Backdoor taxes story…

February 2, 2010

Backdoor taxes to hit middle class

NEW YORK ( –The Obama administration’s plan to cut more than $1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade relies heavily on so-called backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families.

OBAMA/Is it true that you removed a story last night that was critical of Obama’s new budget tax implications for the middle class because of pressure from the White House?

If so, shame on you! The American people require a national media that is impartial, free thinking and not beholden to any group, if we are to continue living as a free society. Most of our national media is in the back pocket of the liberal politicians, and we are being led down a path that we will come to regret, and will likely be the demise of our country. I place the blame for this on a mainstream press that pushes a certain political agenda, and intentionally ignores obvious hypocrisies and flaws in the liberal logic that is being presented.

You all need to get back in touch with true American values and principles that this country was built on and made this country great.

I’m certain that the great journalists in the past are weeping at the thought that independent journalism and criticism has fallen out of favor.

John K.

This story is filled with errors that truly offend any sense of even-handness, accuracy and diligence. The budget only rolls back the Bush tax cuts for those making over $200k in some instances and $250k in others. The rates for the tax brackets below that are not being rolled back, which is the whole underpinning of this story. What an embarrassing mistake. Also, calling the Estate Tax the Death Tax is straight from the conservative playbook.


I was surprised and dismayed by the retraction of the article regarding back door tax increases. This smacks of a political agenda where this organization appears to suppress stories that do not conform with its goals. The government has may methods for disseminating its point of view and I’m fairly certain that it does not need your organization to vet stories to present the government in a flattering light.

Kevin G.

Why did you bow to the white house pressure to cancel your report on the back door tax increases included in obamas new budget?? you people obviously have no spine to let a socialist/marxist radical change our country to his radical revolutionary mission with unsustainable deficits without reporting it to the readers of your news organizations. I am so dissapointed in your weak decision to not allow the US taxpayer to understand that their taxes will increase that I am going to cancel my email subscription to reuters. I will also advise all my family and friends to do the same.

I read the story earlier this morning. I thought it was very well written and explained the details of hidden tax resets that will cost all Americans additional taxes in the coming years.


This morning I read your article “Backdoor Taxes Hit Middle Class” and now find that the piece has been removed with a message that it will be updated or replaced later this week.
Why did you give in to the White House’s demand to scrap your article, “Backdoor taxes to hit middle class?” Did they threaten you? Regardless of your answer, your reputation has been compromised more than usual this time.


I’m curious as to why the article “Backdoor taxes to hit middle class” was removed. I am a teacher and am trying to teach about the importance, impact, and processes of journalism and journalists, so this uncommon withdraw is a good topic to explore.
Your news organization is a joke and you wonder why your profession is losing credibility in the U.S and around the world. Further Reuters states there will be no follow up story.

It’s nice to know what was once considered a credible news organization is now taking its direction from the Obama administration. I am extremely disappointed in your caving in to the thought police and pulling one of the few stories I have seen from Reuters that actually tells THE TERUTH!! Your succumbing to seemingly Obama censorship is just appaling. This is just one more indication how we are rapidly becoming a banana republic of the north following Hugo Chavez and Castro governement role models. Reuters has no kahonas and is no better than MSNBC and all the other nut jobs in the Obama Media machine!!

Bill H.

Once Drudge highlights that you pulled a story reflecting badly on the Obama administration, don’t you kind of have to put it back? Where is your journalistic integrity? Do you want to become the next New York Times?


One of your writers had a very good article about the president’s new budget and how it will increase taxes on most Americans. It is my understanding that Reuters pulled the article after the White House complained. I can only imagine two scenarios that would cause you to pull the article; the article was not accurate, or Reuters is President Obama’s lapdog. Which is it?

Mike R.

So, you publish a story that tells the truth about who will be paying taxes in the world according to Obama. The WH gets mad and jumps down your throat. You then retract the story with a lame “later this week” comment.

You had better not allow your reputation to be tied to this administration. If I were you, I would put that story back in with every comma and period. Otherwise, there is no defense that will make more sense than paragraph 1.

My estimation, and the estimation of your independence, veracity, and trustworthiness to the people of the US is now within your hands. Whadda ya gonna do? Back down like a coward?

Bob K.

I see that you have caved in to Obama’s censorship of your story about his backdoor tax increases. Fuck you damn leftist media pukes.


So are you guys being pressured by Democrats/Obama to pull article on back door tax increases. Shame on you. People need to know this administrations agenda

On what side of journalistic ethics does this fall? Was there legitimate concern that the article was inaccurate in some way or was there illegitimate concern on Washington’s part that the article was accurate in all ways?

I am a virtual founding member of the wave of Americans who are distrustful of our media. But, however prejudiced I may be, today’s event has an unpleasant odor.

Jim D.

I wanted to share the story with a co-worker and found that the story had been pulled. Please repost the article as it does all Americans, and Reuters, good to have the honest information out and available.

Carl A.

We got lots and lots and lots of reader feedback about this story, and have issued the following advisory:

ADVISORY: Backdoor taxes story

The Feb 1 story headlined “Backdoor taxes to hit middle class” is wrong and has been withdrawn. The story said lower-income families will pay more under tax provisions scheduled to expire Dec 31. The Obama administration’s budget calls for the extension of those tax provisions for households earning less than $250,000. There will be no substitute story.

GBU Editor


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

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Why not run a fact check article? Why pull the article with no follow up? You should run the article as written with fact check rebuttals to anything that was inaccurate. It is absurd to pull the entire article.

Posted by Debz2435 | Report as abusive

If the administration has not yet presented a bill that would continue tax breaks for those making less then $250,000 then regardless of the assumptions in the budget the middle class has not yet been protected and the story was accurate. At the very least, you could have continued the story with the explanation that the Administration is intending to introduce legislation to continue that tax. But…what about the other taxes? Those have not been changed either. Why are you not protecting the public by revealing ALL the facts, instead of ignoring them at (presumably) the administration’s request?

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An “ADVISORY” is not enough. You should have a front page apology for lying. Otherwise you’re no better than Fox News. Or is that your intention? I used to think I could trust you.

Posted by Packrat | Report as abusive

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It is absolutely censorship. Normally one would run a correction the next day — not erase a story from the internet.

Of course, running a correction means you would have to identify the errors, if they existed, that needed correcting.

Obama intends to destroy the US economy so he can take over companies and staff half of all corporations with his cronies as CEOs and and allow George Soros and his other backers can buy the rest of America at fire sale prices (as they have already been doing with failed or government-seized banks).

They have been (following Bush’s ordering banks to take TARP funds in a secret closed meeting) using government power to threaten media and other companies with retaliation since Obama’s election. It is the road to fascism described in Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” complete with the most dishonest and base people rising to the top.
5 minutes ago ·

Posted by BruceMajors | Report as abusive

Wow. “The story is wrong”? Every bit of it was wrong? If so, has the writer been fired? Where is the published update with corrections on the Reuters wire to a story that already went out, including specifics?

If the story was not entirely wrong, why was it pulled instead of being corrected? Aren’t the public entitled to the rest of the facts in the article? The uncorrected story is still being circulated and read and reread on the radio as a result of this controversy, with untold damage resulting to Reuters.

Stuff once on the Internet never goes away, remember?

What is the story about the pressure from the White House and your reaction to it? Did they pressure you? If so, did you react appropriately (IMO, some level of defiance would be appropriate for a news service), while making necessary factual corrections, or did you simply cave in and withdraw entirely a piece offensive to them?

Your “advisory” is inadequate, incomplete, and as such indefensible.

Do the right thing, because doing the wrong thing is only making matters worse.

Posted by PittsburghVince | Report as abusive

The story was pulled because it made many misstatements of verifiable facts. The writer purported to write about the Obama plan, then misstated key features of the just released plan, including provisions related to marginal tax rates, the tax rates on dividends and capital gains and AMT. There was no “correction” since the entire premise, stealth tax increases on the middle class, just was not supported by the facts. Fixing an article based on false premises wasn’t possible, so it was yanked.

Reuters should make this clear and let their readers know how an experienced, and just hired, reporter like Terri Cullen could run such an article. Those folks who read and trust Reuters deserve an explanation beyond simply pulling the offending article and allowing the “Obama spiked an inconvenient article” storyline to flourish, even on this response page. It’s offensive.

Posted by JasperL | Report as abusive

My post on 2/3 reflects my questions. I emailed my concerns to Reuters and received an email response on 2/2 that the were reviewing my questions. As of this writing, no email response… and a current search of the entire web site reveals no public response. This leads me to believe that opinion posted by JasperL is not based in fact, since any reputable news organization would have quickly acknowledged, and corrected, such an ill-based story. But, the questions remain and it is disappointing that Reuters refuses to “come clean”, as it were. We are waiting…and we are NOT going away.

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[…] as it turned out, that wasn’t the case. First came the Reuters feedback page on the story, which was mostly made up of notes like […]

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Berserker, the Obama Administration released their proposal in detail. You can find the answers to all your questions here. library/greenbk10.pdf

The article assumes Obama proposes to let the Bush tax cuts expire which would increase marginal rates across the board. This is FALSE. Obama proposed to let the tax cuts expire only on those individuals making over 200/250k.

She said the capital gains rates increase to 20%, but this is only true for those making over 250k and is therefore not a stealth tax increase on the middle class.

She said the dividend rate goes to 39.6%. This is false.

She said the deduction for state taxes disappears. This is false.

She implied the Obama plan doesn’t address AMT. This is false. For the first time, the budget actually proposes and accounts for in the deficit projections a 10 year AMT patch.

And the article left out additional tax cuts for the middle class in the Obama proposal.

Can you see how correcting the article is difficult?

Posted by JasperL | Report as abusive

[…] By Liberal Fail · February 3rd, 2010 FILE UNDER: Media According to Reuters the reason for the pulled story was the following: The Feb 1 story headlined “Backdoor taxes to […]

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