Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shock! Liberal Bias in the Media (Tax Edition)

There used to be two things in life that you could count on: Death and Taxes.  Well, I would like to submit a third: The liberally biased main stream media.

Oddly enough today’s post is about taxes. Since taxes are due Monday, everyone is posting about taxes. Some are saying how great they are, others are posting about how evil taxes are. Personally, I am middle of the road here. The government can’t function without taxes, but in many cases government malfunctioning wouldn’t be such a bad thing.  For example, if the military didn’t receive funding, that would be a bad thing.  However, if the Department of Education were to somehow fall off the face of the earth and return education to the states, that would qualify as “wouldn’t be such are bad thing.”

As I have done in the past, I am pointing out how a basically factually true story over at Yahoo News can by slanted to reflect the writer’s progressive viewpoint.

We’ll begin with the headline: “Super rich see federal taxes drop dramatically.” This headline is a clear-cut case of playing off of wealth envy. As someone who has studied journalism way back when, one of the first lessons taught was how to write a headline that grabbed the readers’ attention. What better way to get folks to read your story than to play on their baser instincts.  I mean, think about this; every one of us who is not wealthy has some envy of the wealthy. We’d all like to be rich. But for many, the envy reaches a level that goes beyond “Wow, awesome lifestyle, sure hope to make it there someday” to a “How can I get their money?” Both categories of people will click on the story because of their interest.

The English language is very useful in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.

The top income tax rate is 35 percent, so how can people who make so much pay so little in taxes?

When the top 1 percent of the taxpayers pay over 40% of the federal income taxes I am not sure that qualifies as paying “so little in taxes.” At this rate of taxation, the rich pay more in taxes than 95 percent of all taxpayers.

Plus, the top rate on capital gains is only 15 percent.

All the writer had to do was add one little word (only) to change the whole tenor of this sentence. The sentence is fact based. The capital gains rate is 15 percent.  So why not leave out the word “only”? It doesn’t change the facts. The inclusion of “only” changes the sentence from a fact-based statement to a sentence with a purpose. It is designed to elicit a response from the reader.

Buried deeper in the article are examples of how the tax burden is spread out, mentioning that many in the low to middle incomes don’t pay any taxes due to all the tax breaks and write-offs.

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