Last month, the New York Times was only one of many left-wing outlets who ran wildly misleading, extraordinarily biased stories about tax season. According to the story, Americans are irate because after filing their taxes and expecting their usual big-money refunds, they are discovering that they’re getting nothing back. And this, after the damn dirty Republicans promised they were handing middle-class America a fat tax break? How dare they?
Here’s an excerpt, from February 12:
The tax overhaul that took effect last year promised relief, but now that returns are being filed, some people are baffled. They’re getting smaller refunds — or sometimes having to write a check — even though nothing in their situation seems to have changed.
The average refund among early filers was down 8.4 percent, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The smaller checks, in some cases, stem from the loss of certain deductions. For others, it’s because less money is being withheld from their paychecks. The I.R.S., in trying to more closely match the amount held out of paychecks with the amount that taxpayers will owe, changed its withholding tables.
The result is that taxpayers may be paying less over all but still getting a bill after filing their return. That has caught many people off guard.
Ashley Alt, who works in information technology in Illinois, said she was floored when her tax program spit out her $4,800 bill. “I was expecting to get less of a refund or maybe owe a little bit,” she said. “I did not expect to owe two months of take-home pay.”
Online outrage has led to a #GOPTaxScam hashtag on Twitter just as taxpayers, trying to navigate the new rules, have encountered roadblocks because of the monthlong government shutdown.
There are no outright lies embedded in this story, but the tone of it does little to convey the reality of the situation. The second paragraph comes the closest, but even in explaining why refunds were down, the Times did not bother to point out that we were still a long way from April 15, and things could easily change.
Well, that time has already come.
According to the latest figures from the IRS, the average refund this year is actually up slightly from last year – and that’s ON TOP of the fact that most people are taking more of their money in their paychecks every week. According to the latest numbers, the average refund through Feb. 22 was $3,143, which is about forty dollars ahead of where Americans were this time last year.
The media tried to make the intellectual density of the average American taxpayer, who didn’t bother to notice that the IRS was not withholding as much from their paychecks, into a political crisis for the Republican Party. And in the end, they couldn’t even get that story right because it was based on incomplete and jump-to-conclusions reporting.
Another banner year this is turning out to be for the mainstream media.