I am looking for the word that describes this situation -
In the US, there are people looking to eliminate the estate tax. Their argument is "This will save families that are leaving farms to the next generation." In my opinion, the truth is that there are multiple billionaires who would simply like to preserve their wealth.
The argument that the tax proposal helps farmers is just a _________ to obfuscate the true beneficiaries of the proposal."
We are on english.se, please do not reply with a political response. The same word would suffice for the contrived -
"The town's mayor is lobbying heavily to have land parcel 234 made into a public park. His proposal is a __________ to divert attention from the fact that the owner wants to put a building that would block his lake view."
Edit - In my exhaustive research, the simple word that comes close is just "diversion", the stated motive is a diversion from the real motive. The more eloquent phrase was "Red Herring" -
A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences towards a false conclusion. A red herring might be intentionally used, such as in mystery fiction or as part of rhetorical strategies (e.g. in politics), or it could be inadvertently used during argumentation.
which may very well be correct, but of course, I am here asking the question, hoping for a more appropriate word for this type of scenario.