The Washington Post soundly debunked the claim, made by numerous Democratic lawmakers, that the GOP tax reform bill will result in a tax increase for middle class households in a fact check published Thursday.
A number of prominent Democratic lawmakers have publicly claimed the tax reform bill, scheduled to be released Thursday, will result in an average tax increase of $794 for households making up to $86,100 annually. WaPo fact checkers traced the claim back to a report produced by Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee, that predicts that some 8 million households making less than 86,100 per year will see their taxes increased.
“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 report reads.
The Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, falsely asserted the increase will apply on average to middle class families omitting the key detail that the increase will in fact be confined to “8 million households.”
The distinction is important as 8 million households represent just 6.5% of the nearly 122 million households in the bottom three income quintiles. Roughly 80 percent (97 million) of households in the bottom three quintiles will receive a tax cut, according to the report from which the false claim originated. Additionally, every quintile on average receives a tax cut.
While the most substantial average tax cut will go to the top quintile, that group also contains the largest percentage of households (32.3) that see a tax increase.
The fact check concludes with a harsh condemnation of the lawmakers who disseminated the demonstrably false talking point.
“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 fact check reads. “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.”
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