Facts Exempt: Network News and Taxes
Table of Contents:
- Executive Summary
- 1. Tax cuts mainly help the wealthy
- Tax relief should not be only for taxpayers.
- 3. An increase in the complexity of an already mammoth tax code is not newsworthy.
- 4. The complexity of the tax code has nothing to do with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) abuses.
- 5. When Congress cuts taxes or investigates the IRS, it is inspired to do so by crass political calculations.
- 6. There were many facts about taxes in the U.S. that many viewers would have found interesting, but nonetheless were left unmentioned. For instance:
4. The complexity of the tax code has nothing to do with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) abuses.
There were 38 stories about IRS abuses, but only two mentioned the conservative argument that the only real way to rein in the power of the IRS is to make the tax system more neutral. ABC’s John Cochran, for instance, concluded his October 21 story about IRS abuses by saying that "Republicans, flush with victory, are already planning their next move, to radically simplify tax returns and further undercut the power of the IRS." Most of the other stories about IRS abuses and reform ideas were in-depth and informative, but they were missing the conservative argument that the tax code’s complexity is at the root of the IRS’s ability to harass taxpayers.