Punch-drunk Charlie Crist reels in tax-cut bait

Charlie Crist nowadays is looking more beat-up than Rocky at the end of his bout with Apollo Creed.

His state is in economic shambles. Unemployment is outpacing the rest of the nation. And politically, he's losing ground to Marco Rubio, who's surging largely because he's not Charlie Crist.

Charlie is desperately searching for something — anything — that might lift his falling fortunes.

So he has reverted to the most Pavlovian of responses for the simple-minded pol: The tax-cut proposal.

Remember Rocky, bloodied and beaten, desperately trying to find his true love, and screaming: "Adrian! Adrian!"

Well, now we have Charlie, desperately searching for anything that might raise his approval numbers, screaming: "Tax cuts! Tax cuts!"

Someone needs to deliver a knockout punch.

The last thing this state needs is more tax-cut pandering for business interests — especially when the result would doubtless mean higher taxes for you.

That is, after all, what always happens.

You need look no further than this past legislative session, when Tallahassee protected breaks for the wealthy and niche businesses with high-paid lobbyists — only so they could jack up the costs for everyday Floridians for everything from driving a car to entering a state park.

Crist's latest proposal is to slash the corporate income tax — which is already below the national average.

This, he says, would jump-start the economy.

It's the old trickle-down theory — except what has failed to trickle down to Charlie is reality.

If low taxes alone produced a rock-solid economy, Florida would be Gibraltar.

We already have one of the lowest tax rates in the United States.

The tax-hating wonks at the Tax Foundation say that only three states tax their residents less than Florida.

And our corporate income tax of 5.5 percent is well below the national average — 39th, according to the same foundation.

So, according to all the trickle-down talk we've been spoon-fed by Jeb Bush and all the Jeb wannabes who've worshipped at the altar of Grover Norquist in the past decade, Florida's economy should be thriving more than most any in America right now.

Except we're not.

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