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Rick Perry, The Flat Tax, Iran and the Campaign Ahead

Tuesday, October 25, 2011  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Perry and Romney President 2012: Perry Panic Grips Romney Campaign?

Governor Rick Perry outlines his flat tax proposals today, beginning with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein doesn’t like it and doubts Perry’s ability to sell it.

Over at AEI’s Enterprise Blog James Pethokoukis is much more positive, but also has reservations.

If there was a tax plan that satisfied everyone, it would have been proposed long ago, so the key for the GOP and its conservative base is to assure that both of their two possible nominees be openly and squarely committed to flattening the tax code, eliminating most corporate deductions in exchange for a far lower rate, and preserving the home mortgage interest deduction and the charitable deduction as the two great engines of two key sectors in the economy.

Both Governors Romney and Perry have embraced such proposals, so the campaign between them thus far has been one of temperament, style, approach to governing and of course electability.

It ought also to be about the threats from abroad.

The next three debates are November 9, 12 and 15
and then, absent some spectacular pratfall, the attention span of the country will simply shift away until after Christmas, no matter how much hype surrounds the December meetings of the candidates.

We have to hope that these debates focus on foreign policy and the rolling collapse of America’s position in the world as the president superintends a retreat from the Middle East and a hollowing out of the Department of Defense. Tax policy is a good and necessary debate, but the looming threat from Iran and the ongoing crisis within Pakistan as well as the PRC’s thrusting foreign policy deserve the focus they have not yet had, and soon. One of my pals at Powerline, John Hinderaker, doesn’t think the retreat from Iraq is the disaster I do, and our split on this issue reflects one within the GOP that needs to be thrashed out by the would be nominees.

Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey
guest hosts for me today as I make a visit to the Marines at Camp Pendleton.

If you haven’t read John Burns’ take on the Iraq withdrawal, it is below. Iraq the Model saw this crack-up coming, so why couldn’t the Obama Administration? Now the real question is whether the Iranians, sensing that Obama is a one-termer, push their advantage before the arrival of a president who will recommit to security in the region, or will try and help prop up the failing president with a high profile bit of reconciliation theater next spring in the hopes of helping their least threatening president since Carter keep a lease on the Oval Office.

Which of the GOP’s two possible nominees do you think is best positioned to debate Obama on Iraq and especially Iran come the summer and the fall? The debates should help at least pose the questions to help the Republican electorate decide this key issue.

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