It’s seldom that the Washington Post ever turns their fact-checker on prominent Democrats, but every once in a while the paper’s Glenn Kessler has to pretend that he’s calling balls and strikes and not actively playing politics. When that happens we get some honest-to-goodness truth in the Post. This time, it came in the form of four whopping Pinocchios, handed out to none other than Sen. Kamala Harris.
The presidential candidate tweeted Monday that President Trump and the Republican Party had managed to actually raise taxes on the middle class while claiming that their tax cuts were benefitting the base of the party.
“The average tax refund is down about $170 compared to last year,” Harris wrote. “Let’s call the President’s tax cut what it is: a middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1%.”
Sure we can do that.
Except that would be a lie.
From Kessler’s brutal fact check:
When both the Joint Tax Committee and the Tax Policy Center looked at the impact of the tax bill, they concluded that in 2018, most people would see an overall reduction in taxes. The Tax Policy Center found that 80.4 percent of all tax payers would have a tax cut, compared with about 5 percent experiencing a tax increase.
In the middle quintile, 91 percent would get a tax cut, averaging about $1,090, with 7.3 percent facing a tax increase averaging about $910.
Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute has argued that both the Joint Tax Committee and the Tax Policy Center present a misleading picture because they include payroll taxes (such as for Social Security and Medicare) — and the Trump tax legislation left payroll taxes untouched. When you exclude payroll taxes, it appears as though the largest share of the tax changes goes to the middle-income quintile, according to his calculations.
Four Pinnochios, well deserved.
But hey, we encourage Harris to get out there and lie some more about the GOP tax cuts. It seems the only way we’ll get some honest facts about that bill to appear in a paper like the Washington Post will be through Kessler working overtime to correct the record.
One of these days he should turn his Pinnochios loose on the Post’s editorial page. Just one day’s worth of columns will keep him busy for weeks.