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Washington Post misleads readers on GOP tax reform bill — then Brit Hume smacks them with facts

Brit Hume slapped the Washington Post with facts after the publication seemingly misled its readers on tax reform. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Brit Hume smacked the Washington Post with facts after the publication seemingly misled its readers on the Senate's tax reform bill.

What happened?

In a story published on Wednesday, the Post minimized who would receive tax cuts in the reform bill and how much taxes would go down. What's more, the story said a significant chunk of Americans — 38 percent — would pay the same taxes as they do now or receive a tax hike because of the bill.

"Trump has promised Americans 'huge' tax cuts, but only 44 percent of taxpayers would see their tax bills reduced by more than $500 in 2019, according to JCT's analysis of the winners and losers in the plan. The chart below was first reported by The Washington Post after a GOP senator's office shared it," the story said.

The story was obviously framed to undermine the reform. It was even titled, "38 percent of Americans won’t get a sizable tax cut under the Senate GOP plan."

However, that wasn't the complete truth — and the story even admitted as such later. It said:

Republicans have already been pointing out that a substantial number of millionaires aren't winners in this tax plan: Nearly 20 percent would see their taxes go up in 2019, according to the JCT and almost a third of millionaires would pay more by 2023. Democrats have focused on how the vast majority of the poor — those earning less than $20,000 — aren't any better off. Most of those people don't pay any federal income taxes, but they aren't getting any more of a refund.

What did Hume say?

In response to the Post's story, Hume pointed out the obvious: that roughly the same number of people who won't receive a tax break due to the Senate's reform bill already don't pay taxes. How can someone who pays no taxes receive a cut?

What are the facts?

Forbes reported in 2015 that about 45.3 percent of Americans wouldn't pay federal income taxes in 2016. That number includes both people who don't pay taxes and people who don't file tax returns.

Forbes reported:

The Tax Policy Center has updated its estimate of the percentage of households that will not pay federal income tax this year. We now figure it is 45.3 percent, nearly 5 percentage points higher than our 2013 estimate of 40.4 percent. But that doesn’t mean more Americans have moved off the tax rolls. Instead, the higher estimate reflects new and better estimates of the number of Americans who don’t file tax returns.

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