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Letters to the editor

Friday, December 7, 2012 - 12:01 am

Just give us the facts, Mr. Pence, not beliefs

I hadn't planned on writing a letter to the editor today, but after reading an article entitled “Pence and Bosma differ on proposed tax cuts,” my plans changed.

Sitting idly by as Pence or other politicians govern on party and personal beliefs as Pence is quoted as doing is not an option for me today and shouldn't be an option for the voting public, which is capable of assessing empirical data and drawing correct factually supported conclusions.

We live in an information-rich society in an age increasing exponentially in hard facts and ways to verify them. To date, regardless of politicians' beliefs, their tax cuts have not produced jobs, balanced budgets or reduction of the U.S. deficit. Christy Denault, Pence's communications director, is caught dropping the “B” bomb in response to Pence's rationale for preparing to naively leap headlong into an income tax cut for individuals and corporations, costing Indiana over $500 million per year in sorely needed tax revenue.

The “B” bomb I'm referring to is Pence's na´ve “belief” that “allowing Hoosiers to keep more of their hard-earned money will create jobs …” In response to this unsupported, woefully flawed supply-side economic belief, I can only allude to the father of modern-day supply side advocates Ronald Reagan when he very effectively quipped “There you go again” to incumbent Jimmy Carter over Medicare in the lone 1980 presidential debate.

So to Pence and the rank-and-file GOP: “There you go again,” citing your “beliefs” as both rationale and justification for governing as though “if the GOP believes strongly enough in an idea or concept, it must be accurate and trustworthy.” This is 2012, not 1912, and the new normal is that beliefs held by the voting public are diverse and numerous as are believers. Merely believing something however, doesn't necessarily make it true, so please bring more to the tax-cut discussion than just your gut feeling.

Cuba Gooding Jr. spoke the line “show me the money” in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire.” I'll substitute jobs for money in Cuba's line and say, Mr. Pence, “Show me the jobs.”

In the world of professional economic research, the ability of tax cuts to create good jobs can easily be proved true or false by crunching employment data from today's date back to '01 or '03 to two pivotal tax cuts: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) or the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA), known as the Bush tax cuts.

So to Mr. Pence and the GOP, consider yourselves on notice that Hoosiers are counting on much more than just your beliefs to move us from our current predicament economically to a more fruitful economy with a more advantageous future for more Hoosiers.

I'll close with another Reagan quip used while discussing U.S. relations with the Soviet Union: “Trust but verify.” Perhaps we will arrive at a trusting relationship with our elected representatives some day, but many of us are far from such a relationship today. So until that day of trust arrives give us data that can be fact-checked and verified.

As for your “beliefs,” I say how nice, how very nice, but for now in the words of Sergeant Joe Friday, “All we want are the facts, sir.”

Len Maydwell