Monday Edition


1. The “Fair Share” Myth

During a Univision interview that aired last week, President Biden misleadingly claimed wealthy Americans don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. (Univision)

Biden: I just can’t fathom the things that Donald Trump says. He’ll say to his friends, ‘I know 20 of you guys are worth a hell of a lot of money, we’re going to make sure we get you a tax cut.’ Well, guess what? It's about time they start paying their fair share.”

Tax hikes on the rich are a major part of the president’s platform.

The top 1% of earners pay 42% of federal income taxes. The average federal tax rates for these Americans is above 30%. According to the Cato Institute, the average “tax rate on the top 1 percent has hovered around 30 percent for four decades,” whereas tax rates for “the low‐ and middle‐​income quintiles have trended downward.”

A recent Tax Foundation/Public Policy Polling survey asked voters to guess how much the top 1% of earners paid in taxes (1%, 12%, 42%, or 64%).

  • Only 22% guessed correctly (42%).

  • 22% of voters, and more than a third of Democrats, think the top 1% pay only 1% in taxes.

Other misconceptions uncovered by the survey:

  • 25% of voters don’t differentiate between a tax credit and a tax deduction.

  • 20% incorrectly think a tax deduction is more valuable than a tax credit.

Bubba’s Two Cents: This isn’t about defending the ultra-rich. There are real conversations to be had about wealth inequality. But what Biden is doing is playing on public confusion to score political points against an easy target.

2. Another Blow to College Credibility

The hits keep coming for elite colleges, who have faced a wave of plagiarism scandals and other controversies in recent months. (The College Fix)

The latest: Former Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigned in January after conservative reporters uncovered multiple instances of plagiarism in her academic work. But Gay’s landed on her feet and will teach a "Reading and Research" course at Harvard, earning a salary of nearly $900,000.

Gay’s resignation set off a chain of plagiarism accusations against academics and bureaucrats at Harvard and elsewhere.

All of this comes after elite college presidents’ widely criticized testimony before Congress in December, when they defended student protesters’ right to advocate for genocide.

The share of Americans who have a lot of trust in colleges fell from 57% in 2015 to just 36% in 2023, per Gallup.

Bubba’s Two Cents: Critics have accused conservative activists of weaponizing plagiarism accusations, and sure, that’s part of it. But the problems underlying the controversy were caused by these universities. What messages are schools sending when their “honesty” professors are copying other people’s work and instead of firing plagiarists, they hire them to teach students how to do research?

3. The Truth About Climate Change Coverage

News about climate change is everywhere, but Americans aren't nearly as interested as the coverage suggests. (Ink Stained Wretches)

Ink Stained Wretches co-host Chris Stirewalt: “There's so much news coverage about climate change and it does not correlate with what voter concerns actually are, I guess, except if you're the New York Times, which is just writing to its readership, which is not at all representative of the American public. … Voters don't know. And they're not that interested.”

A recent Wall Street Journal poll: [Just] 3% of 18-to-34-year-old voters named climate change as their top issue, with most citing the economy, inflation or immigration. That is roughly in line with voters of all ages, 2% of whom cited climate change as their top issue.”

A 2023 Pew Research Center poll found climate change ranked 17th out of 21 national issues most important to voters.

Bubba’s Two Cents: Remember after Trump’s 2016 victory when stunned journalists put their hands on their heads and were all like, “man, maybe we’re not really in touch with the average American and should start paying more attention to what people outside our bubble actually care about”? Remember that?

4. One Chart Explains Trump’s Abortion Stance

Donald Trump and other Republicans are positioning themselves as moderate on abortion, even though it's starting to push away staunch pro-lifers. (WSJ)

This chart from the Wall Street Journal helps explain why Trump is willing to take the risk of alienating anti-abortion supporters:

Chart: The Wall Street Journal

39% of suburban women in seven battleground states consider abortion a decisive issue for their votes, according to a new Wall Street Journal poll. Nearly three-quarters of those women think abortion should be legally available all or most of the time.

Bubba’s Two Cents: Suburban women are an important demographic, and the ones who live in swing states are (obviously) even more so. They were key to getting Trump in the White House in 2016 and Biden in 2020. With minority voters starting to trend his way, it makes sense for Trump to try to shore up support in an area where he may be weaker.

5. One for the Road

Here’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene reacting to Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel by criticizing Speaker Mike Johnson for not bringing a stand-alone Israel aid package to the floor.

Here’s the community note Greene received: “Greene was one of the 14 Republicans to join Democrats in voting against a stand-alone Israel support bill back in February.”

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