The Washington Post, which generally aligns itself with Democrat interests, issued a surprising fact-check Thursday ripping Democrats for spreading false claims about the GOP’s tax plan.
The claims, which The Post traced to a report issued in October by the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, revolved around the assertion that the GOP’s tax plan would force American families who earn up to $86,100 to pay an additional $794 in taxes annually.
Following the report’s publication, this talking point was picked up and shared by a number of prominent Democrat Party figures.
“On average, middle class families earning less than $86,000 would see a tax increase under the Republican ‘tax reform’ plan,” Sen. Kamala Harris of California reportedly wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
“The average tax increase on families nationwide earning up to $86,100 would be $794.00,” added Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr., D-Pa., in his own tweet.
According to The Post, the claim touted by the DPCC was based on another report — this one by Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee — which said something entirely different than what the DPCC included in its own write-up.
“If enacted, the Republican tax reform proposal would saddle 8 million households that earn up to $86,100 with an average tax increase of $794 — a substantial expense for working families,” the original report specified.
The Post noted that the “original report referred to 8 million households receiving a $794 tax increase,” whereas the DPCC claimed the increase would affect all working-class families.
The Post also took issue with the JEC’s own report over the fact that it neglected to mention any relevant counterpoints, one being that 80 percent of working-class families will receive an average tax cut of roughly $450 because of the GOP’s tax plan.
But Latoya Veal, the spokeswoman for the JEC Democrats, was unapologetic.
“There are different ways to approach the TPC estimates,” she said. “Key Republicans have been asked whether they could guarantee that no middle-class family will get a tax increase under their plan. Our calculation shows that some households — 8 million — making under $86,100 will receive an increase based on TPC’s estimates.”
In concluding its fact-check, The Post aimed its criticism solely at those Democrats who have spread the DPCC’s claim.
“In their haste to condemn the GOP tax plan, Democrats have spread far and wide the false claim that families making less than $86,100 on average will face a hefty tax hike,” The Post wrote.
“Actually, it’s the opposite. Most families in that income range would get a tax cut. Any Democrat who spread this claim should delete their tweets and make clear they were in error.”
The Post gave the false claim four “Pinocchios” on its fact-check rating scale.
The DPCC has since issued a new, modified report that contains the 8 million estimate provided by the JEC.
Much like the JEC’s report, however, it makes no mention of the fact that most working-class families will prosper under the GOP’s proposal.
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