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Letter: Here’s how to win support for tax plans

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: John C. Fox

Lutheran Lake

The Republic carried an article titled “Winning public’s trust essential in Pence’s tax reform effort” in the June 30 edition. The article stated that the public doesn’t trust politicians when they intend to reform taxes, as the public believes that tax reform is a guise for the politician to get his way in tax policy. Here are suggestions for Gov. Mike Pence to consider while he attempts to gain voters’ trust for his version of tax reform:


A: Quit flying around all over the country talking about an “Indiana miracle” when there is none. You’ve only been in office for a year and a half, and you’ve disagreed, despite having a supermajority with your party in the Indiana Legislature, over a number of economy- and tax-related issues with the legislators from your party.

Thank goodness our legislators can do math. You’re obviously treating your office as governor as a stepping stone to a national office and looking to burnish your résumé with several tax cuts, regardless of the cost to Indiana residents and infrastructure.

B: Don’t invite Grover Norquist, a Washington lobbyist and reflexive tax opponent, to be with you on the program and then pretend the tax reform that you’re discussing is revenue neutral. Norquist, who has never held public office and who is accountable to no voter, is paid to do one thing — suppress tax revenue, preferably from those who pay his salary. Appearing with Norquist is not helping the image that you are more oriented to Washington politics than Indiana politics.

C: Jump in that pickup you campaigned in last year and drive some county roads. (You might take Norquist with you.) You will observe that the county roads across much of the state are in horrible condition. Poor road conditions are a direct result of the state financially squeezing the counties (and cities, too) out of redistributed tax dollars.

Additional tax cuts will only lessen road funds to the counties. Both you and Norquist could take a lesson that there is actually some valid use for tax money, for the economic benefit and safety of Indiana’s rural citizens.

D: Quit pretending that Mitch Daniels was a poor manager of Indiana’s government for eight years. Daniels made many of the improvements you seem to want to take credit for when you’re in front of a non-Indiana audience, but you constantly want to cut tax rates that were budgeted by him.

Daniels could do math, had no pretensions about a national office and knew he’d have to live with what he advocated for a long time. Daniels seemed much less concerned about his résumé than you do.

Perhaps if you decided to do the job you got at the last election, instead of instantly running for the next job you want, the people of Indiana would put more of their trust in you. But that’s a high price to pay for such an ambitious politician, isn’t it?

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