When someone says the DFL has ‘cut taxes,’ ask them which taxes they have cut

On Saturday, the Minnesota House DFL tweeted:

On Sunday, the Minnesota Senate DFL tweeted:

The Star Tribune, now published by a former member of Governor Walz’ cabinet, dutifully pushed out the DFL line:

There is just one question: which taxes are being cut?

As I’ve noted before, about the only thing which you could actually call a “tax cut” is the measure to reduce taxation of Social Security benefits. As the Minnesota Reformer reports in “A breakdown of tax increases, cuts Minnesota lawmakers intend to pass“:

Minnesota’s tax on Social Security benefits would be eliminated for over 75% of Minnesotans. Couples with an annual income up to $100,000 would be exempt from state tax on Social Security benefits, with a phased-out exemption for married filers who make up to $140,000.

You might also throw in the “one-time increase in property tax refunds for homeowners and renters of approximately 20%” as an actual tax cut.

But that is it.

Besides these measures, the Minnesota Reformer‘s breakdown includes, under “Rebates, cuts and credits,” the final iteration of the old “Walz Checks” proposal:

Single taxpayers who make up to $75,000 would receive a $260 check; married joint filers who make up to $150,000 would receive a $520 check; and families with children could receive an extra $260 per child up, with a maximum of three. There’s a hard ceiling on the payments, meaning Minnesotans who make $1 over the thresholds would be ineligible for any cash.

Walz originally proposed $1,000 for individual filers and $2,000 for married joint filers.

It also includes:

…child tax credits, which DFL lawmakers say will reduce child poverty by 25%.

The full credits are $1,750 per child; it begins to phase out for married filers who make $35,000 annually and $29,500 for single taxpayers.

And these are what are being called “tax cuts” by the DFL and their allies in the media.

You will note that, in neither case, is any tax actually being cut. Instead, cash is being handed out to people and that is being called a tax cut by the DFL and its allies in the state’s media like the Star Tribune. This is, of course, a lie.

About the child tax credits, I wrote the other day:

This isn’t a tax cut, it is a vast new welfare program. Whether that is a good or a bad thing, let us at least be honest about exactly what it is.

That point still holds. You can expect politicians to lie to you about it, but the media will, too.