Friday, November 11, 2011

Exhibit A in Horse Shittery

I'm not sure this is an important article in the grand scheme of things, but a friend of mine linked to it on facebook and I can't let it go without commenting. Here's an article written by some douchebag named Bob Jennings who normally works for (surprise, surprise) Fox Business News but this trash is somehow granted legitimacy by being a featured article in Yahoo News. In the article Jennings "explains" that income taxes are going to increase substantially next year when tax season rolls around.  This is exactly that type of bullshit I'd hold up as Exhibit A of when the media, masquerading as an objective news organization, subtly pursues an ideological agenda.  Clearly Jennings, and Fox News, want to scare you about rises in income taxes.  But are income taxes really going up - well, er, no.  Jennings, to his own credit, blows the lede here (boldface mine):
In a recent tax planning meeting with one of our clients, we shocked them with what their income tax future looked like for 2013 if -- on the off-chance -- Congress continues to do nothing to provide a long-term permanent set of tax laws.
They had no idea what tax breaks were expiring this year and next year, and how much it would cost them personally in extra income tax. But they aren't alone, many Americans and even tax professionals aren't aware that their tax bill could rise dramatically next year.
So yeah, we don't know what Congress is going to do.  Taxes could go up. Taxes could go down. Who knows??? Congratulations Bob. You just described every single day of every single year in Congress.  Even Jennings acknowledges that Congress doing nothing is probably the less likely scenario ("on the off chance").  But he still launches from this least likely scenario to paint a morbid tax environment where everybody's taxes are going up thousands of dollars.  Because we need to scare people about taxes.  We need to convince them that our government (cough, cough, black President) has substantially raised federal taxes (he's actually cut them), and that he's out to get your money and give it to his free-loading friends. But the entire premise is faulty.  Congress not doing anything about the current tax code is the least likely scenario.  Sure, taxes might go up.  But probably not.  In fact, they are more likely they go down (since cutting taxes is the only policy we can seem to pass during a recession).  But there is no reason to let those likelihoods get in the way of a good scare mongering, am I right?

1 comment:

  1. Heh, that's about the only time you are likely to say that Congress doing nothing is the least likely scenario. Sadly correct though as we learned last year.