Editor, Times-Union:
Back in 2008, the Governor Daniels administration warned us that Indiana was in financial dire straits and an increase in the state sales was the panacea to this dilemma. Now with Indiana’s coffers overflowing, Governor Pence wants to give Hoosiers an income tax cut. While this may sound like a dandy idea on the surface, further investigation tells quite a different story.
According to the Institution of Taxation and Economic Policy, 56% of this tax cut would go to the wealthiest 20 percent, while 12 percent of mostly low income Hoosiers would see no benefit. The Institution further states that “the average tax cut for the state’s top 1 percent would be more than $2,200. while the average middle income taxpayer would receive just $102. The poorest 20 percent would receive an average tax cut of just $18.”
A more egalitarian solution that would benefit all Hoosiers would be to lower the state sales tax. Yet Governor Pence nor any other politician has offered this up as a proposal. In the not-too-distant future, Indiana will once again face budget deficits. Republicans, as well as a few blue-dog Democrats, will wring their hands and tell us we must raise the state sales tax because, my God, we can’t raise taxes on the “job creators.” And once again low and middle income families will be forced to pay more of their household budgets toward bailing out the rich.
Wealth redistribution? You bet. The sales tax paid by poor and middle income families has filled the coffers and will now be handed to the rich in tax cuts. Class warfare? Absolutely. It’s being waged on poor and middle income families by the wealthy and special interests.
Janet Collins
Etna Green, via e-mail