Last week, The New York Times ran a shocking story about holes in the new Trump tax law. The Times explained that for some couples, the new tax law could mean increased taxes:
Thanks to lower rates and a doubled standard deduction, 2018 taxes will fall for many people. But that won’t be true for quite a few others, like this hypothetical couple in suburban New York, Samuel and Felicity Taxpayer.
Who were Samuel and Felicity, that unfortunate couple? As The Wall Street Journal explains, they had two kids and an elderly parent in the home; she’s an employee of a design firm, and he’s an engineering consultant, with total income of $183,911. Their tax bill would supposedly increase nearly $4,000.
One problem: the Times completely botched its math. And they waited a week to correct the article, adding this addendum:
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the probable effect of the new tax law on a hypothetical couple’s 2018 tax bill. The TurboTax ‘What-If Worksheet’ that generated the projection for their 2018 taxes failed to indicate that the couple would probably be entitled to claim a sizeable deduction for income earned from consulting. As a result of that deduction, the amount they would likely owe on taxes would decline by $43, not rise by $3,896.
But it gets worse. As the Journal reports, liberal economist Daniel Hemel asked why TurboTax should be blamed when Samuel and Felicity should have claimed “nonrefundable dependent credits of $500 for their children Luke & Heidi and their parent Sydney, for additional tax savings of $1,500 under the new law.”
So the Times screwed up. It happens. But it’s interesting that the screw-ups at the supposedly objective New York Times all tend to support a particular narrative — the narrative that most benefits Democrats.