Rick Perry: The GOP Fight Against Tax Increases Is Just Like The Civil Rights Movement

Texas Governor Rick Perry made a rather odd claim during a campaign stop the other day:

QUESTION: And coming to the Old Town Bistro you’re actually visiting a very important place in Rock Hill and the nation’s civil rights history. This year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Friendship Nine sit-in here. Care to comment on that?

PERRY: Listen, America’s gone a long way from the standpoint of civil rights and thank God we have. I mean we’ve gone from a country that made great strides in issues of civil rights. I think we all can be proud of that. And as we go forward, America needs to be about freedom. It needs to be about freedom from overtaxation, freedom from over-litigation, freedom from over-regulation. And Americans regardless of what their cultural or ethnic background is they need to know that they can come to America and you got a chance to have any dream come true because the economic climate is gonna be improved.

So you take a question about the struggle against Jim Crow and you turn it into a policy argument for low taxes? I hate taxes as much as the next guy, but something about that just doesn’t sound right.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Davebo says:

    Get used to this with Perry. Your and James’ party will eat it up.

  2. anjin-san says:

    It is absolutely oppression that there is a buy-in to live in the richest, most powerful, most stable country in history. What with all the chains republicans are weighted down with and all the guns pointed at their heads its a wonder they can function at all…

  3. A voice from another precinct says:

    It’s just his version of “let’s get back to the point–taxes are too high and I’m gonna lower YOURS, no matter who you are (poor people need not apply), as the next POTUS.”

  4. Jay Tea says:

    Let’s see… on one side, you have large groups of individuals getting together in a genuine grass-roots movement, united by a common cause demanding more freedom. On the other side, you have Democrats and unions.

    Nope, don’t see the similarities at all.


  5. EddieInCA says:

    It needs to be about freedom from overtaxation, freedom from over-litigation, freedom from over-regulation.


    Overtaxation? On who. We’re close to historical lows on rates and revenue?

    Overlitigation? So we can’t sue to redress grievances?

    Overregulation? So we’ll just put up with dirty water, dirty air, unsafe food, unsafe working conditions, unsafe toys?

    Is this the world Perry envisions? If so, it has no semblance to the what we all like to call the US of A.

  6. sam says:

    @Jay Tea:

    On the other side, you have Democrats and unions.

    Don’t be a dope.

  7. sam says:

    On why you’re being a dope, Jay:

    The GOP will raise taxes — on the middle class and working poor

    America’s presumably anti-tax party wants to raise your taxes. Come January, the Republicans plan to raise the taxes of anyone who earns $50,000 a year by $1,000, and anyone who makes $100,000 by $2,000.

    Their tax hike doesn’t apply to income from investments. It doesn’t apply to any wage income in excess of $106,800 a year. It’s the payroll tax that they want to raise — to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent of your paycheck, a level established for one year in December’s budget deal at Democrats’ insistence. Unlike the capital gains tax, or the low tax rates for the rich included in the Bush tax cuts, or the carried interest tax for hedge fund operators (which is just 15 percent), the payroll tax chiefly hits the middle class and the working poor.

    And when taxes come chiefly from the middle class and the poor, all those anti-tax right-wingers have no problem raising them. In an editorial this weekend, the Wall Street Journal termed the payroll tax reduction “an inferior tax cut,” arguing that tax cuts should be “broad-based, immediate and permanent.” Broad-based? The payroll tax cut, which the Journal dismisses so contemptuously, benefits every employed American, while the tax cuts the paper champions — on capital gains and millionaires’ income — accrue to a far smaller group.

  8. Rob in CT says:

    The GOP love them some regressive taxes. It’s progressive taxation the GOP hates. They think it’s unfair. It’s ludicrous, but most of ’em believe it.

    Anyway, the above is about the expiration of the temporary payroll tax cut. At some point, it needs to expire. The question is whether the stimulative impact of the payroll tax cut is worth extending it, given the state of the economy.

    The GOP will try and leverage this into getting the Dems to cave on the expiration of the Bush (Bush/Obama now) income tax cuts.

  9. Rob in CT says:


    They’re standard boilerplate conservative talking points, of course.

    As I have noticed here and elsewhere, whenever I ask for a specific example of overregulation, I get nothing – or I hear about the evil EPA preventing oil drilling that will provide $2 gas or somesuch silliness. When I ask whether we should repeal the laws that protect our drinking water, our air, etc… most people I talk to back off. I think any reasonable person is willing to believe that any 1 given regulation could be poorly designed and/or implemented. The question is: which ones, how, and how to fix them. Conservatives never seem to have answers for those questions.

    When it’s pointed out that tax revenues & rates are relatively low, you get a bunch of sputtering and usually the goalposts shift to the evils of progressive taxation.

    When it’s pointed out that Texas tried “tort reform” and the results do not appear to match the claims made about the dire need for said reform, it does not alter their faith.

    It’s funny, because the less regulation you have the more ordinary citizens need the courts for redress. This seems to me to be a fundamental point of conflict between Conservative desires (less regulation *and* less litigation).

  10. EddieInCA says:

    @Rob in CT:

    It’s funny, because the less regulation you have the more ordinary citizens need the courts for redress. This seems to me to be a fundamental point of conflict between Conservative desires (less regulation *and* less litigation).

    I was thinking the exact same thing, but didn’t quite know how to phrase it. So thank you.

    It’s an odd disconnect. We need less regulations, according to some people. But what, specifically.

    I, personally, would love MORE regulations when it comes to multinational US corporations using off-shore tax havens to park cash, rather than putting it to work in this country. I would love MORE regulations for our banking industries so that situations like the S&L Crisis and the more recent banking crisis’ don’t happen.

    Why aren’t Canada, Sweden, Norway, or Germany having the banking issues we are? Could it be that regulating the banks is actually a GOOD idea?

  11. anjin-san says:

    Is this the world Perry envisions?

    Yes. And let’s not forget 1 in 4 people in Texas have no health insurance.

  12. anjin-san says:

    demanding more freedom

    Well, I suppose. Freedom for paying the bills you have already run up and services you will continue to use. In other words, freedom to be a deadbeat.

  13. Pigbitin Mad says:

    And why is he encouraging more people to come to this Beacon of Shining Hope? I thought the Baggers were against immigration and here he is telling people that no matter who they are they will find economic conditions improved when they get here? THIS GUY IS A MORON.