Most Americans’ understanding of the GOP’s recently passed tax reform bill has been skewed because news outlets have been dishonest in their coverage of it, believes David Harsanyi of The Hill. Varied and repeated headlines from reputable sources have told readers that while corporations and the rich will be getting tax cuts, the middle class will be getting a tax hike, which is simply not true. In fact, 80% of Americans will see a tax cut in 2018 compared to only 4.8% who will see a tax increase. Democrats’ lack of understanding about aspects of the bill and there consequent unfounded overreactions to it have contributed to the spread misinformation in the media. The truth is that the bill is not as unpopular as many think.
The GOP tax bill gives a large permanent tax cut to corporations and a small, temporary one to middle class families. As such, mainstream media outlets have been quite accurate when reporting that the bill mostly benefits the wealthy in the short term and could actually raise taxes on the middle class in the long term, states Eric Levitz in New York Magazine. However, conservatives seem to think that journalists have no right to emphasize the bill’s distributional consequence or to conjecture about what will happen in the future and are therefore not being objective. But journalists are just doing their jobs by analyzing the bill based on its text rather than on pundits’ conjecture of future political events.