Credit Where Due: Four Pinocchios for Senate Democrats

At Democracy Dies in Darkness*, Glenn Kessler & Co. have been diligent at tracking Trump’s false and misleading claims, and why not. It’s a target-rich environment, and squadrons of fact-checkers are needed just to keep track. In the first 100 days, for example, Trump was misleading or false at a rate of 4.9 per day, with gusts of over 20 when he’s really on a roll.

So give them credit for testing the claims made by Senate Democrats such as presidential wannabe Kamala Harris, first-year freshman from California.

“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

Kessler gave that statement four Pinocchios for extreme cherry-picking.

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.

And this assumes that the numbers from the Tax Policy Center, a left-leaning think tank, are accurate.

There are valid reasons to be skeptical of the tax-cut plan. I like the cuts to the corporate tax as well as lowering income tax rates for the four lowest quintiles. I have no problem with capping the mortgage interest deduction but am not thrilled with ridding the state and local tax deduction. But more importantly, the plan will add $9.3 trillion to our national debt under the best-case economic scenario, and there is no one in the Trump administration talking about entitlement reform, which is really the cause of our structural fiscal imbalance. As a fiscal conservative, I think the deal should be re-worked.

*  DDIN for short and, no, I won’t call it Washington Post while they keep that silly subhead.

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