Reuters’ Class Warfare: Lower Tax Takes ‘Costs’ Gov’t


By: Warner Todd Huston

Reuters thinks that tax breaks and loopholes “costs” government its tax receipts. This is a perfect example of class hatred ginned up by the media to further class warfare between Americans. The absolute truth is that if people use the tax code to limit their tax burden they are not costing the government anything, but are using legal means to avoid a higher tax burden. Further, our money is NOT the government’s property in the first place so a lower tax take is in no way “costing” the government anything. Yet, Reuters still uses this class warfare rhetoric to report its story revealing its attack-the-rich agenda.

The Reuters headline employs the class warfare rhetoric right off the top screaming, Tax loopholes seen costing billions annually. “Costing”? No, if tax receipts are lower it isn’t because people are depriving government of due receipts. Again, it is because taxpayers are obeying the law and properly using the tax code as crated by Congress. If there are loopholes in the tax code they were placed there by Congress, whether wittingly or unwittingly, but still it’s the fault of Congress not “the rich.”

The first paragraph gins up the class warfare rhetoric to an even higher level.

Tax and accounting loopholes that largely benefit rich taxpayers and companies cost the government $20 billion a year even as the pay gap between chief executives and employees has widened, two groups said on Monday.

Ah, so it “benefits the rich”? You mean, the eeeevil, eeeevil rich Reuters? Yet the “rich” and their accountants somehow get this blame? Again, if there are such loopholes, it is the fault of those who wrote the code, not those forced to abide by it.

The rest of this Reuters agenda driven piece is filled with even more examples of class warfare rhetoric aimed to make those in the lower classes hate those Americans who make more. Here are some examples: (bold emphasis mine)

  • The biggest loss comes from a “stock option accounting double standard”…
  • That practice alone costs the U.S. government $10 billion a year…
  • A practice known as deferred compensation… costs the government $80.6 million a year…

Lastly, Reuters gave us a quote from an author of the report they are quoting.

“It’s outrageous that our tax dollars are inflating executive paychecks,” said Sarah Anderson, an author of the report. “Surely in these troubled economic times we can find better ways to spend our nation’s wealth.”

Sorry, Miss Anderson, but our tax dollars are not “inflating executive paychecks.” These corporate leaders are using legal means to lower their own tax burden, something all of us do when we can.

If Miss Anderson and her pals at Reuters want to see corporate leaders pay more taxes, then the burden is on Congress to change the laws. No finger wagging should be aimed at the taxpayers legally observing the tax codes, “rich” or not.

But, then, we wouldn’t have that wonderful opportunity for Reuters and their ilk to gin up class warfare between Americans, then, would we? Yes, if the truth were reported, then there would be a “cost” to it. It would “cost” Reuters one of their favorite divisive tactics to stir hatred between Americans.

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