Boston Globe runs with AP’s #FakeNews five days later

· January 16, 2018  
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Fake News and Facts Keys on a keyboard
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The Associated Press decided on a narrative before even writing its story on the economic benefits of the tax cut plan recently passed by Congress. Mainstream media outlets like USA Today and the Chicago Tribune ran the story on January 10, when it was first published. But  the Boston Globe waited five whole days to run with the original misleading fake news.

The Globe’s version is blazoned with the headline “GOP tax cuts are so far spurring bonuses more than pay raises.” The headline that gets shown when you share it on social media is “Less than meets eye: Bonuses, not raises, from US tax cuts.” Both of these titles are wildly misleading and untrue.

Here’s what the article says:

Such announcements, coming from dozens of companies, have followed passage of the Republican tax plan that President Trump signed into law last month. The plan slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The companies say the bonuses they’ve announced are a way to share some of their bounty with their workers.

Yet the bonuses are one-time payouts, not the permanent pay raises that Trump and congressional Republicans have said will eventually result from the corporate tax cuts. Over time, bonuses are far less valuable to employees than wage increases.

So far, most companies haven’t said whether permanent pay increases are in the works. And economists caution that the corporate income tax cut’s effect on average pay, if any, might not become apparent for several years.

That is just not true. A significant number of companies have offered increases in the minimum wage they pay employees. Here are just a few compiled by Americans for Tax Reform:

  • The Amarillo National Bank is giving a raise of $1,000 per year to “313 of the bank’s 600 full time, non-salaried employees” according to MyHighPlains.com.
  • Two banks in Hawaii are raising their minimum wage to $15 dollars per hour and attribute the raise to the tax bill. Two other Hawaiian banks are raising their minimum wage to $15.25 per hour. Pacific Business News reported on the wage increases on December 26, 2017.
  • Even small businesses are increasing wages. The Anfinson Farm Store in Cushing, Iowa, is raising wages by 5 percent for all full-time employees.
  • Aquesta Financial Holdings is increasing its minimum wage to $15 per hour. This was announced on December 21, 2017. Aquesta’s president and CEO said, “We are very happy to share with our valuable team members some portion of the benefits Aquesta will realize by the enactment of Tax Reform.”
  • Also on December 21, 2017, Associated Bank announced that it will raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour. Executives directly linked the increase to the tax reform legislation.
  • Walmart has announced it will raise its minimum wage to $11 per hour.
  • Wells Fargo has announced it will raise its minimum hourly wage to $15.

The list at Americans for Tax Reform’s website shows at least two dozen additional companies, large and small, increasing wages as a result of tax reform, and the list is by no means comprehensive. In addition to bonuses and increased wages, many companies are also increasing the amount they match employees’ 401(k) contributions.

The article was false and misleading on January 10 when it was first written. Since that date, more companies have announced pay raises, like Walmart, which announced its raises on January 11. The Boston Globe published the article on January 15, after more companies lined up to prove it false.

The truth is that the tax cuts are going to help workers from all industries and in all pay scales by leaving more money in their pockets, by increasing wages, by increasing employment opportunities, and by company investment in facilities. But that doesn’t fit the preconceived narrative.

This is media malpractice. The AP’s narrative was set before the article was written, and the Globe was happy to run with it even after five days had shown the story’s falsehoods. Facts be damned.


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Author: Rob Eno

Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.