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WaPo Tears Apart Dem Talking Point That Tax Cuts Only Benefit Wealthy

Mike Reed - November 2, 2017

Democrats really only have one argument for why they oppose the tax cut plan – they claim it will only benefit the rich.

Unfortunately for them, The Washington Post Fact Checker took that argument apart this morning, giving Democrats the dreaded “four Pinocchio’s” for their inaccurate claims.

WaPo concludes, “In their haste to condemn the GOP tax plan, Democrats have spread far and wide the false claim that families making less than $86,100 on average will face a hefty tax hike. Actually, it’s the opposite. Most families in that income range would get a tax cut. Any Democrat who spread this claim should delete their tweets and make clear they were in error.”

Senate Democrats falsely claim GOP tax plan will raise taxes for most working-class families
Glenn Kessler
Washington Post
November 2, 2017

“On average, middle class families earning less than $86,000 would see a tax increase under the Republican ‘tax reform’ plan.”
–Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), in a tweet, Oct. 27

A reader asked whether Harris’s tweet was accurate. But when we looked into it, it turns out that many Democrats were tweeting the same talking point – that middle-class families would face an average tax increase under the GOP plan.

Latoya Vera, spokeswoman for the JEC Democrats, explained how the number was calculated. The staff took an estimate by the Tax Policy Center, based on the GOP’s ‘Unified Framework” released in September. The staff then focused on the households making under $86,100 – the bottom three quintiles of taxpayers — that would face a tax increase. Weighting the tax increase by the number of people in each quintile, the staff came up with an average tax hike of $794 for the people receiving a tax increase.

But notice the funny thing about this calculation: Only a small percentage (6.5 percent) of the nearly 122 million households in the bottom three quintiles will actually face a tax increase.

Meanwhile, more than 97 million (80 percent) will receive a tax cut. Doing the math the same way the JEC staff did, we come up with an average tax cut of about $450 for those 97 million households.

Indeed, at the far end of the chart, you will see that every quintile on average receives a tax cut — not a tax increase.

The Pinocchio Test

In their haste to condemn the GOP tax plan, Democrats have spread far and wide the false claim that families making less than $86,100 on average will face a hefty tax hike. Actually, it’s the opposite. Most families in that income range would get a tax cut. Any Democrat who spread this claim should delete their tweets and make clear they were in error.

Four Pinocchios


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