October 31, 2017

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

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

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.

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