NBC Promotes Kamala Harris’s ‘Big Idea’ to Jack Up the Death Tax

As NewsBusters reported Monday night, NBC News has launched a new report series dedicated to promoting the “big ideas” put forward solely by Democratic 2020 candidates ahead of the debates in a few weeks. Tuesday’s edition followed California Senator Kamala Harris as she campaigned in South Carolina to jack up the death tax to pay for an increase in teacher salaries.

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt flaunted the fact that the series was only open to Democrats looking push their radical policy positions. “[W]e turn now to My Big Idea. Our series giving Democrats running for president a chance to share an idea that they believe separates them from the pack,” he admitted.

Just as he did with Senator Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All plan the previous evening, correspondent Harry Smith aided Harris in pitching the idea to viewers. “Harris says, recent teacher demonstrations across the country are proof a plan like hers is needed. She claims teachers on average make 11 percent less than other comparably educated professionals. So, she wants to give them a $13,500 raise,” he said.

Smith did qualify those points as “Harris says” and “she claims,” but there, of course, was no obvious effort to fact-check anything the Senator asserted. He also failed to mention what the average salary for a teacher was and how that stacked up to the average national income of Americans.

According to an article from the National Review just over a year ago, the average salary for a teacher “not including benefits” was “$58,313.” The piece cited polling data from Education Next that found that most parents underestimated how much teachers were paid. The Review noted that “[o]nce provided accurate salary information, only 42 percent of parents still favored teacher-pay increases.”

 

 

“Even teachers couldn’t accurately guess the average teacher salary. And teachers’ support for pay raises dropped by over 20 percentage points when they found out the true average salary,” the Review added. That’s not to mention that the Social Security Administration had calculated that 2017’s national average wage was $50,321.89, which means that teachers got paid more than the national average.

While completely ignoring those facts, Smith allowed Harris to freely declare “we will pay for it by increasing the estate tax.” Estate tax, a.k.a. the death tax.

This Democrat-policy megaphone segment came shortly after the network boosted former Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Iowa, where he decried President Trump’s trade war because it hurt Iowa farmers. But one of the largest threats to family farms (like the ones in Iowa) was the death tax.

Because of the value wrapped up in all aspects of farming and its illiquid nature, it can become nearly impossible for families to keep their farms when they’re forced to pay massive death taxes after a loved one passes.

Smith’s only push back came when he weakly questioned Harris about pandering to the teachers union (click “expand”):

SMITH: The teachers union, massive, millions of people. Let's give them $13,000 each. Is this just a play to that crowd?

HARRIS: Absolutely not, I will tell you my entire career and frankly my entire life I’ve been focused on education. My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Frances-Wilson – God rest her soul – attended my law school graduation. We are a society that pretends to care about education. But not so much the education of other people's children.

It’s clear that NBC has almost no interest in vetting these so-called “big ideas.” They only want to expose viewers to these radical ideas with no fact-checking in order to normalize liberal policies.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC Nightly News
June 11, 2019
7:13:32 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Tonight, with just over two weeks until the first debate here on NBC, we turn now to My Big Idea. Our series giving Democrats running for president a chance to share an idea that they believe separates them from the pack. Here is Harry Smith with Senator Kamala Harris's big idea.

[Cuts to video]

HARRY SMITH: What's your big idea?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: My big idea is to raise teacher pay.

SMITH: Kalama is just the second African-American woman and first south Asian-American elected to the U.S. Senate.

HARRIS: Just last week I got an e-mail from my middle school teacher, Mrs. Wayne.

SMITH: We caught up with Harris in West Columbia, South Carolina. She was in town to talk with and about teachers.

HARRIS: There are two groups of people who are raising our children, parents often with the assistance of grandparents, aunts and uncles, and our teachers. And we are not paying them their value.

SMITH: Harris says, recent teacher demonstrations across the country are proof a plan like hers is needed. She claims teachers on average make 11 percent less than other comparably educated professionals. So, she wants to give them a $13,500 raise.

What’s the price tag?

HARRIS: The price tag is $315 billion over the course of 10 years. We will pay for it by increasing the estate tax.

SMITH: The teachers union is massive, millions of people. Let's give them $13,000 each. Is this just a play to that crowd?

HARRIS: Absolutely not, I will tell you my entire career and frankly my entire life I’ve been focused on education. My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Frances-Wilson – God rest her soul – attended my law school graduation. We are a society that pretends to care about education. But not so much the education of other people's children.

SMITH: Giving teachers a raise, that's Kamala Harris's big idea. Harry Smith, NBC News, West Columbia, South Carolina.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Economy Taxes Education Bias by Omission Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Unions Broadcast Television NBC NBC Nightly News Video Lester Holt Harry Smith Kamala Harris

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