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If You’re Going to Attack the New Tax Plan, Use Some Sense

How CNN and the mainstream media continuously put journalism to shame.

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By Mason Mohon | USA

While recently reading up on the late GOP tax reform legislation, which has more than a few changes on United States tax policy, I came across a particular article from CNN. It was titled 7 reasons why Republicans may have made a bad bet on the tax bill. The article then goes on to list seven reasons, and they are rough. The article, written by CNN Politics Reporter and Editor-at-Large Chris Cillizza is full of logical fallacies, mental jumps, and stretches that make my arm ache just to look at. The left’s attacks on Trump and Republicanism leave me astounded, for nobody in their right mind should or would take this seriously.

The first reason for the tax bill being bad is that “opposition is high… and growing”. CNN’s polls showed that the majority of the people oppose the tax bill, along with another poll that shows that non-Republicans think it goes against the middle class in favor of the wealthy. This is not a reason why the tax bill is bad for a few reasons. First, CNN polls a majority leftist audience, with studies reporting that the average CNN viewer profile “is a college-educated woman between the ages of 25 and 54, who tends to lean to the political left.” CNN has been polling leftists and progressive liberals, so why would their polls ever be in favor of a GOP proposal. At the same time, just because the majority opposes it, that does not mean that it is bad. This is a classic case of the appeal to the majority fallacy. It may be permissible if the author had a real impact on majority opposition, but he rounds off his reasoning with the two-word statement “That’s bad!”

The author had the option to make the argument that a significant amount of GOP voters are unhappy with the tax plan, which would harm the GOP in the next election and put many Congressmen in a dangerous position when it comes to re-election, but Cillizza did not, and his argument is still bad. This also would not have gotten around the issue of probably biased polling so he would have had to use a non-biased poll for this too.

The next reason is much shorter but just as bad. The CNN author claims that “People think the plan won’t help them.” Yes, people think the plan won’t help them. There are no statistics that say it will not, and there is no proof that the 37% of the population that believes this is grounded in fact. This reason does not matter at all.

Reason three seems to have a bit of well-sourced grounding. Donald Trump has claimed this tax bill is not here to serve his interests, yet they do source to a New York Times article that does provide well-sourced reasoning as to why the bill will not cause harm to Trump. Trump should not be lying, but make that your point. The president bending the truth is not a reason in itself as to why the plan won’t work.

Reason four faces the same issues as reason one: CNN polled left-wing people, and these left-wing people didn’t like it. Cillizza argues that people see this as a tax cut for the rich, with no backing as to whether or not it actually is. It doesn’t matter what the majority believes if there is no proof that they are well founded in their beliefs.

Reason five and six argue that Trump is not popular, citing his recent record low approval rating of 35% as a reason why the tax cut is bad. It is no secret that the approval rating is low, but why does this mean that it was a “bad bet” for the Republicans. The president has nearly nothing to lose. Six says that people do not trust the president on taxation, but that does not matter either. The author still does not make an argument for any impact of this on Trump or the GOP.

The last reason brought back memories of the 2016 election campaign season. Seven states that people want to see the president’s tax returns, which is the same complaint we heard leading up to November last year. Whether or not Trump has skeletons in his taxation closet has nothing to do with the plan’s impact on America, though, either.

The mainstream media, and CNN in particular, has shown themselves to be serious jokes. They do not seem to care about accountability to actual factual argumentation anymore. They obsess over appealing to a young leftist audience that will click on anything that even sort of depicts Trump in a negative light. As a libertarian and former (reluctant) Johnson supporter, it sucks to have to defend the current president from these senseless attacks. A lack of journalistic integrity makes the targeted side look good. It makes it look like CNN is in an echo chamber that will just feed the left-wing mob, rather than attack with strong arguments and facts. I see media companies left and right dipping into this pitiful type of journalism, and it saddens me to see that this is what the exchange of ideas has come to. CNN, along with the mainstream media, is day-by-day becoming more and more of a joke, and all I can do is cringe.

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  1. It appears that the point of the CNN article is not to attack the bill in 7 points, but name that “there are signs that the GOP is facing real political peril in 2018 tied directly to this tax cut plan.” So the basis of the critique of your article is incorrect.

    Reply

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