I’m a big fan of the WaPo, not to mention a contributor (to the very cool and eclectic PostEverything section) and a long-time subscriber. So it really took me aback to see this so-called “sponsor generated content” masquerading as a Post-produced infographic on corporate tax rates. In fact, it’s nothing more than erroneous propaganda placed there by the Chamber of Commerce, bemoaning the high US statutory corporate tax rates with not a word about the fact that few corporations pay anything like that rate (see figure 7 here, for example, showing that no US industry faces an effective of anything like 39%, the US rate in the “infographic”).
Yes, you get to the ad by clicking on this little box I’ve pasted in below from the WaPo’s homepage. And yes, the box is clearly labeled as “sponsor generated content.” But a) do readers know what that means?, and b) if you click through to the infographic, at least to me it looks like it was clearly designed to trick readers into thinking its a real article by a real Post reporter.
Look, if the Chamber or their front group here–Fair Reform for Growth–want to take out an ad, they should of course be able to do so. But this is propaganda posing as unbiased analysis.
To be clear, I too have argued for a lower statutory corporate rate (and broader base), though I always make sure to point out that many corporations, especially the large multinationals, pay far less than that top rate due to loopholes and these firms’ intensive tax avoidance initiatives.
But that’s not the point. The point is that this an illegitimate and misleading development and I urge my home-town paper to stop it.
Source: Washington Post