That’s not charity

I had hoped the day would not come when I would have to add a corrections page. This is the day.

In the fact check published just minutes ago, we belatedly realized that the charitable interpretation of the statement from the Congressional Progressive Caucus just doesn’t make sense. And a charitable interpretation that doesn’t make sense hardly qualifies as charity.

These two paragraphs originally ended the entry:

Given its most charitable interpretation, the CPC may have meant to say that lower quintiles feel an across-the-board tax cut more acutely than higher quintiles.  Most would take that as a reasonable statement, though it probably qualifies as a subjective judgment rather than a statement of fact. Intended as a statement of fact, the claim fails.

The CPC uses language that plays to the fallacy of ambiguity. Even if lower income persons “feel” a 10 percent drop in their marginal rates more than a millionaire feels it, an across-the-board tax rate cut is not literally regressive in the progressive U.S. system. The CPC rhetoric encourages the audience to think otherwise.

If a lower income person feels a tax benefit more than a millionaire feels it, then the subjective effect suggested in our attempt at charitable interpretation is progressive rather than regressive.

Is it possible that the CPC used the supposedly charitable reasoning we originally suggested? Yes, it’s possible. But to suggest that’s what the CPC did isn’t charitable.

We’ve removed the attempt at charitable interpretation and reworked the summary portions of the fact check, hopefully with improved success.

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