The Wall Street Journal continues to cover the American Taxpayer Relief Act by focusing on how it will affect the most affluent Americans. Earlier this month, I linked to a WSJ article that claimed “most of the changes in the [Relief Act] affect high earners.” They made almost no effort to explain how the bill will affect tax payers making less than $113,700 and only briefly mentioned the expiration of the payroll tax credit.
In another article written by Laura Saunders and published by the WSJ on the 4th of January, the above graphic is provided to help contextualize the data. Notice that nobody makes less than $180,000 a year, and that the married couple with four kids makes over half a million dollars a year.
As one blogger noted, the median income in the United States right now is $50,000 a year. Last July, NPR reported that only 4.2% of American households make between $150,000 and $200,000—and roughly 4.5 million Americans make $200,000 or more. That adds up to just 3.9% of households. Nevertheless, Saunders leads her article with the claim that “the top 1% of taxpayers will bear the biggest burden.” She acknowledges that the poor will pay more as well, but then spends most of her article detailing how the rich will be affected, and how they might cope.
Obviously the WSJ knows its audience, and I understand wanting to cater to them. But Americans not represented by the above graphic may want to get their information from other sources, because the WSJ is apparently too distracted and disconnected to report on all aspects of the tax bill.