Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Trip Gabriel: Gentleman (UPDATED)

Dr. Benjamin Carson made the following statement about his family's tax burdens:

Dr. Carson said that he is in the new top federal bracket of 39.6 percent for family income above $450,000, and with Maryland state taxes added in, “I pay a lot more than half of what I make,” he said.
Dr. Carson is a busy man, what with the separating of conjoined twins and the criticisms of the President at prayer breakfasts. I'm sure it was simply an oversight on his part that only the margin of his family's income above $450,000 is taxed at that rate, and that Maryland's top marginal tax rate for couples is 5.75% for couples on income over $300,000. Surely, the good doctor made an honest oversight of the fact that, even with Baltimore's 3.2% local income tax thrown in, there's absolutely no way his family pays anywhere close to fifty percent of its income in taxes. There's no chance that he was attempting to deceive anyone or exploit public ignorance of marginal tax rates for political purposes.

And it was tremendously gracious of Tripp Gabriel at the Times to reward Dr. Carson's good faith by declining to perform Google searches of state tax rates, basic arithmetic, or fact checking in the writing of his article.

UPDATE: After some obstreperous reader broke ranks to criticize the gentlemanly reporting of Mr. Gabriel, the Times public editor has apparently struck the clause of the sentence. This is as it should be. When a public figure speaks falsely or absurdly in a public forum aimed at influencing public policy, the polite thing to do is to pretend the statement was never made.