According to Rick Perry and Herman Cain, the world is flat

The world ain’t flat and neither should the tax rate.

What’s with Republican candidates who screech and preach for regressive flat tax rates that are Halloween costumes translating into massive tax breaks for the rich?

Presidential candidates should be above playing trick or treat … a trick on the middle class and a treat for the wealthy.

Scary indeed.

Rick Perry, you remember him, claimed today that he’ll somehow balance the budget by 2020 with a flat tax of 20 percent the centerpiece of his economic voodoo.

Such an economic plan would deal out more punishment to Mr. and Mrs. America than Manny Pacquiao. It would leave the masses buy-a-vowel drunk with despair.

Then again, what do you expect from a guy who wants to rekindle the dying embers of the Obama birther issue nonsense?

Of course, you know all about Godfather pizza guru Herman Cain, who now — strangely — is the frontrunner. Tells you all you need to know about the Republican mindset. His absurd 9-9-9 tax plan also is regressive and a boon to the money people.

Perry and Cain are disciples of Steve Forbes, whose presidential bids flat-lined in 1996 and 2000 when middle-income voters realized his flat tax would cut taxes on the wealthy and raise them on those with modest incomes.

We can only hope that Americans wise up once again or we’re gonna get stung as if we have a desk in the center cubicle at American Bee, Inc.

What has happened to Republicans in recent years? They used to be smart people. Now they just play with tax gimmicks. Perhaps they attended too many Tea Parties.

The GOP once backed affirmative uses of government to create land-grant colleges, the interstate highway system, student loans, the Pure Food and Drug Act, a prescription drug benefit under Medicare, the EPA and OSHA. Richard Nixon himself signed the latter two into law and he actually was sober at the time.

Republicans now reject their own traditions and the idea that government can do any good at all. They think of government as Big Brother. But George Orwell is dead and so is 1984.

The GOP one-note mantra is that if government takes less money away from the wealthy, Paradise Lost will be miraculously found as if a seemingly Kumbaya flat tax rate is a beachcomber with a metal detector for silver linings.

Hogwash. All it will do is cause Tylenol sales to spike and tempt all of us to stab two fondue forks deep into our ears and stir.

If this nightmare transpires, we all will need a telethon. Hope the wealthy, ever more opulent because of all their tax breaks, are in a giving mood.