Pervasive media bias about the GOP-led tax bill has caused a vast majority of people to believe they are going to receive a massive tax hike if President Trump signs it into law.
Leftist media pundits and even “objective” anchors and reporters have framed the bill as a tax cut for the rich that is being paid for by the middle class, even though analysis shows that the middle class will reap the biggest income gains.
As the Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin tweeted on Tuesday, 80 percent of households will get cuts in 2018, but only 17 percent in a WSJ poll believe they’re getting tax cuts.
This is a gap.— Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) December 19, 2017
In 2018, 80% of households get tax cuts.
In our poll, 17% of people think they’re getting tax cuts. https://t.co/phMSGQshIG via @WSJ
That gap between perception and reality may be attributed to media hysteria that has described the bill as “plunder,” “tax cuts for the rich,” and a “fantasy.”The best way to describe it is:— Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) December 19, 2017
There are middle-class tax cuts. They are not universal and they are not permanent. And there will be small middle-class tax increases if Congress does nothing.
After the House passed the bill on Tuesday, the Associated Press published an unbelievably misleading headline, writing that the bill provides “steep tax cuts for businesses, the wealthy.” Of course, the tax bill provides tax cuts for the lower and middle class as well.
According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the middle class will receive $61 billion in tax cuts in 2019, totaling 23 percent of the overall tax cuts for individuals.BREAKING: House passes first rewrite of nation’s tax laws in three decades, providing steep tax cuts for businesses, the wealthy.— The Associated Press (@AP) December 19, 2017
Yet outlets like The Washington Post, Newsweek, Time Money, and The New York Times all described the bill as a “tax hike” on the middle class.
While some of the benefits to the middle class expire by 2027, which is primarily what is being referenced by those media outlets, any tax hike is contingent on the assumption that the tax benefits will not be renewed by 2027. That outcome is relatively unlikely considering the history of the “temporary” Bush-era tax cuts and the fact that the 2027 expiration date was only added to overcome a Senate budget rule.
Many of those claims also center on the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate, which could raise the cost of health care for some families or allow them to opt out of purchasing insurance because they’re no longer required to do so. Len Burman, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, told The Washington Post that it was “misleading” to characterize a rise in health insurance costs as a tax increase.
Media pundits and anchors have done their fair share of proselytizing about the bill as well.
“What you are seeing in the United States Senate… is the ugliest display of pigs at the trough that I have ever seen in Congress,” MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell cried on his show.
“Millionaire Republicans are cutting THEIR OWN TAXES… and they’re going to make you pay for it,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid claimed Tuesday.“What you are seeing … with this tax legislation … is the ugliest display of pigs at the trough that I have ever seen in Congress.” —Lawrence O’Donnell pic.twitter.com/2zzhnVhvKh— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 20, 2017
“They’re literally stealing from you,” she continued in another tweet on Wednesday.Today’s likely vote to pass the Republican tax bill is the clearest vision we’ve seen in modern times of what unmitigated greed looks like. Millionaire Republicans are cutting THEIR OWN TAXES and those of the super rich and corporations. And they’re going to make you pay for it. pic.twitter.com/1EwhGAFjq3— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) December 19, 2017
In an interview with Speaker Paul Ryan, NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie straight up asked him if he was living in a “fantasy world” when he claimed that the bill would encourage more investment by businesses.They’re literally stealing from you, America, and stuffing the money into their own pockets. If you don’t see that, I can’t help you.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) December 20, 2017
There is a real debate to be had about the effects of the tax bill on business, if the cuts on the middle class incomes will continue past 2027, and whether or not certain provisions should have made it in, but the media’s portrayal of the bill as an obvious disaster is unfair and misleading.“Are you living in a fantasy world?” – @SavannahGuthrie asks House Speaker Paul Ryan the morning after the Senate passed the GOP tax bill. pic.twitter.com/uu8frcPNdC— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 20, 2017
The result is hysteria among the masses, even though the vast majority of people are set to keep more of their own money.