Anchorage Daily News misfires on GOP tax cut

The Anchorage Daily News used its weekly editorial Sunday to endorse the giant Republican tax cut bill, relying on a string of  questionable assertions to claim that the GOP disaster is good for the country.

The newspaper finds fault with the "egregious" process used to create the tax cut, but praises the final product. 

The Daily News is right about the process and wrong about the product.

Egregious is one word to describe the reckless approach taken by Republicans who didn't care what they voted for, as long as they and the Very Stable Genius could claim victory. They didn't hold hearings, look for unintended consequences or try to create a bill that will survive the next swing of the pendulum in Washington, D.C.

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 11.08.05 AM.png

I wrote here a month ago that I started this blog because I was alarmed by the lack of informed commentary in Alaska on the tax bill and the failure to hold Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan accountable for their key roles in passing a grab bag  of special interest provisions that benefit the wealthiest Americans to an extreme degree.

Alaska's newspapers, including the Daily News, have done little since then to shed light on the biggest change to federal tax laws in 30 years and the reckless way in which it was assembled to buy 51 votes. There is much more that needs to be said about this law, so I think I'll keep at it.

Missing entirely from the editorial is the scale of the tax cut and the benefits to corporate America and the richest people in the country, expert analysis that reveals just how poorly constructed this plan was, and what it means to add a trillion dollars to the deficit. There was also no serious acknowledgement that this helps lay the groundwork for those in the GOP who want to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

The editorial suggests that the "pass through" provisions should have been made more generous to small businesses. What Congress did was create one of the biggest new tax loopholes in years without adequate analysis.

The Daily News claims that the reduction in personal taxes "may diminish" in the years ahead. "May" is the wrong word. The temporary reduction in personal taxes is set to end in 2025 under the Republican plan. (The GOP did it this way to meet Congressional rules and limit the increase in the deficit on paper.) The corporate tax reduction does not have an expiration date.

The sense of scale is also missing when the Daily News claims that "some corporations have shared their windfall with their workers," neglecting to make it clear that the "sharing" is microscopic compared to the $1 trillion tax cut for companies over the next decade.

"Dozens have increased their base wages or handed out $1,000 checks to employees in the weeks since the cuts were enacted. Critics may call it a PR stunt, but don't tell that to the folks who enjoyed the unexpected Christmas bonus. More corporations, particularly our largest here in Alaska, should join them," the Daily News said.

Three things. First, there is no evidence of a national trend to raise wages because of the tax bill. Second, the folks who enjoyed the unexpected Christmas bonus are smart enough to recognize a PR stunt.

Third, this is the perfect time for the Anchorage Daily News and the other businesses owned by the Binkley family to give $1,000 bonuses to celebrate the new tax law.

Write me at


Dermot Cole7 Comments