TRUTH TEST: TV Ad Supporting Paulsen Makes Tax Cut Claims

October 17, 2018 11:04 AM

A new TV ad from a conservative political action committee in support of Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen claims voters in his district will see big tax savings.

"The historic tax cuts are helping the middle class and Congressman Erik Paulsen helped make them happen," says the ad from the Congressional Leadership Alliance (CLA). "The average family here is saving over $5,000."


KSTP Truth Test

This is true, at least according to an analysis from the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means Committee. The analysis on the committee's website says tax savings in Minnesota under the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" will range from $2,388 in Minnesota's 7th Congressional District to $5,081 in the 3rd District represented by Paulsen. The estimated savings are based on the median household income in each district.

However, not everyone agrees with that analysis. The nonpartisan website Econofact, featuring analysis from economists around the country, points out the personal income tax cuts will expire in eight years. Meanwhile, corporate tax cuts in the bill are "permanent." So it's unclear how much and for how long individual taxpayers will benefit.

How KSTP Grades Political Ads in Truth Test

At the end of every "Truth Test," 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and assign the tested political ad a grade.

Here's the criteria we use to determine that grade:

- An "A" requires nearly complete accuracy with little exaggeration and little or no need for more context.

- A "B" requires mostly accurate information, but gets marked down for minor exaggerations and misleading information.

- A "C" can be the result of inaccurate information or exaggerated information that misleads and gives the viewer no context.

- A "D" is the result of at least half the information being false or misleading to the point of leaving a false impression.

- An "F" is the result of more than half the information being outright false as well as misleading and out of context.

"But Nancy Pelosi is promising to roll back these tax cuts, taking away hard-earned money from the middle class," the ad goes on to say. "If Pelosi gets her way our paychecks are smaller and there's less for retirement."

KSTP 2018 Election Page

This is an opinion and not necessarily fact. It's unclear what the impact would be if the tax cut bill was repealed without knowing what would replace it.

Because this ad contains truthful information, at least as far as partisan analysis goes, it gets a "B" on the "Truth Test."


Tom Hauser

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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