Accuracy in Media

HuffPost reports that the Trump tax reforms let the billionaires of the estate tax. The actual truth is that the Trump tax reforms kept the estate tax for billionaires and let many non-billionaires off it.

But the political effectiveness of complaining about billionaires not paying taxes is such that the story will get written the wrong way around. Well, at HuffPost, it is.

It is true that the Trump tax reforms who pays the estate tax and how much they pay. The major change is a significant rise in the allowance, the tax-free deduction before any must be paid at all. This was going to reduce the amount of revenue collected by the tax. It’s the next part that HuffPo gets hopelessly wrong: “Billionaires, meanwhile “estate tax giveaway that particularly served the ultra-rich “American billionaires, meanwhile “But the ultra-wealthy. “

The rules for billionaires, for those ultra-wealthy, didn’t change in any notable manner. What happened is that those at the bottom of the lists got exempted from the tax. Those high up work under the same rules now they did before. The fall in revenue was from not taxing slightly rich people at all, not from taxing billionaires less.

It’s entirely possible to think the rule changes were a bad idea – or a good one. Maybe $12 million and change is too high a deduction or one too low, which isn’t the point at all at issue here. HuffPost presents readers with highly emotional language about billionaires and the very rich when they have nothing to do with the subject under discussion.

HuffPost gets 2 million visits a month, is in the top 1,000 global media properties. It’s influential, and we must keep pointing out the errors in its ways. HuffPost complains when another journalist asks an interesting question, misinterprets a warning against actions that could lead to violence as calling for violence, as Accuracy in Media has reported in the past.

Or, as here, uses highly emotional language about billionaires and their tax dodging while discussing a tax change that has nothing to do with billionaires. The loss of revenue from the estate tax is because more people who are not billionaires no longer pay it, not because the rules for those ultra-wealthy changed. 

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