Joseph Pennisi
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October 31, 2017

Letter to the Editor: Facts Matter, Indeed [Orlando Sentinel]

The following letter from Joseph Pennisi, executive director of the Florida Policy Institute, appeared in the Orlando Sentinel:

I read with interest a letter to the editor Thursday from David S. Robinson, a member of the Orlando Sentinel’s Editorial Advisory Board. The letter criticizes a recent article by reporter Sarah D. Wire, ‘Trump wants tax reform finished by Thanksgiving.’ Robinson dismisses Wire’s statement that there’s little historical evidence that tax cuts pay off in long-term economic growth as coming ‘without any support or presentation of empirical facts.’

Ironically, the same day that Robinson’s letter appeared, the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a report, ‘Trickle-Down Dries Up,’ comparing measures of economic growth among nine states, including Florida, with no income tax to the nine states with the highest top income-tax rates.

Among its findings, the report concluded that states with high personal income-tax rates experienced faster economic growth than states with no income tax, as measured by aggregate and per-capita growth in gross-domestic product. This directly contradicts Robinson’s statement that ‘low tax and lighter-regulation states experience greater economic growth rates.’

The ITEP study also found that residents in states with no income tax were less likely to have a job than people living in states with the highest tax rates.

If the empirical facts cited in the report are not enough, one need look no further than Kansas’ failed tax-cutting experiment in 2012. Robinson is correct: Facts do matter.

Robinson’s letter to the editor is available here (third letter from the top).

The article authored by Wire, “Trump wants tax reform by Thanksgiving,” is available here.