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The left-leaning mainstream media is all caught up in reporting President Trump’s “lies.” Some pundits point out that an unproven remark is quite different than intentionally misleading with the goal of obscuring the truth.

Politicos understand that each side will paint any situation with words that give a rosy glow while glossing over (as best as possible) any facts detrimental to its point of view.

So, when does this political rhetoric cross over the line to a “lie”? It’s up to the people to determine, we suppose … and these observations are not limited to national politics. State and local politics operate the same way.

Here in Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson wants to give veterans a $13 million exemption from taxes on their retirement income (See Senator Jane English’s SB120) — leaving, of course, one of those infamous “holes in the state budget” that typically send the Legislature into a panic.

Both the Governor and many Republican lawmakers call SB120 a “veterans’ tax cut.” But they also describe it as “revenue-neutral,” apparently believing that characterization puts a good, rosy spin on the shifting of tax revenues included in the bill.

We know that “revenue-neutral” doesn’t mean spending will be cut — it only means one taxpayer group gets a break while another group of taxpayers must pay more. In this case, the bill adds a never-before-collected tax on Internet downloads to offset the projected loss in state revenue from the proposal, as well as taxing previously untaxed unemployment benefits, and candy/soft drinks (after Arkansas patted itself on the back for lowering grocery taxes).

Why give veterans a tax break — on the backs of other Arkansas taxpayers? Is it really that difficult to cut $13 million somewhere in the state budget? Is this all just a rosy characterization of the Governor’s veterans’ tax bill (or unceasing efforts to ensure re-election)? Or is calling SB120 a “veterans’ tax cut” actually a lie?

Arkansas taxpayers can tell the difference!