Bloomington Herald-Times, December 1, 2009
To the Editor:
In discussions of public policy, it is critical that we are dealing with accurate numbers, not political spin. Therefore, here are two important corrections:
Democrats love to claim the tax cuts of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were the cause of the deficits. This is simply not the case. Federal tax revenue was $599 billion in 1981, and had increased to $991 billion 1989. The federal government took in $1.99 trillion in tax dollars in 2001. The White House estimates from earlier this year places tax revenue in 2008 at a whopping $2.66 trillion. Lowering tax rates stimulates economic growth that actually increases tax revenue. So why do we have such a huge budget deficit? Deficit spending is the problem!
I was very disappointed to see Lee Hamilton claim that he "only" spent $30,000 when he ran for Congress 45 years ago. (H-T, 11/08/2009) Mr. Hamilton knows that number would much higher when adjusted for inflation. In fact, the inflation calculator on data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl calculates that amount to be worth $209,000 today. That is still much less than modern campaigns, but by using the $30,000 figure Hamilton dishonestly misinforms readers that campaigns were much less expensive than they actually were.
Note: I made an error in my letter. The document is actually from 2007, not 2009. I regret the error.