When you’ve lost the Washington Post, you know you’ve strayed too far into the ridiculous.
The magazine that touts the phrase “democracy dies in darkness” but suggests the NRA is a Russian stooge advocating violence, can sometimes be known to be a little too leftist for its own good. However, the rag does have its brighter moments and exhibited one in defense of the GOP tax plan.
Democrats have been throwing around claims about the tax plan that would increase the average tax on families nationwide earning up to $86,100 by $794.00. In fact, in a series of tweets from various Democratic leaders like Kamala Harris and Jeff Merkley, the Washington Post begins by pointing out their claims which all read similarly, and all making the exact same claim.
WaPo says they traced the claim back to a document put out by the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), which is essentially the communications arm of Senate Democrats. The document laid out the very statistic that Democrats kept repeating about the dreaded tax increase (why the left is suddenly horrified by tax increases is beyond me).
The $794 tax increase factoid was marked as coming from a report by Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee, which WaPo tracked as well.
WaPo notes the difference between the report and the claim in the document, calling the claims by Democratic leaders the result of a “bad game of telephone.”:
That report had this line: “If enacted, the Republican tax reform proposal would saddle 8 million households that earn up to $86,100 with an average tax increase of $794—a substantial expense for working families.”
Note the difference. The original report referred to 8 million households receiving a $794 tax increase. Somehow, when it got communicated down the line, that nuance was lost and it was translated into a talking point referring to all working-class families.
But WaPo then did the unimaginable and pointed out that the Democrats are fudging numbers in order to generate a scary stat that will turn people against the GOP tax plan.
WaPo pointed out that the staff “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.
So WaPo actually reached into muck and mire of the Democrat’s attack on the GOP tax plan and pulled the truth out for all to see. It’s a tax cut for a vast majority of households, not a tax increase.
WaPo fact checkers showed the Democrats their error, and the DPCC said they fixed their claim to make it more clear, however, WaPo noted that the DPCC still hasn’t pointed out that most will be getting a tax decrease, not an increase.
“The inaccurate tweets remain,” writes WaPo.
As a result of all the shadiness, WaPo gifted the Democrats’ claims of a massive tax hike for Americans with four Pinocchios and added this neat paragraph basically calling out the left for their lie.
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.
Good on WaPo for this. Keep this up and I might actually start to hardly like them.