GOP rivals focus on flat taxes, government

By Tom Raum

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 29 2011 11:12 p.m. MDT

Killing off Obama's health care overhaul is a common feature of the GOP plans. So, too, is a proposal to offer American companies a chance to bring money generated overseas back into the U.S. without being taxed. But studies have shown that a similar repatriation "holiday" in 2004-05 had little effect on job growth.

Some Republicans go further than others. For instance, Bachmann says she would consider allowing oil and gas exploration in the Florida Everglades.

On taxes, Romney would make incremental changes and move later to a simpler system. For now, he would extend Bush-era tax cuts, lower the 35 percent corporate tax rate to 25 percent and exempt investment income for those earning less than $200,000. He would extract more U.S. oil, coal and natural gas, expand trade pacts and cut federal spending.

Rep. Ron Paul's plan is the most radical. The Texas Republican, would scrap the income tax entirely. He would make ends meet through excise taxes, tariffs, and a smaller government. He would abolish the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Reserve.

Cain, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO who has replaced Romney as the GOP front-runner in some recent polls, repeatedly pushes his "9-9-9" tax plan that would cut personal and corporate tax rates to 9 percent and impose a new 9 percent federal sales tax.

Perry's plan would give taxpayers the choice of paying at a flat rate of 20 percent or adhering to the current tax structure. He would preserve deductions for mortgage interest, charitable donations and state and local tax taxes for households earning less than $500,000.

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