Wallethub.com. Never heard of them till a few months ago.
They created a list that made every major website in the country. They claimed the average Californian paid over $9,000 a year in state and local taxes. And that Nebraska had the nations third-highest tax burden.
According to every established tax study, the tax burden in California is about $5,000, and Nebraska is about 25th not third in average tax burden.
And yet, not one major media outlet questioned the data. Common sense, or simple logic would show that if the average Californian paid $9,000 in state and local taxes, there would be no budget deficit in the Golden State.
Why? You dont need to be a financial expert or math whiz to look at Wallethubs methodology and see that what they call average is, by definition, not an average at all.
Forbes.com reported on March 27: I am not sure how Nebraska ended up as the third-worst behind New Jersey and Vermont!
Come on, Forbes. If that sentence is worth an exclamation point, its worth at least a little journalistic curiosity.
Forbes is not sure, but I am. I dont know whether Im more disappointed by Wallethubs misleading data or by the incompetence of American journalism.