This week, the Washington Post offered one of the more ridiculous outrages of the year.
And given the state of our media, that’s saying a lot.
The newspaper – owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos – complained that the average tax refund is down 8% this year.
The IRS says the average refund so far this year is $1,835, down from $2,035 from 2017.
Read that story, and you’ll think that the 2018 tax cuts are punishing the middle class, but…
The tax cuts are why people are getting less money back. People are keeping more of their money.
Someone seems to forget that a refund is the return of money to taxpayers – money that shouldn’t have been taken in the first place. Americans were giving interest-free loans to the government.
Refunds are smaller because the tax cuts let Americans keep more of their money. It was sloppy reporting from a newspaper with the tagline “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
Now, usually, I wouldn’t care about this story.
But because it became a big talking point for two days, it overshadowed a far more important, threatening warning about financial unfairness in America.
Of all the touchy issues around the morality of pot stocks, one of the biggest battle lines has been drawn around the issue of whether marijuana use leads to the use of harder drugs.
Here’s how hard it is to get a clear answer: In the top responses to the Google search, “Is pot a gateway drug?” here’s what popped up:
- Using Marijuana May Not Raise the Risk of Using Harder Drugs – RAND
- Marijuana Has Proven to Be a Gateway Drug – NYTimes.com
- Once and for All, Marijuana Is Not a Gateway Drug – VICE
- Marijuana Is Now Teens’ Most Popular First Drug – The Atlantic