No one’s much surprised, but the Democrats are losing opportunities in the messaging war on tax reform. In a gleefully titled “reality check” oped, Fox News and Townhall contributor Guy Benson recently referenced an old USA Today fact check which called the Democrats’ rhetoric ahead of the Trump tax cuts “misleading.” It’s news now because of a Bloomberg piece analyzing 2016 tax data made available by the IRS in August. While that piece is not as hostile to progressive taxation as it might be, it is itself misleading in several ways and clearly seeks to emphasize to the same startling result from Benson’s piece: just over half of federal individual income taxes are paid by the top 3% of taxpayers when ranked by gross adjusted income (AGI).
Benson seizes on this to assert that the “Left’s political stories about ‘fair shares’ and ‘millionaires and billionaires’… [are] not grounded in facts and omit crucial perspective.” But it is Benson and his tax cut apologists — making claims like “we have a federal spending problem, not a revenue problem” — who lack crucial perspective. A careful reading of the very Bloomberg analysis that motivated Benson’s opinion shows just how bad a revenue problem our nation has.