Some Democrats have been very busy blasting the GOP tax bill with hyperbolic rhetoric and winning plenty of Pinocchios along the way.
Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) earned a whopping “four Pinocchios” from the Washington Post this week for tweets that claimed Republicans included in the tax bill a private jet tax break which would be paid for with cuts to education and health funding. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) earned three Pinocchios for referencing the alleged “private jet tax break.”
What’s the truth here?
Far from a special carve-out in the tax code for private jet owners, the section of the bill that’s earning public ire is actually just a clarification to the IRS of existing policy. It seeks to ensure that private jets under management companies are not charged a commercial airline flight tax, and is backed by the liberal Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio.)
“This provision in no way cuts taxes for private jet owners,” said Jennifer Donohue, a spokeswoman for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “It simply clarifies what the law already says—that service companies made up of mechanics and service workers don’t pay ticket taxes, because they don’t sell tickets.”
That doesn’t exactly help sell the Democrat narrative that the tax reform bill is just for rich people.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Democrats have resorted to outrageous, fact-free tax bill broadsides.
From the moment the bill was released, Democrats went immediately to their standard go-to criticism, claiming that the tax plan mostly benefits the wealthy. Senate Democrats claimed in November that the plan raises taxes on the middle class. “On average, middle class families earning less than $86,000 would see a tax increase under the Republican ‘tax reform’ plan,” wrote Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) tweeted: “The average tax increase on families nationwide earning up to $86,100 would be $794.00.” Several others repeated this claim.
The Washington Post rated the claim as false and gave it four Pinocchios.
This falsity emerged because of a report put out by Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee that said, “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 fact that this applied to just 8 million households in that salary range—and not all—became a truism among Democrats as it was regurgitated time and again in their circles.
They need to chill. It is impossible for the public to get facts about tax reform amidst Democrats’ creative fictions.