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Letters: Facts can be manipulated

Facts can be manipulated Mr. Charlie Quimby stated that facts obscure truth as a headline in his guest editorial in the April 9 Enterprise. This is not true as facts enhance truth. Facts, however, can be manipulated to support a desired conclusio...

Facts can be

manipulated

Mr. Charlie Quimby stated that facts obscure truth as a headline in his guest editorial in the April 9 Enterprise. This is not true as facts enhance truth. Facts, however, can be manipulated to support a desired conclusion.

Dividing the amount of income tax collected by the number of residents in a state indicates the amount of taxes paid per capita, which reveals Minnesota ranks fourth highest in the nation. Simple enough to understand.

Mr. Quimby refers to a Tax Foundation convoluted system which he says is a "better measure" to use as it compares states' total taxes collected. This comparison, he says, is more illumined of truth because higher income states "reflect the overall capacity to pay."

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One paragraph in his editorial states that using this method of comparison "Minnesota ranks 11th, 0.8 percent above the median for all states." In another paragraph he says, "8/10ths of a percent above average." He is obviously not sure of his conclusion because there is a difference between median and average.

Since Mr. Quimby gave no supporting factual data, there is no way to verify or refute his conclusion. However, he is trying to convey to Minnesota taxpayers, by his methodology, that Minnesota is a relatively high income but not a high tax state, so he apparently favors tax increases.

Mr. Quimby, a proclaimed communications strategist, works for Growth and Justice, a think tank which is a non-profit organization supported by other non-profit organizations and individual donors. There may also be tax paid grant money involved.

Growth and Justice was organized about five years ago indicating eight key staff members specializing in various areas of expertise. In my opinion, staff collectively support a social and liberal agenda, including more taxes and redistribution of wealth.

Arnold Leshovsky

Nevis

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