Democrats lying that lower refunds mean taxes went UP

· February 20, 2019  
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It’s really hard to find a way to criticize the fact that the government is taking less of people’s hard-earned money, but Democrats are trying their hardest, even if it means outright lying to do it.

Last week, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., took to social media to claim that because the “average tax refund is down about $170 compared to last year,” the tax cuts are really “a middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1%.”

Surprisingly, Harris actually got called out by the fact-checkers at the Washington Post, who actually gave her statement a four-Pinocchio rating. WaPo fact checker Glenn Kessler called the statistic Harris quoted “a non sequitur that turns out to be nonsensical and misleading.” Bottom line: When tax refunds go down, that could mean taxes went up or down, which is what happened this year.

However, that hasn’t stopped other Democrats from trying to use the talking point to trash the tax cuts.

Here are the facts of the matter:

  • A Tax Policy Center report found that “80 percent of taxpayers would receive a tax cut  … averaging about $2,100,” while around five percent would see an increase.
  • With the new tax laws in place, the IRS updated its withholding tables at the beginning of last year. This means that a lot people who owed less in taxes kept more of their own paychecks up front and that there’s less overpay for the government to return. Let’s not forget, that’s what a tax refund is: an overpay.
  • The size of one’s tax refund or the amount of taxes owed at tax time has nothing to do with how much someone actually pays in taxes. If you’re dealing with some tax-time sticker shock, you might want to check on your withholding. The IRS has a free withholding calculator to help you figure out how much you should have taken out of each paycheck.
  • Tax refunds are what happens when people overpay all year and get their own money back without interest. The fact that a lot of people being surprised by the balance either owed or refunded from the IRS every year does not make the GOP tax cuts a nefarious scam.

But a cardinal rule of politics is never to let facts get in the way of a salacious talking point.


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Author: Nate Madden

Nate Madden is BlazeTV’s congressional correspondent. Follow him @NateOnTheHill or send tips to nmadden@blazemedia.com.