S.C. 14 southbound into the town of Gray Court was speckled with signs—official and otherwise — supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s candidacy for president.
The rural Laurens County town is home to voters who constitute Perry’s base and also home to Iso Poly Films, whose manufacturing facility was the site where Perry chose to unveil his much-anticipated economic plan.
After a tour of the plant with Iso Poly founder and CEO Jon McClure, Perry gave the details of his Cut, Balance and Grow plan which offers individuals and corporations a 20 percent flat tax rate, cuts federal spending, ends earmarks and includes a federal Balanced Budget Amendment.
His plan addresses five areas of reform:
- replacing the current tax code
- freezing new and auditing pending regulations
- fixing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlement programs
- balancing the federal budget by 2020
- repealing job-killing federal laws like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and parts of Sabarnes-Oxley
“Central to my plan is giving every American the option of throwing out the three million words of the current tax code and the costs of complying with that code in order to pay a 20 percent flat tax on their income," Gov. Perry said.
“My plan offers the kind of bold reform needed to jolt this economy out of its doldrums and renew American prosperity. This is a change election, and I offer a plan that changes the way Washington does business.”
Perry said his new tax code would leave more money in Americans' pockets. The new code also would eliminate taxes on Social Security, the death tax, capital gains tax and taxes on dividend. View a sample tax return with Perry's 20 percent flat tax in place, which he said could be completed on a postcard.
His tax plan would also increase the standard exemption for individuals and dependents to $12,500 for those earning less than $500,000.
For corporations, the 20 percent flat tax would mean closing corporate loopholes and special breaks for special interests. He said the flat tax would bring more jobs back to America.
Perry's plans to reform government programs such as Medicare would be a giving patients more flexibility in choosing their plan to fit their needs, gradually raising the age of eligibility, and adjusting the benefits paid on a sliding scale based on the income of the recipient. He also plans to restructure Medicaid by returning control over those dollars to the states to administer.
Perry returned to South Carolina after a two-month absence, a time frame that has seen him rise to the top of the polls and then fall behind both Mitt Romney and Herman Cain after some wobbly performances during the debates.
While in South Carolina, Perry will visit the two most influential politicians in the state — Nikki Haley and Jim DeMint, whose endorsements could make the difference in what is expected to be a close race.
After leaving ISO Poly, Perry headed to Columbia where he met with Haley and received the support of S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston.