Republicans Are Not Offering $300 Billion in New Taxes

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

I know that constantly complaining about newspaper headlines can get old, but seriously, what’s up with this?

This is just flatly wrong. If you read down to the fifth paragraph, you’ll find this:

However, the tax increases would be offset by permanently extending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts past their 2012 expiration date, a move that would increase deficits by about $4 trillion over the next decade.

In other words, the net effect of the Republican deal would lower tax revenue by $3.7 trillion over the next decade. Even if you assume that only the top-end tax cuts are really on the table, extending them would cost $700 billion, which means the Republican deal nets out to negative $400 billion.

The headline itself is bad enough, suggesting that Republicans have made some kind of serious deficit reduction offer. But the subhead — which is taken directly from the story’s lead — is wildly misleading. The Republican deal doesn’t increase tax revenue by $300 billion. It just doesn’t.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest