Rick Perry definitely made some blunders rolling out his flat tax plan (dubbed “20-20” by some commentators). But the actual substance of the plan seems to be helping him with his greatest challenge: framing himself as the most serious non-Romney candidate. While Herman Cain is a grassroots favorite, fiscal conservative leaders haven’t been sold on him. And now some of them are praising Perry’s “20-20” over Cain’s 9-9-9:
[Grover] Norquist rates Perry’s plan his favorite among the candidates’ thus far for two reasons: it has a stated goal of shrinking government spending to 18 percent of GDP–“This is what I couldn’t get the Bush people to do in 2005 rather than have imaginary conversations with imaginary Democrats who wouldn’t consider reforming Social Security,” Norquist laments– and “there’s not a theme” to Romney’s vague plan. (Norquist discounts Cain’s 9-9-9 plan outright as a tax increase.)
Club for Growth, which previously commended Cain’s plan, says Perry’s is actually a step up from 9-9-9:
In a statement released Tuesday morning, the Club for Growth called Perry’s flat tax proposal “massively pro-growth.” According to Chocola, Perry’s plan is preferable even to former pizza mogul Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan, which the group had earlier praised.
Perry’s plan fills a void that Cain’s and Romney’s plans haven’t. While some conservatives see Romney’s tax stance as too close to the status quo, they also see Cain’s as too simplistic. That’s not to say Perry’s plan is flawless – far from it. But it may have given him the opportunity he needs to reinvigorate his campaign.