NBC News is raising eyebrows for its characterization of Democrat-backed legislation that would ultimately reward the wealthiest Americans if passed into law.
Amid the debate on Capitol Hill over the passing of President Biden’s social spending agenda is the disagreement over raising the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for those living in high-taxed cities and states, which are mostly run by Democrats. The cap would be raised from $10,000 to $80,000.
The Washington Post estimates raising the deduction cap would result in a “$285 billion tax cut” that would “almost exclusively benefit high-income households over the next five years.”
According to data from the Tax Policy Center, the top 1% with a salary of $867,000 or more will save on average roughly $15,000 while those earning an estimated $96,000 salary will save approximately only $20.
But that isn’t how NBC News was presenting the pro-millionaire the policy.
“Democratic heartburn grows over middle class tax provision in Build Back Better that also benefits the wealthy,” NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell tweeted Thursday.
NBC News’ report highlighted “new cost analysis” that is complicating Democrats’ efforts to “try to undo a tax increase Republicans implemented just four years ago on many middle class homeowners in high cost of living states” since “the benefits to the millionaires and billionaires is complicating Democrats’ message that those same people should pay more in taxes.” The report further states Republicans are “seizing on Democratic nervousness that this provision, which was the single top priority for several moderate House members, would also help the most wealthy.”
It wasn’t until ten paragraphs into the report that NBC News acknowledges “the SALT provisions would give two-thirds of people making more than a million dollars a tax cut.”
Critics took exception to NBC News’ characterization of the SALT proposal as benefiting the middle class.
“Raising the SALT cap is not a middle tax provision. That is just not who it’s for,” Andrew Perez of the progressive outlet The Daily Poster tweeted.
Ruthless podcast co-host Josh Holmes called that buried paragraph the “payoff” to the so-called “middle class tax provision.”
“You misspelled ‘tax provisions for the wealthy that also benefits a handful of upper middle class households,'” Committee for Responsible Federal Budget’s Marc Goldwein told Caldwell.
“Only 2% benefits people earning under $100k, and NBC frames it as a ‘middle class tax provision,'” National Review editor Philip Klein summarized.