With the Senate GOP on the verge of passing their version of tax reform on Thursday, NBC Nightly News continued their week-long series where they claimed to break down the tax bills. But in reality, they only sought to stoke the fears of those who weren’t familiar with it. “Once aligned with the House version, it will affect your take-home pay as it adds new credits, takes away some popular deductions and slashes corporate taxes,” announced Anchor Lester Holt at the top of the program, as Capitol Hill correspondent Kasie Hunt bemoaned how Democrats had no input.
After Holt suggested that Republican Senators were only interested in passing the bill to hand President Trump a legislative victory, Hunt began her report by dubiously claiming that the public did not have a chance to see the bill. “Tonight, frantic rewrite of this tax bill on the Senate Floor. Major drama as this is set to pass as soon as tomorrow and no one in the public has seen it,” she said, failing to mention the very public and heated markup the bill underwent.
“The tax bill would cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, reduce marginal rates for individuals, expand the child tax credit and double the standard deduction, but eliminate other popular tax breaks, like the deduction for student loans,” Hunt panicked, as she seemed to willfully forget how many wouldn’t pay taxes, period. And if the public hadn’t seen the bill, how did she know what was in it?
“Not a single Democrat saying they'll vote for the bill,” Hunt bemoaned. Whining about how little input the Democrats had was a common narrative throughout her report. “Last-minute Republican negotiations are focused on how to make sure the bill won't cost billions more than expected, but those talks don't include any Democrats.”
It’s an amazing double standard the liberal media has in politics. In their eyes, Republicans were the ones that had the responsibility to kowtow when out of power, but when the roles were reverse Republicans still needed to cave. ObamaCare was passed by a party-line vote and they didn’t have a problem with it then.
Speaking of ObamaCare, the tax plan’s effect on health care was the topic of NBC’s second fear mongering report. “With a non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicting anyone making under $75,000 will pay more, tonight we'll look at what it could mean for Americans' ability to pay for health care,” Holt declared.
Before getting to health care, Holt’s statement needs a quick fact check. His first statement about people paying more was purposely misleading. The CBO (which has a track record of being grossly inaccurate) found that people’s taxes would go up, but that was 10 years down the line and with a static economy. In numerous interviews, Senate Republicans had explained that because of the legislative body’s rules, the cuts couldn’t be made permanent and they intended to address it before they were undone.
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In the report on health care, reporter Tom Costello spoke with Lisa Witzler, whose son has spina bifida and said the family writes off $25,000 in medical bills annually. The fear was that, since the House bill eliminated such deductions, they would have no other choice but to go into debt. But despite the worry, NBC did not analyze what the family would have to pay given the doubling of the standard deduction for families and the expanded child tax credit as Hunt previously reported.
What Costello also failed to mention, was that Witzler actually worked for the federal government at the National Institute of Health as an associate ombudsman. And the NIH had been a proponent of ObamaCare for a long time. Costello also presented a man named Robert Laszewski as an “independent health care analyst.” But in actuality, he had written pieces for CNBC slamming other health care reform efforts by Congressional Republicans.
While NBC Nightly News spent two segments stoking fears and twisting the facts of the GOP tax plans, they only spent two minutes on their own alleged sexual predator Matt Lauer. And they also continued to tout alleged serial harasser, Michigan Democrat John Conyers, as “the Dean of the House.”
NBC Nightly News
November 30, 2017
7:01:22 PM Eastern
LESTER HOLT: Good evening. After hand-wringing and hesitation by some members, Senate Republicans appear to have come together and are looking to pass a sweeping rewrite of the tax code tonight. The first in more than three decades. Once aligned with the House version, it will affect your take-home pay as it adds new credits, takes away some popular deductions and slashes corporate taxes. Republicans racing to present President Trump with his first major legislative win. Our Capitol Hill Correspondent Kasie hunt has the latest on this developing story. Kasie, good evening.
KASIE HUNT: Lester, good evening. Tonight frantic rewrite of this tax bill on the Senate Floor. Major drama as this is set to pass as soon as tomorrow and no one in the public has seen it.
[Cuts to video]
With barely any debate, Republicans racing to pass a bill that will affect every American family's bottom line.
HUNT: The tax bill would cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, reduce marginal rates for individuals, expand the child tax credit and double the standard deduction, but eliminate other popular tax breaks, like the deduction for student loans. Not a single Democrat saying they'll vote for the bill.
BERNIE SANDERS: This tax bill is one of the most unfair and disastrous pieces of legislation ever brought forth in the modern history of this country.
HUNT: A breakthrough moment, John McCain announcing he'd vote yes. Last-minute Republican negotiations are focused on how to make sure the bill won't cost billions more than expected, but those talks don't include any Democrats.
HUNT: In the race to get it done, Republicans making major changes in areas that seem unrelated to the tax code, including allowing churches to participate in partisan politics and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
7:03:55 PM Eastern
HOLT: We're continuing our in-depth reporting now on how the Republican tax proposals could affect middle-class American families. With a nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicting anyone making under $75,000 will pay more, tonight we'll look at what it could mean for Americans' ability to pay for health care. Again tonight, NBC's Tom Costello with a reality check.
[Cuts to video]
TOM COSTELLO: Another day of physical therapy for 2-year-old Jackson Witzler. Born with spina bifida, his parents spend $25,000 a year out of pocket on his care then itemize and deduct much of it from their taxes. But under the House plan that deduction would go away.
COSTELLO: If Congress also kills the individual mandate which requires all Americans to have insurance, nonpartisan experts predict everyone's premiums will jump at least 10 percent. All of that on top of killing a host of deductions that millions of Americans take. For state and local taxes, mortgage interest, alimony, student loans, even school supplies teachers buy.
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Bottom line this plan cuts taxes for the rich, cuts taxes for corporations who are already seeing record profits, but the heartland of American, many who voted for President Trump, they could get hit hard.