Fox News is bound and determined to portray President Obama as anti-business, even when reality tells a different tale. For example, today they hosted a businessman to demand that Obama offer a tax deduction "per job" employers create -- but Obama's already enacted such a deduction, and is now calling to expand tax breaks for businesses that hire new employees.
Fox & Friends Saturday today hosted Ryan Blair, an entrepreneur and CEO, to talk about a letter he wrote to President Obama with suggestions for jump starting the economy. Blair called on the president to "give me a deduction per job I create" in order to "get me off the bench and into the game" (emphasis added):
ALISYN CAMEROTA (co-host): You say unemployment will be solved by stimulating innovation and creating new entrepreneurs. Great. How do you do that?
BLAIR: Well, you know, it's real simple. You educate people on entrepreneurship, you get in there, you roll up your sleeves, and you give the incentives. So, for example, let's say I'm taxed at -- I make $10 million this year, and I'm taxed at 15 percent, or my rate goes up based on the amount of jobs that I actually create. And it's real simple -- you can figure out how to give me a deduction per child? Why can't you give me a deduction per job I create? Literally costing no debt money, just get me off the bench and into the game. Right now I'm not. I'm going to sit on the sidelines and save my money as much as I can because I'm uncertain. That's the wrong sentiment to be creating within the rich right now. Get them to work.
While Blair spoke, Fox News ran text stating, "Millionaire Explains The Problem w/ Jobs Plan."
What Blair and Fox & Friends failed to mention: Obama has already done this. The president has long championed this idea; he signed a bill that made it law; and he's calling for an extension of the policy through his American Jobs Act.
As PolitiFact notes, towards the end of the 2008 campaign, Obama proposed a number of ideas to jump-start the economy, including a $3,000 tax credit for every worker a business hired. Congress didn't include the provision in the stimulus bill, but Obama revived the idea during his 2010 State of the Union speech. This time, he called for a $5,000 tax credit per hire. Alternative versions of this idea were eventually included in the HIRE Act, signed into law on March 18, 2010. As PolitiFact wrote, the HIRE Act actually included at least two tax breaks for businesses that hired new employees in 2010 (emphasis added):
First, from March 19, 2010, through December 31, 2010, employers are exempt from paying the 6.2 percent Social Security tax on wages paid to previously unemployed workers. This means that a business could potentially save a little over $6,600 if it paid the worker at least $106,800, since that's the maximum amount of wages subject to Social Security taxes in 2010.
Second, for each qualified employee retained for at least 52 consecutive weeks, employers will receive a non-refundable tax credit of 6.2 percent of wages paid to the qualified employee over the 52 week period, for a maximum credit of $1,000.
To be a "qualified employee," you must have been hired between February 3, 2010, and January 1, 2011, and you must have been unemployed during the 60 days prior to starting work, or worked fewer than 40 hours for someone else during the 60 day period. The law does not set a minimum number of hours that the employee must work.
So not only has Obama already advocated for giving businesses tax deductions for hiring new employees, he's actually signed legislation that does so.
And Obama is calling for an extension of these policies with his recently-proposed American Jobs Act. The plan calls for a general payroll tax cut for businesses as well as targeted cuts that reward new hiring. As a recent post on You're the Boss, the New York Times small business blog, explained, the bill calls for:
Payroll tax cut for employers. The plan would halve the employer share of payroll taxes, to 3.1 percent, on the first $5 million in wages. While this tax cut would be available to all businesses, the White House said it would most benefit the 98 percent of companies with wages below $5 million. A company with a $5 million payroll would see a tax cut of $155,000.
Tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed. Mr. Obama proposed a tax credit of up to $4,000 for hiring a person who has been unemployed for at least six months. If the prospective employee is a veteran, the credit would increase to as much as $5,600. If the veteran became disabled in the course of serving, the credit would rise to as much as $9,600. According to a White House spokesperson, the amount of the credit would depend on the employee's wages and the number of hours worked.
Employer payroll tax holiday on payroll growth. The president would eliminate the entire 6.2 percent payroll tax on any increase in payroll up to $50 million above the prior year. The growth in wages can be spent on either new hires or raises for existing employees.
Somehow, neither Camerota nor her fellow co-host Clayton Morris thought to mention any of this on Fox today.