Who are you going to believe: the mainstream media or your lying bank account? According to a new NBC/WSJ poll, just 17% of Americans believe their taxes will decrease as a result of President Trump’s 2018 tax cut. An additional 28% believe they will pay more, while 27% think they will pay the same, and 28% don’t know enough to say. The vast majority of Republicans do not believe they will receive a tax cut. Just 33% of Republicans, 10% of independents, and 7% of Democrats expect to keep more of their money. Worse yet, even among core Trump supporters, nearly two-thirds do not expect to save on taxes.
No wonder the tax law remains unpopular. A Pew Research Center poll conducted last month found that just 36% of Americans approve of the law, compared to 49% who disapprove.
Beyond the realm of public opinion, reality tells a different story: a full 80% of Americans will receive a tax cut under the Republican tax law, according to a report by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.
So how did so many Americans miss their tax cut? Such is the power of the mainstream media, which amplified ad nauseum the lies of left-wing politicians and activists. Leftist commentator Matthew Yglesias admitted as much on Twitter. “Nobody likes to give themselves credit for this kind of messaging success,” he wrote. “But progressive groups did a really good job of convincing people that Trump raised their taxes when the facts say a clear majority got a tax cut.” Yglesias deserves credit for honest dishonesty.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow warned that the tax bill would “appease the rich on the front end; punish the poor on the back. Feed the weak to the strong.” A front page New York Times editorial declared, “It is not aimed at the middle class. It is at every turn carefully engineered to deliver a kiss to the donor class.” The bill amounted to nothing more than “a return to trickle-down economics, an enduring line in which the wealthy are supposed to spend and invest their tax breaks, creating jobs and commercial opportunities for everyone else.” Who would fund this “big tax cut for the rich”? Why the poor, of course, “with random increases in taxes for various constituencies.”
The Washington Post lamented how the “tax bill [went] from worse to bad.” Forbes explained it would “blow up Medicare.” NPR reported it “could hurt graduate students.” Media as local as the Kansas City Star blared in a headline, “Kansas Republicans claim tax bill will be good for the middle class. It won’t be.” Just about everyone, it seemed, would suffer from tax cuts. Who knew keeping more of your own money could be so painful?
According to a Media Research Center survey, network news outlets paint Presidents Trump in a negative light 92% of the time. During debate on the tax cut, Trump’s signature legislative achievement, that might have been a low-end estimate.
Jonathan Swift observed that “falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late.” Through story after story, from tax returns to Russian conspiracies, the mainstream media have peddled baseless lies to the public. Sometimes, years later, the truth manages to come limping along. How many more times will Americans let themselves be fooled?