Regardless how the current debate on tax reform is ultimately resolved, all of us need to acknowledge that the relationship between tax policy and economic growth is not an absolute correlation, as Rick Duffy (Procter & Gamble plant manager in Auburn) wrote in his Nov. 30 letter.

Without getting into the weeds of economic theory, it simply is incorrect to assume that favorable corporate tax rates necessarily lead to a more robust economy with increases in gross domestic product, employment, wages, corporate growth, share prices and all the other good things that accrue from a booming economy. History has shown us that tax policy is not the key factor in a company’s success or failure. The marketplace and product strategies, particularly for a company like P&G, are arguably much more important than the statutory tax rates.

Mr. Duffy needs to be aware that the average effective tax rate (actual tax paid) for the past six years at P&G has been 24 percent, the precise number he quoted as the “global average for developed countries.” In fact, one could argue that P&G’s U.S. income taxes are no more onerous than their global competitors.’

So, why did P&G’s top-line revenues drop more than 20 percent during that same period? A deep dive into the issues at P&G would reveal the reason or reasons, but the bottom line is that tax policy, while key, isn’t as important as other factors.

And we need to remember that if this tax plan doesn’t have the impact that Republicans are betting on relative to deficits, corporations and “pass-throughs,” certainly the 1 percent will not be hurt. Individual middle-class taxpayers will pay the price because their tax rates will be automatically triggered to increase, thus adding to the disparity between those who have and those who do not. Be careful what you wish for!

Charles McNutt

South Portland