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Issues & Insights

Media Praise Themselves for Lying About Trump’s Tax Cuts

In a tweet last week, CNBC economy and national politics reporter John Harwood pointed to a new poll showing that just 17% of Americans think their taxes were cut by the Trump tax reform plan. The truth is that the vast majority of Americans got a tax cut and/or saw their wages increase from the individual and corporate income tax cuts that went into effect in 2018.

So what’s Harwood’s response to this massive level of misunderstanding among the public? Does he cast aspersions on his fellow journalists for failing to accurately inform them about what the Trump tax cuts accomplished? Does he castigate Democrats and liberal groups for repeatedly lying to the public about the impact of those tax cuts?

Nope. He just shakes his head and says “no wonder” the tax cuts are so unpopular.

Worse is the response from Vox.com co-founder Matt Yglesias. Remember that the promise of Vox.com was supposed to be to explain the news. The site still claims that as its mission:

“Vox explains the news. We live in a world of too much information and too little context. Too much noise and too little insight. And so Vox’s journalists candidly shepherd audiences through politics and policy, business and pop culture, food, science, and everything else that matters.”

Does Yglesias try to explain how the public could be so misinformed about the tax cuts?

Nope. He praises his fellow “progressives” for their deception. In a tweet, he said:

https://twitter.com/mattyglesias/status/1115402932093095937

Since Vox and the rest of the liberal press won’t tell you what the Trump tax cuts actually did, here’s a quick rundown:

Taxpayers at every income level saw their after-tax income increase last year. The Tax Foundation calculated that households in the bottom fifth of the income scale saw their after tax income increase almost 1%, those in the middle saw it climb by up to 1.6%.

Not only did most families get tax relief, they benefited from higher wages and a stronger economy.

Wage growth started accelerating right at the start of 2018. After remaining stuck at close to 5% for a year, the unemployment rate started trending down in 2017, falling from 4.7% at the start of that year to 4.1% by 2018. It dropped to 3.7% by November 2018. It would be lower still, but the strong job market has been drawing more people back into the labor market, which makes the unemployment rate look bigger. (The opposite was happening under President Obama, when millions dropped out of the labor market, making the unemployment rate seem smaller than it was.)

To say nothing of the bonuses millions of workers got from the cut in the corporate tax rate.

If you haven’t heard about this good news, you can thank the all the “explainers” in the press.


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John Merline

Veteran journalist John Merline was Deputy Editor of Commentary and Opinion at Investor's Business Daily. Before IBD, he launched and edited the Opinion section of AOL News, and was a member of the editorial board of USA Today, where he continues to be a regular contributor. He’s been published in the Washington Post, National Review, Detroit News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Forbes, and numerous other publications. He is regular commentator on the One America News Network and on local talk radio. He got his start in journalism under the tutelage of M. Stanton Evans.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. We’re just getting started, and we’ll be adding new features as time permits. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. As one of our early readers put it, we want to be the “calm in the storm.”

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