ABC Touts Fake News Poll About Tax Plan...Taken Before It Was Released

On Friday, ABC’s Good Morning America touted a new ABC News/Washington Post poll claiming that a majority of Americans oppose the Republican tax plan that was announced on Thursday. The only problem was that the survey was conducted October 29 through November 1, meaning that any questions about tax reform were asked before the GOP actually released the legislative proposal.

“Also this morning, a lot of reaction, of course, coming in to the Republicans’ sweeping $1.5 trillion tax plan now revealed. And our new poll is out this morning and it shows that 60% of Americans believe his plan – tax plan – mainly favors the wealthy,” proclaimed co-host Robin Roberts at the top of the broadcast.

 

 

Minutes later, fellow co-host George Stephanopoulos turned to Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl and argued: “And Jon, the President out there selling it yesterday, even though our new poll shows that a majority of Americans don’t like the plan so far.”

Barring the possibility of respondents to the poll possessing powers of clairvoyance, it’s unclear how they could possibly know what to think about a complex reform plan that wouldn’t be finished until days after they were asked about it.

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The actual questions in the survey about taxes were as follows:

> What kind of job do think Trump is doing on improving the federal tax system – excellent, good, not so good or poor?

> On another subject, given what you’ve heard or read about it, do you support or oppose Trump’s tax plan? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

> Do you think Trump’s proposals on cutting taxes (favor the rich), (favor the middle class), (favor the poor), or (treat all people about equally)?

In other words, the poll was asking people to share their impressions of the yet-to-be-released tax plan based on negative media speculation about what the proposal may or may not entail.

In addition to asking Karl about the poll results, Stephanopoulos also observed: “And there’s some skittishness on Capitol Hill about how the President is gonna lead this fight given what happened during the health care fight.” Karl declared: “There is constant fear that the President’s gonna change his mind, change policy in response to criticism or cut some kind of side deal and that the Republicans will learn about it on Twitter.”

Perhaps the network was hoping that by hyping misleading polling data it might cause the President to “change his mind, change policy in response to criticism.”

On another topic, the same poll asked respondents if they thought President Trump had “committed a crime” in relation to the Russia investigation.

Meanwhile, all three network morning shows on Friday pushed the narrative that the tax plan would be a “jackpot for the rich” and benefit the “ultra wealthy.” On GMA, correspondent Mary Bruce told viewers:

Critics say it’s a big win for the rich, but the President insists that’s not the case....critics say this is just a boon to the rich. And it is a big win for big business, slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% down to just 20%. And, Robin, it eliminates the so-called estate tax, which is likely to benefit some wealthier Americans.

On CBS This Morning, economic analyst Jill Schlesinger proclaimed: “So, yes, indeed, the middle class is likely to be helped by this. But if you make a lot of money, you’re gonna get helped by a lot more.” After co-host Gayle King asked “who benefits most” from the policy, Schlesinger replied: “The ultra wealthy – and I mean the ultra wealthy.”

On NBC’s Today, correspondent Hallie Jackson seized on Democratic Party talking points: “Democrats blasting the plan as a jackpot for the rich.” A soundbite followed from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ranting: “You’re a big corporation, you’re a wealthy individual, you do great. You’re a middle class person, you suffer.”

In the discussion that followed, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle fretted: “...corporations are already flush with cash, look at the stock market. And you don’t see it impacting wages....We hope that this plan, we hope the trickle-down economic[s] works, but it’s really not proven.”

The biased coverage on GMA was brought to viewers by LaZboy, Quaker Oats, and T-Mobile.

Here are excerpts of the November 3 reporting:

7:02 AM ET

ROBIN ROBERTS: Also this morning, a lot of reaction, of course, coming in to the Republicans’ sweeping $1.5 trillion tax plan now revealed. And our new poll is out this morning and it shows that 60% of Americans believe his plan – tax plan – mainly favors the wealthy.

(...)

7:05 AM ET

MARY BRUCE: Well, Republicans are promising relief to the middle class, but we’ve learned much of that could depend on where you live and what deductions you rely on.

(...)

BRUCE: Critics say it’s a big win for the rich, but the President insists that’s not the case.

DONALD TRUMP: It’s not for the rich, it’s for the middle class and it’s for jobs.

BRUCE: So which is it? Republicans say the average family making $59,000 a year could save roughly $1,200 per year. Their bill simplifies the number of tax brackets from seven to just four. For instance, if your family makes more than $24,000 a year, but less than $90,000, you would pay up to 12%. If you have children, the child tax credit expands from $1,000 to $1,600.

Ecstatic, the President welcomed the plan Thursday with a smooch. But to pay for all these tax cuts, the bill slashes popular tax breaks that many Americans rely on. If you have student debt, gone would be that student loan interest deduct. The deduction for medical expenses is out too. Looking to buy a home? The mortgage interest deduction would be cut in half, only applying to the first $500,000 of a home loan.

Now, critics say this is just a boon to the rich. And it is a big win for big business, slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% down to just 20%. And, Robin, it eliminates the so-called estate tax, which is likely to benefit some wealthier Americans.

(...)

7:07 PM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And Jon, the President out there selling it yesterday, even though our new poll shows that a majority of Americans don’t like the plan so far. And there’s some skittishness on Capitol Hill about how the President is gonna lead this fight given what happened during the health care fight.

JON KARL: There is constant fear that the President’s gonna change his mind, change policy in response to criticism or cut some kind of side deal and that the Republicans will learn about it on Twitter. But I have to say, overall, I sense confidence on the part of Republicans. I spoke to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan here yesterday after his meeting with the President and he says he really does believe they can get it done by Christmas.

(...)


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NBDaily Economy Taxes Polling Conservatives & Republicans ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Robin Roberts George Stephanopoulos Hallie Jackson Stephanie Ruhle Jill Schlesinger