WSJ reported erroneous tax cut figures, contradicted its own reporting

››› ››› SAM GILL

In a September 29 Wall Street Journal (subscription required) article, staff writers David Rogers, Brody Mullins, and Jeanne Cummings erroneously reported that the Republican proposal to extend capital gains and dividend tax cuts would cost "$12.5 billion from 2008 to 2010." Not only does this statistic underestimate the cost of the proposed cut, it also contradicts the figure Mullins cited in a previous article on Republican tax cut proposals.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending the capital gains and dividend tax cuts (currently set to expire in 2008) through 2010 would cost $2 billion in 2008, $13 billion in 2009, and $8 billion in 2010, for a total of $23 billion. In a September 13 Journal article (subscription required), Mullins presented a chart in which these same cuts were estimated to cost $20 billion if extended through 2010, far more than the $12.5 billion purported in his latest piece.

From the September 29 edition of The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Bush's plan to create private accounts for Social Security taxes had already faded and is now even more doubtful. Republicans will likely make an attempt to extend capital gains and dividend tax cuts, in part because those steps have a relatively small short-term cost -- about $12.5 billion from 2008 to 2010. But the idea of doing away with the estate tax seems doomed. And on the spending side of the ledger, conservatives may be emboldened to challenge a Medicare drug benefit due to begin in 2006.

Posted In
Government, Ethics
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