Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb

Gov. Eric Holcomb

John J. Watkins, The Times

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb joined 20 other Republican state chief executives Thursday calling on Republican congressional leaders to approve "meaningful tax reform legislation and send it to the president's desk."

In a letter sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the governors claim numerous state examples confirm the notion that reducing tax rates produces an economic boom.

"We've proven in our states that you can cut taxes, create jobs and generate budget surpluses all at the same time. If it can work in our states, it can work for America," Holcomb and the other governors said.

Their letter does not address specific components of the tax legislation that federal lawmakers are hoping to merge and adopt by the end of the year, following approval of separate proposals by the House on Nov. 16 and the Senate on Dec. 2.

It also ignores the fact that portions of the Senate measure were illegibly handwritten in the margins of the legislation mere hours before U.S. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., voted in favor of the plan, and U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., voted no.

Instead, Holcomb and the other GOP governors, excluding Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who did not sign the letter, advocate for general streamlining of the tax code and reducing corporate tax rates to drive economic expansion.

"We need a tax plan that will allow entrepreneurs and small businesses more room to improve, invest and expand, propelling economic growth and creating more family-supporting careers, all while freeing up Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money," they write.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation projects the Senate-approved tax plan will grow the economy by 0.8 percent per year over the next 10 years, while producing $1 trillion in budget deficits during the same period.

That revenue shortfall would come on top of the expected $10 trillion growth between 2018 and 2027 in the national debt, which currently totals more than $20 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.