Terry Stoops observes that Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC has earned “Three Pinocchios” from the Washington Post and takes a stab at the math done by the Left in NC, “Don’t quote me on this, but I think the Left is using Common Core math.”
The ad cites a report from the left-leaning Budget and Tax Center, which is affiliated with the North Carolina Justice Center. But the data in the report comes from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Meg Wiehe, ITEP’s state tax policy director, actually works out of North Carolina and has seen the ad. “We have not said that 80 percent of taxpayers will pay more under this plan,” she said in an interview.
In fact, when the plan is fully phased in, Wiehe says that ITEP’s analysis of the income tax portion of the law shows that 49 percent of taxpayers will get a tax cut and 39 percent will get a tax increase. (This analysis includes the impact of lawmakers deciding to allow the expiration of the state’s earned income tax credit, which benefits low-income workers. Some analysts might argue the EITC is not a tax cut, but that’s another story. ITEP also calculated the results without the impact of the EITC. )
How could Senate Majority PAC get this so wrong? It has to do with the tyranny of averages–and a misreading of the data.