After two people with ties to President Trump's campaign were charged by the special counsel investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders began her daily briefing by discussing tax reform.
She read off a long story that sounded like it came from an email whose subject line begins with Fwd: FWD: Fwd: Re: Re: Re: FWD:
"This story has been floating around the internet for a while. The numbers are not exact and I'm not encouraging any drinking," she started. "That's mostly for my parents. I think you will enjoy it."
Here it is verbatim, with reactions by confused cats:
"Suppose that every day 10 people, for our purposes, go out for beer. The bill for all 10 comes to $100. If the 10 reporters paid their tab every night the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:"
"The poorest would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7. The ninth would pay $18, the richest would pay $59. That's what they decided to do."
"The 10 reporters drank in the bar every day and seemed happy with the arrangements, until one day, the bar owner threw them a curve ball."
"What about the other six? How could they divide the $20 windfall so everyone gets their fair share?"
"These were reporters and they are concerned with fairness. They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. If they subtracted that from everybody's share, the fifth and the sixth reporter would each end up being paid to drink beer."
"The bar owner suggested raising it by a higher percentage. He explained that they continue following the principal of the tax system they have been using. He proceeded to work out the amounts that each should pay."
"The fifth reporter, like the first four, was now paid nothing. He got a 100% savings. The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3. The seventh paid $5 instead of $7. The eighth paid $9 instead of $12. The 10th now paid $49 instead of 52. The first four continued to drink for free."
"Once outside the bar, they began to compare their savings."
"'Wait a minute. We didn't get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor.'"
"That, ladies and gentlemen, is how our tax system works."
Jason Wells is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jason Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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