WaPo fact-checker slams Kamala Harris on tax hike tweet: 'Nonsensical and misleading'

A tweet by Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSan Francisco police chief apologizes for raid on journalist's home Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (D-Calif.) referring to the GOP tax cuts signed into law by President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE as "a middle-class tax hike" was slammed by a Washington Post fact-checker as “nonsensical and misleading."

The Wednesday posting by the fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, was addressing a comment this week by Harris, a 2020 presidential candidate, about the Republican tax cuts signed into law in late 2017.

“The average tax refund is down about $170 compared to last year. Let’s call the President’s tax cut what it is: a middle-class tax hike to line the pockets of already wealthy corporations and the 1 percent,” Harris wrote in a tweet to her 2.34 million followers.  

 
Kessler, however, awarded Harris four "Pinocchios," the maximum rating he assigns to comments he considers as "whoppers"  
 
“Boy, talk about a non sequitur that turns out to be nonsensical and misleading,” Kessler wrote. 
 
Kessler argued that tax refunds do appear smaller, but noted that changes to aspects such as tax deductions and withholdings meant "the size of the tax refund has no bearing on whether a person’s taxes rose or fell."
 
He also rejected Harris's assertion of a middle-class tax hike, noting that "in reality, the size of a tax refund reflects nothing about the size of a tax cut or tax increase — and at least in 2018, the vast majority of middle-class Americans can expect to pay less in taxes as a result of the Trump tax law."
 
Kessler has been the Post's fact-checker since 2011 and won two Pulitzer prizes as a reporter for Newsday in New York City.