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Newsweek Misses Tax Freedom Day

by J. Bryant Monday, Apr. 12, 2004 at 4:23 PM

In a Saturday editorial, the Washington Times skewered Newsweek pretty good for the latter’s “Dirty Little Secret of the Tax Cut” cover story.

But since Saturday papers are the least well read, and you probably don’t get the Times anyway, you probably didn’t see it.

So let me summarize. Newsweek identified three families, one of which made ,400 in 2003, the second ,411 and the third 4,000. Each of the three was quoted, bitching about how they hadn’t gotten anything out of the Bush tax cuts. But the Times analysis shows that the single-income-mom low income family actually benefited ,000, or 45% from the cuts, while the middle income folks saved ,800 (44%) and the high income earners, who told Newsweek all the tax cut benefits must have gone to the “major corporations who are downsizing and outsourcing,” received at least ,899 in Bush tax reductions.

It’s hard to deny that somebody is saving a bunch of money as a result of the cuts. Just this week, the Tax Foundation released its annual calculation of Tax Freedom Day, the day when, to quote the Foundation’s statement: “…Americans will finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. Every dollar that’s officially called income by the government is counted, and every payment to the government that is officially considered a tax is counted. Taxes at all levels of government are included, whether levied by Uncle Sam or state and local governments.”

In 2004, Tax Freedom Day is today, April 11, Easter Sunday. If you’re the average American, every dollar you’ve earned so far this year goes to pay your taxes. Starting Monday, you can keep what you earn. And you know what? Tax Freedom Day, 2004, is the earliest it has been since 1967.

Nineteen Freaking Sixty Seven! I got married that year. You might not even have been born yet. Carl Yastrzemski led the Red Sox to the American League pennant and the Cardinals’ Bob Gibson beat them in the 7th game of the World Series. Che Guevara and Carl Sandburg died. Kurt Cobain and Julia Roberts were born. Dustin Hoffman got seduced by Anne Bancroft in “The Graduate.” Robert McNamara resigned as LBJ’s Defense Secretary.

Tax Freedom Day was on April 10. Since then, it’s bounced around the last half of April, topping out on May 2 in 2000. Since then, the Bush cuts have pushed it back each year. When you look at the chart, there’s this uncanny connection between the peaks of Tax Freedom Day and the several recessions that have occurred over the forty-year period. In spite of the unprecedented disruption caused by 9/11, the recession that started after Clinton’s Tax Freedom Day peak didn’t last long. Did the massive Bush tax cuts have anything to do with cutting it off? It sure looks like it.

Note too, that Tax Freedom Day also considers state and local taxes. The Democrats have been running around claiming that because Bush cut Federal taxes, responsible state and local leaders had to raise the rates. Wrong-o, Charlie.

But that kind of stuff is the brand spanking clean little secret of the tax cut, so it doesn’t make Newsweek, even though it is much bigger news, one would think than the blather writer Allan Sloan fills his article with.

But it’s not the article so much as what the Newsweek editors did with it that really stinks. The three families (Where do they find these people? What are their politics?) all were quoted with disparaging comments about the tax cuts. These sidebars, with photos and dramatic graphics, will be vastly more well read than Sloan’s text – even though, as the Times analysis shows, the spokesfolks don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ve made a few man-on-the-street commercials in my day, and I guarantee you I can find three people to say they think next July we collide with Mars, or even, (Gasp!) that Bush’s tax cuts are just Jim-dandy and helped them out a lot, personally.

Then there’s the matter of Newsweek’s cover. The cover, with its Form 1040 graphic and screaming headline will be read by millions of passersby who never bother to pick up the magazine and read the article, much less read a critical newspaper editorial, or, for that matter, an Internet columnist.

Those magazine covers are like having Vote for Kerry signs in every supermarket, drug store, airport bookshop and street corner newsstand in America. And it’s all completely unregulated by the McCain-Feingold Act.

The national news media, Newsweek most assuredly included, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democratic party, and has been since way back when Tax Freedom Day was even earlier than it is now.

This year, the grand strategy of the Left is to take each and every one of Bush’s strong points (his reaction to 9/11, his tax cuts) and tarnish them.

To fight back, Bush needs to take things like the Tax Freedom Day announcement and paste it over the cover of each and every Newsweek in America. Cause it’s working, folks, no matter what the magazine’s uninformed spokespeople say.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 8 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Tax freedom day...hmmm Ben Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 6:48 AM
Tax freedom day..hmmmm Ben Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 7:08 AM
who owns newsweek? more rational Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 10:33 AM
what about labor freedom hour? more rational Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 10:51 AM
this is not easy Sheepdog Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 10:55 AM
fresca You do realize... Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 11:56 AM
well... there's always the issue of demand more rational Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 6:41 PM
fresca nope Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2004 at 6:55 PM

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