Editorial: Democrats flunk math with false claims about refunds

The Associated Press reported recently that Democrats have seized on the fact that the average income tax refund is smaller this year “as proof that the Republican-written tax law hurts the middle class.”

Noting the smaller refund checks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on her blog, “People have already taken to social media, using the hashtag #GOPTaxScam, to vent their anger. Many blame President Trump and the Republicans for shrinking refunds. Some on Twitter even said they wouldn’t vote for Trump again after seeing their refunds slashed.”

By this past weekend the hashtag #GOPTaxScam had shown up online 100,000 times. 

In fact Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris, a U.S. senator from California, tweeted, “The average tax refund is down about $170 compared to last year. Let’s call the President’s tax cut what it is: a middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1%.”

The liberal website Huffington Post reported, “The average refund check paid out so far has been $1,865, down from $2,035 at the same point in 2018, according to IRS data. Low-income taxpayers often file early to pocket the money as soon as possible. Many taxpayers count on the refunds to make important payments, or spend the money on things like home repairs, a vacation or a car.”

The story noted in passing that the tax code changes meant that in some cases not enough money was withheld by employers. But nowhere did it note that in the vast majority of these cases the total tax bill for 2018 is less than the prior year. People just got to kept it with each paycheck and did not make interest-free loans to the federal government.

Democrats are seizing on something all right, but it is misdirection and bad math.

Though refunds are about 8 percent lower than a year ago, the Tax Policy Center reports income tax payments are being reduced $1,600 on average, thus increasing after-tax income by 2.2 percent. The center noted that about 65 percent of households will get tax cuts averaging $2,180, while about 6 percent will see a tax increase averaging $2,760.

Since people were paying less in taxes, less was withheld.

Nicole Kaeding, director of federal projects at the Tax Foundation, was quoted by National Public Radio as saying, “Don’t judge your taxes by your refund. That’s only one part of the conversation,” adding, “Ideally, you don’t actually want to receive a large refund. Because what you’ve done is given the federal government an interest-free loan. Instead, what would be better is to adjust your withholdings so you get more take-home pay in every paycheck.”

But never let the facts get in the way of a Democrat trying pick your pocket. 

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

19 comments on “Editorial: Democrats flunk math with false claims about refunds

  1. Linda Sanders says:

    Wish common Sense Were More Common?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Democrats and Republicans are both engaging in disinformation and lies.
    And the AP is fully covering it….finally.


  3. Steve says:

    And there’s more.
    At some point, politicians need to be called out for their lies, but memes don’t help.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Taking advantage of the lack of, shall we say, discernment as the Democrats have here is reprehensible, and they deserve to be taken to task for it. Those who do so are the enemies of democracy and of our republic. On this site though, we only hear about misinformation from Democrats. Republicans almost always get a pass, especially Trump. Rah, rah! Go team!

  5. Trump’s tariff wars are wrongheaded and bad for the economy.

  6. Steve says:

    Oh right.
    It’s not enough the whole press and broadcast media lens left and constantly attacks anything conservative and Trump especially (the veracity of his conservatism is always in doubt).
    Even with all this on the side of the left, a “Patrick” comes here and tries to demand this site be left too!

    People come here because they can’t get this point of view from the nightly news and local print media anymore.

    “Patrick” comes here to whine.

  7. Rincon says:

    Sorry, Anonymous wasn’t Patrick, It was me. I can certainly understand the desire to have a haven from the allegedly biased mainstream media, and I hope my urge to debate does not create too much discomfort for others. I am just concerned that over the past few decades, we Americans have created a vast network of echo chambers that support one team or the other no matter what, often to the exclusion of fact and truth. Perhaps that makes me more sensitive than I should be to the editorial nature of the articles here.

    Interestingly, I am more supportive of Trump on the tariff business than Thomas (I know; who am I and what have I done with Rincon?). It’s possible that our country may benefit in the long run if this conflict leads to improved Chinese behavior in the future, but we may not know until after he has left the Presidency (2020 anyone?).

  8. With the Chinese there should be ways to fight intellectual property theft other than tariff wars — but maybe not.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’ll say this for Thomas: in spite of the far left stuff I mostly write here, he allows it to remain on his site, so that’s a credit to him. Can’t be easy sometimes I bet.

    And now, back to our regular programming….

    As to the tax issue, I will say that the left is using an argument that some of Trumps favorite voters (“I love my uneducated voters”) will find most appealing even if it’s not necessarily the most important reason to be against the corporate and wealthy tax cuts the administration handed out. Sometimes, as the far right has taught the country, you can’t count on the most rational reasons why something is good or bad because peoples attention spans are short. Sometimes you have to appeal to their knee jerk reaction to something being amiss (tell someone their check is smaller, and they can see it, and before they think much about it, they can be unhappy)

    There’s much better reasons for people to be upset, and this article handled them fairly well.


  10. The SALT deductions put an unfair burden on lower tax states.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The transfer of wealth, from the blue states to the red states more than make up for whatever revenue changes hands.

    And I’ve never heard a discouraging word around these parts to that before.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well, so with 2 democratic senators, a democratic governor, and near every other elected office in the hands of democrats, is it fair to call Nevada a red state?

    And even if that label was appropriate at some point, this is just one state after all and any list of “givers and takers” of federal dollars will show the top taking ones nearly all red, and the top giving ones nearly all blue.

    And like I said, I don’t remember anyone here, all those years while it was happening, giving those red states much heck because of it.

    And I suspect, once this administration is but a memory, that them blue states, that have not only been generous with those red states for years, and getting only heck in return (sometimes you’d think they just say thanks and be on their way) are going to remember Trump and his far right wing republican minions changing the tax laws to take even further advantage of the situation, and it will be payback time.

  13. I did not call it a Red state. I just pointed out it is not getting the love, whatever color it is.

    The issue is that lower-taxed states pay a disproportionate share of federal taxes. Nothing to do the Red or Blue.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Games Thomas?

    That’s fun too I guess but it doesn’t further communication any. The red states are the ones that pretend they’re being taken advantage here by the blue staters because the blue staters have been deducting state income taxes that the red staters have been able to deduct because they’re so much better than those damn blue staters because they don’t subject their citizens to state income taxes.

    And naturally, they haven’t had to because the blue staters have been subsidizing those red staters being able to provide the services that blue states use state taxes to provide, because the blue states keep sending money to the red states.

    And like I said, if the folks in the red states, instead of just constantly telling the blue staters to go pound sand, just said thanks once in a while, or maybe “you guys are really the degenerates we red staters constantly make you out to be” us blue state people would be satisfied. But now, the the red staters, so proud of their “rugged individualist” mythology, have decided to take, antagonize AND punish (by changing the rules) the blue staters, and payback will be coming.

  15. The Red state/Blue state gamut is yours. Not mine.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well I didn’t invent it but pretending the words have no meaning is just a way to stop the communication so…ok.

  17. Anonymous says:


    Division is communication?

    Red vs Blue, Right vs Left, Conservotard vs Libtard.

    At some point, this crap needs to be put aside so a measure of reality can leak through the bullshit.

  18. Steve says:

    Crappy “feature”

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