Media Fails to Report Bias of Group That Did Study Claiming Trump Tax Plan Benefits Wealthiest

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By Heat Street Staff | 5:25 pm, October 11, 2016

Politico summed up the findings of a new Tax Policy Center study succinctly: “Trump’s tax plan would shower the rich, Clinton’s would soak them.”

It’s an explosive assertion at a time when six in 10 Americans say the wealthiest citizens don’t pay enough taxes, and two-thirds of Americans believe the tax system unfairly benefits the rich.

But what Politico and many other media outlets that covered the study failed to point out is that the Center’s director, Leonard Burman, worked as a tax official in the Bill Clinton Treasury. And the center, itself, is the child of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, both notoriously left-leaning organizations.

Since Jan. 1, employees of the Brookings Institution have made at least 85 separate contributions to the Clinton campaign and related PACs, totaling $29,000. Not a single employee made a contribution to Trump.

In that same timespan, Urban Institute staffers gave more than $17,000 to the Clinton campaign and related PACs. They also recorded 26 separate contributions to the Sanders campaign. Again, not a single Trump donor.

Not surprising with sponsors like that, the Tax Policy Center’s blog is largely devoted to attacking Trump. Headlines include “Trump’s Phony Claim about Carried Interest,” “Trump’s Childcare Tax Breaks Would Mostly Benefit Families Who Need Them Least,” and “Does Donald Trump pay taxes, ever?”

Compare that to the Tax Policy Center’s Clinton mentions: for instance, “Clinton Proposes Tax Simplification for Small Business.”

Despite this glaring pro-Clinton bias, numerous outlets have portrayed the Tax Policy Center’s study as objective and neutral.

CNBC and CNN, for instance, fail to note any potential conflicts of interest. Meanwhile, the Washington Post described the Tax Policy Center as “nonpartisan” in an article it headlined: “Analysis: By 2025, most of Donald Trump’s tax cuts would go to the wealthiest 1% of Americans.”