“On the dishonest left and the timid right,” begins a Wall Street Journal editorial, “the Senate health-care bill boils down to ‘benefit cuts for the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich.’” The editorial is dedicated to scolding fainthearted Republican senators who want to make their plan more palatable by jettisoning some of its tax cuts for the very rich. The Journal, using its characteristic polemical method, does not actually refute the offending factual claims. And for good reason: The Senate health-care bill indisputably does consist of “benefit cuts for the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich.”
Here, via the Tax Policy Center, is a chart laying out the net gains and losses of the tax cuts and benefit reductions in the House bill (which is very similar to the Senate bill, for which no corresponding calculation has yet appeared):
“Dishonest,” in this case, means an argument relying on easily provable facts.