Accuracy in Media

Republicans expect to pass by the end of this week the first overhaul of the tax code in 30 years, and mainstream media can’t stand the idea of a legislative victory for President Trump.

The Washington Post has published multiple pieces per day trashing the plan, presenting it as “hugely unpopular with the public,” “the result of a messy, rushed legislative process” and a piece of legislation that “arguably represents the opposite of President Trump’s self-styled populism.”

Under “What’s in the bill?” on The Fix, the Post’s “political analysis” operation, it says, “In a sentence, a massive tax cut for corporations and the wealthy and smaller tax cuts for people at nearly every income level, but not everyone.”

The Post then took a shot at supply-side economics, ignoring the economic growth spurred by the supply-side cuts of Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, the latter of which generated the longest peacetime economic boom in American history.

“The tax bill closely follows Republicans’ long-held belief that if you cut rates for businesses and the wealthy, money will flow down to the rest of us via higher wages and more jobs,” the Post’s Amber Phillips wrote.

“It’s an economic theory that mainstream economists say hasn’t panned out the last few times Congress cut taxes. Nearly every independent analysis of the tax plan projects this bill will temporarily bump economic growth, but in the long run, it will drive up debt by some $1 trillion and might not be the long-term boost Republicans are banking on.”

It’s a safe bet “mainstream economists” line up politically with “mainstream media” and much of that “independent analysis” came from “mainstream economists.”

Republicans have to pass this bill not to grow the economy but because of “fear of failure,” Phillips wrote.

“Republicans are a year into controlling Washington, and they have no major legislative accomplishments. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence among voters. … The common wisdom is they need to prove to donors and voters that they can deliver on major campaign promises, and the sooner the better.”

The president has proven he can deliver on campaign promises. He pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords, various UN agencies, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Iran deal. He announced we are moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, has defeated ISIS, gotten allies to pony up to NATO and the United Nations and has set off an economic boom with deregulation, approving pipelines and other projects and still other pro-business measures.

As for legislative accomplishments, he has signed 14 Congressional Review Act bills, in which Congress votes to overturn regulations promulgated by previous administrations, twice passed stopgap spending measures and has signed a defense spending bill.

Mainly, the Post maintains the legislation is bad because its reporters have been saying it is bad for so long that some have come to believe it. “The entire premise that tax cuts for wealthy = growth for America could fall flat and instead this bill could increase inequality between the haves and have-nots. And economic inequality is a large drive of the anti-Washington anger these same lawmakers are trying to ease,” Phillips wrote.

“Americans are already deeply skeptical about the bill before it gets passed. Polls show only about a third of the country thinks it’s a good idea, and a new Monmouth University poll shows half of Americans think Republicans will raise taxes on them.”

Later, she cites James Hohmann of the Post as saying “there’s a pervasive feeling among Americans that this tax bill is a giveaway to the 1 percent.”

The tax bill, which gives a $1,300 per year break to families who earn $45,000, “totally undercuts Trump’s central pitch to economically disadvantaged voters: that he’s going to look out for them in a way past politicians never did.”  

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