Huffpost Politics

Michele Bachmann: Rick Perry Flat Tax Proposal Is Ripping Off My Plan

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Minnesota congresswoman and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann thinks she's being ripped off by a competitor.

In a recent interview with ABC News, Bachmann accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry of borrowing heavily from her campaign's tax plan in his latest iteration of his flat tax proposal.

"Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. And so we're grateful," Bachmann told ABC News. "The ideas that I've been espousing -- again lower the taxes rates, flatten it, make it far more simple, far less complex, but also make it so that the average American can fill out their taxes on a postcard -- I've been talking about this for months. These are all good ideas, and if other candidates want to come and take these ideas out of my plan, they're more than happy to take them."

Perry's plan would lower the corporate income tax rate and personal income tax rate for those choosing to go with an optional 20 percent flat rate. Taxpayers would also be allowed to remain on the current system.

According to the Associated Press:

Perry's plan would let people exempt $12,500 of their income, plus $12,500 for each dependent, from taxation. He would keep popular deductions, such as those for mortgage interest, state taxes and charity gifts, for families making less than $500,000 a year.

How do these measures overlap with Bachmann's proposal? It's not clear yet, ABC News reports, because the Bachmann campaign hasn't actually released any specifics of her tax plan yet:

How many brackets? What tax rates? She won't say -- at least not yet.

The lack of details creates some confusion about just what exactly Bachmann is proposing. Shortly after pointing out that Reagan's tax plan included multiple rates -- and was therefore not a flat tax -- Bachmann described her plan as "a flat tax on the order of Ronald Reagan."

"What my plan is to abolish the tax code and bring those rates down," Bachmann told ABC News, saying that the basics of her blueprint would borrow heavily from the "principles" of Reagan. "There will more information forthcoming but right now what I'm talking about are the principles. The principles are those that have worked."

If Bachmann is still in the process of fleshing out the final draft of her tax plan, she may take a few pointers from some of the negative reaction that Perry's flat tax plan has received since its rollout earlier this week.

Beyond criticism for being a proposal that would serve as a massive tax break for the wealthy, The Huffington Post's Jon Ward reported earlier this week that Perry's plan completely fails the "simplicity test":

That's because instead of proposing a straight flat tax, Perry made it optional. That means that for taxpayers questioning whether they would be better off in Perry's new system or in the existing structure, they would have to fill out the current tax forms and the new ones to determine which one is better for them. And unless their income and assets remained the same year to year, that would likely be a recurring scenario.

Watch Bachmann's interview with ABC News below:

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