Abigail Disney is a Dishonest Progressive Prop

You may have seen a video come across one of your social media feeds recently, conveniently timed with the GOP's tax bill--the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act--being passed in Congress.  As I write this, the bill is on its way to President Trump's desk to be signed into law; and liberals everywhere are melting down.  However, because the left never lets a crisis go to waste, NowThis News, a leftwing media organization, published this very lowbrow propaganda video portraying the GOP tax bill as a big boon to the filthy rich and not so much for the poor--which is one slight level of honesty higher than other Democrat talking points about this bill somehow either stealing from the poor or literally killing people.

The video's opinion narrator is Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Walt Disney and heir to some of the Disney fortune.  She also happens to be a part-time Emmy-winning indy documentary filmmaker, philanthropist, and most importantly...a progressive activist.  She apparently has a PhD in English literature from Columbia and has degrees from Yale and Stanford.  If only she took an economics class or two during all that college learning, she would have saved herself from the embarrassment of making this terrible video.  

So, here I dissect her agitprop piece by piece to give you what she either left out or completely fibbed in order to push this progressive eat-the-rich evangelism.

“I did not do anything to earn that money. And yet, I am about to get a huge handout from Congress.”

A tax cut is not a ‘handout’.  

One, she is conflating two things here.  She admits much of her wealth was money passed down to her from the Walt Disney family.  That wealth has already been taxed when it was earned.  This is not her current income.  

Two, keeping more of your income is not a handout.  That was your money, not the government’s.  So, in actuality you are essentially handing less of your own money over to the government. You are giving the government less of a handout.

“You might have heard it called a ‘tax cut’ And yes, it is a very fat tax cut…for me, along with some other people and corporations, mostly in the 1%.”

‘Other people’?  Oh, you mean all income brackets?



“But it’s probably not going to be a meaningful tax cut to you. For example, if you work for a living, your income is probably going to be taxed at a higher rate than mine.”

Again, this is completely dishonest.  

According to the actual income tax brackets proposed, every bracket gets a reduction in marginal rate.  She assumes that this cut is not going to be meaningful to you, but that’s because she is a bitter condescending wretch. How about you decide if keeping an extra couple hundred or thousand dollars of your own income is meaningful to you. 80% of households are getting some kind of cut.  Please stop worrying about whether I will find it significant or not.  Nothing is stopping someone from giving back their tax cut to the IRS.

Second, she tries to obfuscate the issue by conflating income tax cuts with a reduced corporate tax rate.  In fact, she seems to also conflate a “pass-through” tax rate with the corporate tax rate because she mentions she will be taxed at 21%, which is the proposed rate in this latest plan.  But sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and S-corporations do not pay the corporate tax rate.  This is actually how pass-through income is taxed in the proposed tax plan:

Adopts a 20 percent deduction for pass-through income, limited to the greater of (a) 50 percent of wage income or (b) 25 percent of wage income plus 2.5 percent of the cost of tangible depreciable property for qualifying businesses, including publicly traded partnerships but not including certain service providers. Limitations (both caps and exclusions) do not apply for those with incomes below $315,000 (joint), and phase out over a $100,000 range. 

So, either this lady or the NowThis producers are completely clueless or completely dishonest…but probably both.

“This tax bill will give me this tax cut while also KILLING health insurance for over 13 million people.”

You’ll notice the subtle colorful language there.

No, this plan does not “kill” health insurance.  It simply repeals the unconstitutional Obamacare mandate.  And just to remind any libs out there, a mandate simply means you must purchase healthcare insurance or face a fine/penalty/tax or whatever the Supreme Court finally decided what it is.

“It will let me pass over $20 million along to my children, tax free.”

Oh, well, I guess your other $480 million in net wealth will be taxed away then when you pass away.  Why don’t you just give it all to the government now instead of to your unworthy offspring?  Why doesn’t this resentful rich Hollywood lib just forfeit her massive wealth instead of advocating the government keep taking a larger percentage of my income?

If you don’t know what she is talking about, she is referring to the estate tax, also known as the “death tax”.  It’s the long held belief that upon your death, the government is entitled to another cut of your wealth.  Here’s the thing though, all her earned or handed-down wealth has already been taxed.  Again, any income the Disney family made that added up to the wealth she received was taxed at the corporate level, through income taxes, or through capital gains.  So, like the capital gains tax, the estate tax is a form of double taxation. 

“In the meantime, you can say goodbye to any of the state and local taxes you write off.”

This is partially true, but they don’t tell you the full story.  

First, this is what is in the last version of this bill that I’ve read before it passed through the House and was sent to the President’s desk:

Caps the state and local tax deduction at $10,000 (property plus choice of income or sales taxes, as under current law), except for taxes paid or accrued in carrying on a trade or business. 

So, I wouldn’t say it’s a full goodbye of the state and local deductions.  This tax mainly affects more wealthy income earners who itemize their deductions.  However, here’s the thing you may not know about these deductions in what are mostly blue states: they are basically state revenue subsidies that disproportionately make the state citizens who have no state income tax pay more in taxes to the federal government.  If you do not like paying state and federal income taxes, I do not blame you; but if my state does not have an income tax and therefore no state deductions from my federal tax bill, then neither should you.  How about your call up your state Reps and have them do away with your state income tax instead?

“And if you are a teacher, you can say goodbye to writing off school supplies.”

I’m not sure how long ago they recorded this video, but this issue was corrected in the latest draft of the bill.  They have kept the deduction rate at $250.  However, I personally would like to see teacher’s be able to deduct all of their personally purchased supplies, even though many do not take advantage of this write-off.

“With a suffocating education system, a dying infrastructure, and a national debt that will be at least $1.5 trillion bigger, that social mobility will be far out of reach for people like you.”

  1. Oh, our public education system is “suffocating”? Well, how about we try more school choice and more private systems for a change?
  2. Whatever happened to all that $816.3 billion in Obama stimulus to save our “crumbling infrastructure”? Oh, that’s right
  3. Suddenly the left is really worried about our massive federal debt. Yes, the Republicans are going to have to reform some entitlements and other spending in order to make up for any federal revenue deficits that occur despite any dynamic growth offset from these cuts; but let’s be honest, $1.5 trillion over 10 years is nothing compared to the $9 trillion Obama added over less than 8 years.
  4. And upward mobility is alive and well in the United States.

“No one who votes for this tax bill will be voting with your life in mind.  But you will pay for it.”

Actually, we won’t be paying for it.  That’s the point of a tax cut.  We are paying less to the government.

“And the debt it generates in cuts to Medicare, Social Security, public education, and bills paid to your mechanic to repair the axles you break in the pot holes on your way to work.”

There are no solid proposals, especially involving this tax bill, that lead to cuts to either Medicare or Social Security.  Either way, these plans are bankrupt and have to be reformed whether we cut taxes or not.

The pot hole and public education argument is also not relevant to this tax bill considering these are state and local issues, not federal ones.  Nice try, lady.

“My grandfather and my great-uncle relied on public investment to build Walt Disney Company into what it is today.”

Try private investment.  Walt Disney was one of the most famous examples of a ground floor entrepreneurial success stories.  If they had any help from the government in any capacity, it came much later on in the Walt Disney Company’s history after they were well established.  The government didn’t help build the Walt Disney company in the beginning; hard work and private investment did.

“If a democracy is just a bunch of people advocating for their own self-interest instead of the interests of the greater good, then we’re not a democracy; we’re anarchy.”

ron swanson wtf 5.gif

We are not a democracy, you poor deluded collectivist fool.  A bunch of individuals advocating for their own best interests through mutual voluntary cooperation is much better for the “greater good” than to be held hostage to the whims of the angry mob of entitled idiots within a democracy. The absence of collectivism is not anarchy.  So, take your “it takes a village” nonsense and shove it.  Your democracy is still not entitled to the fruits of my labor.

“Have I made you angry yet?  I really hope I’ve made you angry.”

Progressivism is a crooked system in which they use lies, envy, and panic in order to make ignorant people angry so they can push their big government agenda.  At the end of the day, this bitter, old, wealth-guilty Hollywood elitist is peddling a bunch of Democrat lies in order to mislead people into believing that keeping more of their own money is not only not in their best interests, but is somehow actually harmful.