Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Q: When is a tax cut for 98 percent of taxpayers portrayed as a tax increase?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 7, 2009

A: When some of the small handful of people whose taxes will go up happen to control the nation’s news media.

Last week, President Obama unveiled a budget outline that extends the Bush tax cuts for all but the top two percent of taxpayers and makes permanent a tax credit of up to $800 for low- and middle-income workers that was included in the recent stimulus package, among other tax cuts.

On the other hand, individual taxpayers with taxable income above $200,000 ($250,000 for families) per year would pay more in taxes under Obama’s plan, under which the tax rates paid on income in the top brackets would revert to their levels under President Clinton in the 1990s — from 33 and 35 percent to 36 and 39.6 percent. Slate.com’s Daniel Gross estimates that for someone with $350,000 in income, this will amount to about $1,500 a year in increased taxes.

So: Obama’s plan cuts taxes for the vast majority of Americans, while raising them for the small number of people who make more than $200,000.

But the media, eager to hype their bogus “war on the wealthy” storyline, have portrayed it as a tax increase.

The Washington Post was the worst offender: 484 words of its 1,284-word article on the Obama plan were devoted to the tax hikes that will incur on the richest 2%, and only 37 words were devoted to the tax cuts for the other 98% of Americans. But other papers and media outlets were nearly as bad.

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