Media misleads the public on tax cut plan

Media misleads the public on tax cut plan
November 24 14:12 2017 Print This Article

The (Charleston) Post and Courier ran a misleading headline on a Washington Post story on Thanksgiving Day, “Teachers would be hurt by tax plan.” The focus of the Washington Post article was that teachers would lose a $250 deduction for buying classroom supplies under the House version of the bill (but have the deduction doubled to $500 in the Senate version). You have to read to the end of the story to learn that the standard deduction would be doubled in the the tax plan or that teachers would pay a lower tax rate.  It is doubtful that the copy editor read that far.

The Washington Post story failed to mention that the tax legislation, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,  would save a family of four earning $59,000 about $1200 per year.  The $250 deduction would only save a median-income teacher ($55,000 a year) only $40.  That hardly puts things in perspective.  In addition to nearly doubling the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples, the tax bill would lower the tax rate to 12% for households with gross adjusted incomes (after deductions) of up to $90,000 (compared to the current rates of 15% and 25% for that income level).

This is typical media coverage of Republican-sponsored legislation.  Go to the Washington Post Twitter page, and you’ll notice that nearly every item is anti-Trump or anti-Republican.  Many people just glance at the headlines and don’t ever get the details of the legislation.  Lowcountry Source previously detailed the contents of the House tax bill (HR-1), which passed without a single Democrat vote:  https://lowcountrysource.com/feature-this/2017-tax-reform-whats/. The Senate is expected to take up its version of the tax bill (with the $500 teacher deduction) when it returns from Thanksgiving break.