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Charts of the week: Trust in media, pass-through businesses, and low-income renters

Click on the links or on the charts to go to the full research.

 

AMERICAN’S TRUST IN TRADITIONAL NEWS MEDIA FELL TO JUST 32 PERCENT IN 2016

In a new report on “fake news” and the decline in public trust of traditional journalism, Darrell West, vice president of Governance Studies, cited a Gallup Poll conducted over the course of two decades that found the percentage of Americans expressing a great deal or fair amount of trust in media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly fell from 53 percent in 1997 to just 32 percent in 2016. West notes that declining public trust in media is dangerous for democracies, and that the news industry could rebuild trust and attract a greater audience by focusing on high-quality journalism.

Public trust in traditional news media, 1997-2016

THE TAX BILL WILL PENALIZE WAGE EARNERS COMPARED TO PASS-THROUGH BUSINESS OWNERS

In his analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently passed by Congress, and the impact it will have on taxpayers who own pass-through businesses, Economic Studies Senior Fellow Adam Looney found that the proposal creates large differences in how two people making similar amounts of money are taxed. The chart below shows how much more tax a wage earner will pay compared to an otherwise identical self-employed individual, measured as a percentage of after-tax income. According to Looney, people doing the same exact job for the same exact pay could pay 30 to 40 percent more in taxes if they’re paid in wages rather than “profits.”

Wage earner tax penalty by percentage of after-tax income.

LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS ARE STRETCHING TO PAY RENT AND AFFORD OTHER NECESSITIES

In recent analysis on whether housing costs are creating economic distress for low-income renters, Jenny Schuetz, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program, finds that among families in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, the median renter pays more than half of his or her monthly income on rent, and has less than $500 per month remaining after rent.

Percent of income spent on rent by income quintile

Author

Chris McKenna

Communications Coordinator - Office of Communications

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