The mainstream press is no longer the Democrat Party’s lapdogs. It’s running the show. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the hundreds of outlets that regurgitate their spin are the ones pushing the phony Donald Trump-Russia collusion story and dismissing questions about Hillary Clinton’s egregious behavior as a distraction.
The same outlets that insistently cast any GOP opposition to President Obama as “obstructionism” have forgotten that word now that Democrats refuse to lend a single vote to Trump’s agenda. The same crowd that paints Trump’s America as a cauldron of fascist hate seized on the FBI’s report that hate crimes rose 4.6 percent last year. Fair enough. But what they neglected to tell readers was that they are down by 24 percent since 2000 and 21 percent since 2006. Never let facts get in the way of your narrative.
Last week, these same media outlets finally started admitting that Bill Clinton was a sexual predator. This was not based on new revelations but decades-old evidence they had ridiculed then ignored, providing fresh evidence of their lack of principle and political expediency. Their hand forced by the explosion of sexual harassment claims, they are trying to appear virtuous by condemning Bill’s criminal behavior. As a bonus, they hope their contrition will provide them new grounds to impeach Trump once the Russian issue fizzles.
The wholly partisan nature of our political press corps—its surrender of independent, fact-based analysis for Democrat talking points—has also been on full display in its willfully misleading coverage of the GOP’s tax reform efforts. With a propagandistic repetition that might impress Kim Jong-Un, they are repeating the false and tired narrative that the GOP plans would only benefit the rich. There may be good reasons to oppose these plans, but that is not one of them.
In fact, the government’s official, nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation reports that in 2019 people earning between $20,000 and $30,000 would see their taxes fall by 10.4 percent; for those earning between $50,000 and $70,000, the reduction would be 7.1 percent, while millionaires would receive a 5.3 percent tax cut.
We saw the same false line of attack back in 2001 when President Bush’s tax cuts were framed as a giveaway to “millionaires and billionaires.” In fact, 80 percent of those reductions went to families making less than $450,000 a year.
Even as they mischaracterize current bills as another giveaway, liberal pundits are warning that middle-class taxes will rise sharply when the proposed tax cuts end. What they don’t say is that congressional rules require Republicans to sunset the cuts in order to pass a bill without Democratic support. They also ignore the fact that the Bush tax cuts had a sunset clause and that all of those targeted to the middle class were made permanent under President Obama.
In fact, it is Democrats from wealthy blue states who are fighting to retain many tax breaks for the wealthy. They oppose the House’s plan to allow homeowners to write off the interest on only the first $500,000 of their mortgage, down from $1 million today. This would affect only 5.4 percent of the mortgages written, according to data from ATTOM Data Solutions, or about 325,000 loans.
Democrats also oppose GOP proposals to cap the write-off for local taxes at $10,000. Only about 4 million Americans pay more than that, according to ATTOM.
Or consider GOP efforts to repeal the Obamacare mandate. The rich, of course, receive insurance from their employers and can afford overpriced policies. So it’s no surprise that 79 percent of the households that have had to pay the mandate tax earned less than $50,000 a year. Put another way, the mandate taxes struggling Americans because they cannot afford health insurance. How is that looking out for the little guy?
The danger posed by our ugly political divisions pales in comparison to the threat posed by the increasing partisanship of our press. We need a free and fair press precisely because politicians spin and lie. When the press no longer serves as honest brokers, it’s almost impossible to have an honest discussion.