougher border security.

Source: Des Moines Register on 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit , Jan 24, 2015

No state can tax and spend its way to prosperity

[Let's look at Texas]. We cut taxes, didn't spend all the money, created fair and predictable regulations and stopped personal injury trial lawyers from filing frivolous lawsuits. We have created 30% of the nation's jobs while keeping taxes among the lowest in the nation. We have presided over not only an energy boom, but the nation's largest population boom and an economic boom of monumental proportion.

We have demonstrated that no state can tax and spend its way to prosperity, but with the right policies you can grow your way there.

The red state-blue state debate matters because it is about the future of America. The vision that wins out either the big government, protectionist, nanny state version offered by liberal leaders or the limited government, unsubsidized, freedom state offered by conservative leaders will determine the future of our nation.

Source: Speech at 2014 CPAC convention , Mar 8, 2014

7% flat tax on all income; keep it simple

Q: What is the highest federal income tax any American should have to pay? We are looking for a number.

PERRY: Seven percent flat tax. Simple. Keep it simple.

SANTORUM: Well, my plan has two rates, 10 and 28 percent, which is the highest rate under Ronald Reagan when he cut taxes.

ROMNEY: I would like 25 percent, but right now it's at 35, so people better pay what is legally required. But ultimately let's get it down to as low as we possibly can, if it's 20, if it's 25 but paying more than 25 percent, I think, is taking too much out of our pockets.

GINGRICH: I would like to see it be a flat tax at 15 percent and I would like to see us reduce government to meet the revenue, not raise revenue to meet the government.

PAUL: Well, we should have the lowest tax that we've ever had, and up until 1913 it was 0%. What's so bad about that?

Source: Fox News debate on MLK Day in Myrtle Beach, SC , Jan 16, 2012

Taxation is not the solution; live within our means instead

Big government advocates and their friends in the mainstream media have marginalized the voices of those who protest as reactionary or lacking compassion.

Do you agree with them that the only solution to our challenges is more taxation? More borrowing? More spending? More central control? Me neither.

Over time, Washington has extended so-called "lifelines" to potential voting blocs lines that now bind the hands of state leaders and choke off individual liberties at every turn. As people of conscience, our challenge is to untie those knots that restrain us and return to the vision of the founders.

Americans want government that is leaner, more efficient, and less intrusive into their personal lives. They want government that will live within its means. Americans are obviously fed up with the so-called "progressive" movement that, long ago, set aside the people's interests in favor of expanding government and raising taxes while doing the bidding of labor unions and activist judges.

Source: Speech at 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 11, 2011

Balance our budget without raising taxes

We just can't forget that dollars do far more to create jobs and prosperity in the people's hands, than they can in the government's. Taking more money away from Texas families and employers is not the answer to our challenges because they've already sacrificed plenty. Balancing our budget without raising taxes will certainly set a nice example for the rest of the nation, but we have a bigger motivation. Balancing our budget without raising taxes will keep us moving forward out of these tough economi times, creating more jobs and opportunity and leaving Texas more competitive than ever. Now, the mainstream media and big government interest groups are doing their best to convince us that we're facing a budget Armageddon. Texans don't believe it and they shouldn't because it's not true. Are we facing some tough choices? Of course, but we can overcome them by setting priorities, cutting bureaucracy, reducing spending and focusing on what really matters to Texas families.
Source: 2011 Texas State of the State Address , Feb 8, 2011

Give taxes dose of accountability, transparency & restraint

The Census Bureau tells us we're averaging 1,000 new Texans per day. As more people move here, will our economy continue to grow? Or will we let taxes and regulatory encroachments creep upward to choke off innovation? I say we hold the line.

Will they find their property taxes spiraling continually upwards because of a broken appraisal system? I say we give that system a dose of accountability, transparency and restraint.

Source: 2009 State of the State Address , Jan 27, 2009

Tax rebates & tax relief instead of government spending

Today I have proposed a budget that invests in healthcare and higher education, a budget that cuts property taxes and eliminates accounting gimmicks, and that grows the Rainy Day Fund to more than $4 billion. Not only that, it expands upon the record property tax cut of last year by setting aside an additional $2.5 billion for tax relief.

One way to provide tax relief is in the form of a rebate. The appeal of a one-time rebate is that future legislatures don't have to find the money to sustain it. However, the will of the Legislature may be to provide rate relief instead. Either way is better than the alternative: which is having the money spent on more government.

And for the record, I don't believe cutting taxes is the same thing as spending. A spending cap is meant to stop runaway spending, not runaway tax relief.

Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address , Feb 6, 2007

Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Perry signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge against raising taxes

[The ATR, Americans for Tax Reform, run by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, ask legislators to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in each election cycle. Their self-description:]

In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. Since its rollout in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts. Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. More than 1,100 state officeholders, from state representative to governor, have signed the Pledge.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my district and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

Opponents' Opinion (from wikipedia.com):In Nov. 2011, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed that Congressional Republicans "are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist. They're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, but never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader." Since Norquist's pledge binds signatories to opposing deficit reduction agreements that include any element of increased tax revenue, some Republican deficit hawks now retired from office have stated that Norquist has become an obstacle to deficit reduction. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been particularly critical, describing Norquist's position as "no taxes, under any situation, even if your country goes to hell."

Source: Taxpayer Protection Pledge 12-ATR on Jan 1, 2012

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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2021