10 Reporters Walk into a Bar: Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tax Reform

tax reformIn Monday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders opened by explaining the need for tax reform and the effects of the forthcoming Republican tax bill. However, rather than resorting to convoluted rhetoric, Sanders took a different approach and compared Trump’s tax reform plan to paying a bar tab.

Here’s a transcript of Sanders’ anecdote:

“Suppose that every day, 10 people, for our purposes, we’ll say reporters, go out for beer, and the bill for all 10 comes to $100. If these 10 reporters paid their tab every night the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four, the poorest, would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth, the richest, would pay $59. So that’s what they decided to do.

The 10 reporters drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the bar owner threw them a curveball.  “Since you’re all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.”  Drinks for the 10 reporters would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.  So the first four were unaffected; they would still drink for free.  But what about the other six?  How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get their fair share?  These are the reporters after all, so they’re concerned with fairness.

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.  But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth reporter and the sixth reporter would each end up being paid to drink beer.

So the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was.  By doing that, he explained, they’d continue following the principle of the tax system they’d been using.  So he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should pay now.

And so the fifth reporter, like the first four, now paid nothing.  He got a 100 percent saving.  The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3, a 33 percent saving.  The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7, a 28 percent saving.  The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12, a 25 percent saving.  The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18, which was a 22 percent saving.  And the tenth now paid $49 instead of $59, a 16 percent saving.

So each of the six was better off than before.  And the first four continued to drink for free.  But once outside the bar, the reporters began to compare their savings.  “I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth reporter.

And she pointed to the tenth reporter, “he got $10.”

“Yes, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth reporter.  “I only saved a dollar too.  It’s unfair that he received ten times more benefit than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh reporter.  “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2?  The wealthy gets all the breaks.”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four reporters in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all.  This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine reporters yelled at the tenth and made him feel bad.

So the next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, and the nine sat down and had their beers without him.  But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important.  They no longer had enough money between them all to even cover half of the bill.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how our tax system works.  The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally benefit from a tax reduction, but not the largest percent benefit.  Taxing them too much — attack them — and they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.”

The parable makes the argument that since wealthy people pay the largest burden of taxes in the US, they will also receive the most benefit from a tax cut.

Sanders concluded the account, saying “This is a silly story, of course, but it illustrates some very important points. Our tax cuts and reforms will create a fairer system that works better for everyone. And it will make our country the friendliest in the world for American families trying to build a better life for themselves and their children, and for American companies seeking a competitive edge.”

By explaining distribution of tax cut benefits with a down-to-earth analogy easily understandable to the average American, Sanders not only demonstrated why Trump’s tax reform is necessary, but she managed to reach out to the American populace in a manner that the tax-hiking Obama administration never could. A simple metaphor that spoke to the general American populace, Sanders’ story highlights the understated genius of the Trump administration and its ability to reach the middle class. Meaningful tax reform is just one of the many steps President Trump is taking to make our country great again.


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Johnny Warren
3 years ago

Use the Neil Boortz’s fair tax plan everyone pays taxes and no deductions are tax forms to fill out.

3 years ago

Great job, Sara, but the losers just find fault no matter what. They can’t seem to want to accept the true facts and do what’s best for our country.

Kathleen Zureck
3 years ago

I loved the way she explained. Right to the heart of regular people. She’s terrific

Big Deal
3 years ago

I doubt that Ms. Sanders Audience could fathom what she was talking about. She was trying to match wits with people only half equipped to compete!

3 years ago

Finally we have a president that has a brain and cares about the American people and there money

3 years ago

Personally, I am in favor of throwing the whole tax law out and starting from scratch again. 73,000 pages (our current tax law) is beyond absurd. It abounds with inconsistent definitions for everything from what age constitutes a child to who gets certain exemptions. Tweaking is not a solution – total reform is.

3 years ago

What Sarah Sanders did was accurately explain how our current tax system works, so even some of the reporters in the room might fathom, on some small scale given their limited mental horsepower, how ludicrous our “progressive income tax system” is designed and functions in real life. A worthy effort to be sure, but ultimately given the audience she was speaking to, I doubt many grasped the message she was trying to convey. I’m sure her explanation, as completely straight-forward and simplified as it was, still managed to go over the heads of at least 50 percent of the reporters in attendance. Their skill set lies in looking good on TV or merely being a loyal foot soldier in spreading the progressive agenda through what used to be referred to as creative writing. It is NOT in being particularly knowledgeable on the various subjects they report on, nor is it in being able to come to the correct conclusion even, as in the example Sarah Sanders walked them through, as the absurdity of our progressive income tax system in demonstrated to them in plain English. No doubt, if the TV cameras were trained on the reporters all through Sander’s explanation, you would have noticed how quickly most of them tuned out. Still it was nice that she tried to educate the room full of empty suits she has to deal with every day. That shows her dedication to doing her job well and not just robotically reading a prepared press statement like so many in her position have done in past administrations.

Hopefully she might have potentially helped educate some in the TV audience about the absurdity of progressive policies. After all, virtually every single progressive policy, no matter what area progressivity is applied to, ends up being similarly distorted in the exact same way.

3 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Ya, i like Sarah Sanders. She handles those liberal yellowbellies, she plays em like a fiddle !!!

Ivan Berry
3 years ago
Reply to  SARGE

Needs a little Blue Grass, Sarge. And yep, she’s good.

3 years ago

I can’t wait to hear the soundtrack: were the reporters in the briefing laughing? Aghast? Embarrassed? Defensive? I wonder if 9/10ths of them then went out for a beer, and sat there lamenting the loss of their wealthy friend, and how things just weren’t the same without him.
I love Sarah Sanders!

3 years ago
Reply to  Kim

Probably deep breathing
Because they couldn’t follow the math.

3 years ago

Recently heard a liberal argue how unfair it is that he old only receive a possible $4000, while a rich business man would receive $40,000. I am convinced that many of them do not understand basic math.

3 years ago

The story itself has circulated on the internet for many years. The identities of the bar patrons change, but the numbers don’t, because they’re real!

3 years ago

Now if the media pool still scratching their heads, they need to go back to kindergarten .
Sarah is “THE BEST “ press secretary EVER!

3 years ago
Reply to  Sandy

Sarah IS the best
Handles herself exceptionally well in that hostile environment
But the reporter won’t get it
Because going into a bar
And having a beer with the common folk
Would be beneath them

3 years ago

Loved this, as it really puts things in perspective. I’ve shared it with a number of folks – some who understand how things work and some who don’t … can’t wait to see the responses!!!!

3 years ago

Love this story!

3 years ago

Nice try and I applaud Sanders effort. But the truth is, as soon as they hear that the rich are going to benefit from the new tax code they are going to stop their ears, run in circles and scream ‘Unfair! Unfair! Republicans love the rich and hate the poor!’

To a great many Americans, reality is something to be avoided. Logic and reason simply do not impact these people.

3 years ago

Even ‘Snowflakes’ should be able to understand this.

3 years ago
Reply to  BobR

Spot on!

3 years ago
Reply to  BobR

They should but they wont. Fairness you know.

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