Missives to Qiu and Holan about the Carson tax plan

Email interview questions posed to PolitiFact writer Linda Qiu and PolitiFact editor Angie Drobnic Holan through their published email addresses. Note neither replied to the messages, which is common with PolitiFact staffers. If we receive any reply on this subject we will add the reply to this page.

Nov. 5, 2015:

Dear Linda Qiu, Angie Drobnic Holan,

The Facebook version of your recent Ben Carson story carries a misleading headline:

“By Ben Carson’s own math, his call for a flat tax of 15 percent would create a $1.1 trillion hole.”

This headline makes Carson responsible for the projected $0.5 trillion hold that is projected without his plan.

It’s also irresponsible to say that Carson’s math leads to that $1.1 trillion figure, which occurs in the body of your story. Carson suggested a dynamic analysis of his plan, and there’s no evidence of any type of dynamic analysis in your story. Saying the $1.1 trillion figure comes from Carson’s own math is flatly untrue in the context of the story. You also omit Carson’s mentions of cutting government spending and leave that out of the calculation.

 

Nov. 11, 2015:

Dear Linda Qiu, Angie Drobnic Holan,

And another thing: Can either of you explain leaving federal excise taxes and other federal revenue out of the equations?

Those taxes make up nearly 10 percent of federal revenue. Does Carson’s plan call for eliminating federal excise taxes? If so, the fact check ought to mention that. If not, Quick’s math has a big hole in it and so does yours as a result.

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