Most of us understand that the media is biased and slants its articles accordingly. The challenge for voters is to look past the obvious to make sure what they are reading is actually true. One recent example of misrepresenting a basic fact is the way the Trump tax cuts are being reported.
On February 13th The Daily Signal posted an article illustrating the fake news regarding the tax cuts.
The article includes the following tweet:
This is simply the latest episode in a long-running campaign to demagogue tax cuts that let the vast majority of Americans keep more of their hard-earned money.
Some of the biggest cuts are actually being enjoyed by the lowest-income Americans. A typical family of four got a $2,917 tax cut this year.
…So what’s the complaint about?
In an early sample of tax returns, the IRS has reported that average refunds are down $170 from last year and that they hadn’t changed much from 2017, the year before.
But this is not relevant, for two reasons.
First, the sample of tax returns cited by the IRS is very small, and some analysts expect refunds will actually go up this year.
But second, and more importantly, tax refunds have nothing to do with the size of anyone’s tax cut. A refund is what you get back if you’ve paid too much in taxes throughout the year. Your tax cut is the drop in total taxes you owed to Uncle Sam last year. The two are not connected.
Employers across the country already gave us our tax cuts by withholding less money from our paychecks every pay period. Americans saw a bump to their paychecks in February 2018.
Of course, withholding is never perfectly accurate, so your refund or tax payment at the end of the year is simply a last-minute adjustment. But that refund does not cancel out the overall bump in take-home pay due to the tax cut.
Do you remember when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the tax cuts “monumental, brazen theft,” or when former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers predicted the tax cuts would kill 10,000 people every year? This most recent round of hysteria is just more of the same.
Be prepared for more false stories as the 2020 election grows closer.