Meet The Fox News Economists
Monday on Glenn Beck, guest host Andrew Napolitano hosted Art Laffer, Steve Moore, and Charles Gasparino to discuss the coming budget and debt limit debates. All three have a history of making inflammatory statements and advancing blatant falsehoods.
Laffer Supported Raising The Social Security Retirement Age To 70 Because He "Love[s] Working." In response to Stuart Varney asking if he agreed with raising the Social Security retirement age to 70, Laffer said:
I sure do, I think it just makes lots of sense. I mean Stuart, we've--life expectancy has increased dramatically over the years. There's no reason why people shouldn't work later on in life. I'm 70 years old, as you know, and I love working and I have no intention of retiring and there's no reason why I should be getting Social Security checks or anything else, and neither should anyone else. They're all good and healthy. Now if you're sick and you have to retire early, of course you get the benefits then, but you know, I'm a lot younger than my dad was at my age. [Fox News, Your World, 6/29/10 ]
Laffer Pushed Dubious Link Between Reagan Tax Cuts And The 1981-82 Recession. From the June 10, 2010 edition of Fox & Friends:
LAFFER: [W]hat Reagan did was he postponed tax cuts, which I believe caused the deep recession of 1981-82, and the tax rate cuts really began on January 1st, 1983, the big portion did. And the boom started on January 1st, 1983. You know, Brian, it has always amazed me how tax cuts don't work until they take effect.
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Right.
LAFFER: And then they work like mad. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/10/10 ]
In Fact, Economists Dispute Attempts To Connect Regan's Tax Policies With Ending The Recession. [See HERE ]
Laffer Mounted A Misleading Attack On Obama's Tax Proposals. From Fox & Friends:
President Obama has decided to let Bush's tax cuts expire. Which means that on January 1st, 2011, we're going to have the income tax go from 35% to 39.6. The dividend tax rate's going from 15 to 39.6. You have the capital gains tax rate going up, the estate tax rate. We have offshore taxes going up. We have a cadillac tax plan on healthcare for our policy programs. So we have all of these tax increases occurring on or around January 1st, 2011. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/10/10 ]
In Fact, The Proposal Laffer Was Criticizing Would Have Only Raised Rates On Income Over $200,000 Per Year For Individuals And $250,000 For Families. [See HERE ]
Moore Falsely Claimed That Health Care Reform Legislation Would Require Employers To Pay Extra Tax For Every "New Worker." From the August 12, 2009, edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
MOORE: People forget that one of the major ways that this health care bill is paid for is on the backs of small businesses, and there's an employment tax. Every time a business hires a new worker, they'd have to pay an 8 percent tax under this bill -- my goodness.
At a time when we've got, you know, record high unemployment, why in the world would you want to put more taxes on small businesses that create the jobs at a time when we've got nine-and-a-half percent unemployment? It makes no sense. Let's suspend this health care bill and this new tax on employment until we get the jobs back. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 8/12/09 ]
In Fact, The Provision Moore Was Criticizing Was A Penalty On Employers Who Do Not Provide Health Care Coverage To Employees, Not A Tax On All New Workers. [See HERE ]
Moore: "The One Thing This Administration Won't Do Is Cut Taxes." From the July 7, 2009 edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN (host): Now, you may not like what you are about to hear. One of President Obama's economic advisers, Laura Tyson, says the budget deficit will probably be wider than we expected, and that the $787 billion stimulus bill was a bit too small, and we should be planning on a contingency basis for a second round of stimulus.
Oh, no. A second round of stimulus? Senior economics writer for the Wall Street Journal'seditorial page Steve Moore joins us.
Steve, a second round? Yikes. Your thoughts?
MOORE: Well, Greta, I predicted this was gonna happen. You know, the first stimulus hasn't worked very well. We have nine-and-a-half percent unemployment.
Now, it's true we've only spent about 70 billion of that $800 billion package. But, you know, it's almost like you've got a python that swallowed a pig, and the pig is halfway through the body of the python, and now you're going to, you know, jam another pig through its mouth.
This isn't going to work. I think our fiscal situation today, Greta, is a total catastrophe. We are going to end up borrowing $2 trillion this year because the economy is doing worse than we thought. That is by far the biggest record in history.
And you have to ask your question -- the question, Greta, when do you stop all this spending and start a new strategy? The one thing this administration won't do is cut taxes, which is something that's worked before. It worked for George Bush in 2003, and it worked, of course, for Ronald Reagan in 1981.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, you sort of think that maybe Vice President Biden and Laura Tyson have gone a little bit rogue. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 7/7/09 ]
In Fact, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- Signed Into Law Months Prior To Moore's Remarks -- Included $288 Billion In Tax Relief. [See HERE ]
Gasparino: Obama Is "Bringing Back The Draft" Through Health Care Reform. Gasparino and Fox News' Andrew Napolitano likened a provision in the health care reform bill that would establish a reserve corps for public health emergencies to "bringing back the draft." From the April 1, 2010 edition of Glenn Beck:
NAPOLITANO: And there's crazy thing in there, Charlie, about the reserve corps, the 6,000-person --
GASPARINO: I don't know what to make of that thing.
NAPOLITANO: -- that the president can put together. He can script doctors from the state national guard and make them work for --
GASPARINO: He's bringing back the draft.
NAPOLITANO: Where is that going to go? Are we going to get to a system like Great Britain where the health care providers are employees of the government? [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 4/1/10 , transcript via Nexis]
Gasparino Called Insider Trading "Almost A Victimless Crime." On Fox Business on November 24, 2010, Gasparino discussed the investigation into Steve Cohen, SAC Capital Partners founder:
GASPARINO: I am very dubious about this investigation for a lot of reasons, including the fact that I think insider trading is a very nebulous concept and it's almost a victimless crime. [Fox Business, Fox Business, 11/24/10 ]
Gasparino: Financial Reform Bill Contains A "Slush Fund" Of "$50 Billion To Bail You Out." From the April 22, 2010, edition of Hannity:
HANNITY: Here's what -- I mean, Greg Craig, White House counsel leaves in January, he now represents Goldman. Dick Gephardt, former leader, House of Representatives, he lobbies for Goldman. You got Harry Reid getting money from Goldman. You got Rahm Rahmbo dead fish getting money from Goldman. You got the president getting money from Goldman. You know, who's to think any of this seriously and the democrats are trying to portray republicans is in the pockets of big business, they are up to their eyeballs.
GASPARINO: Well, I will say this instead. Wall Street, based on talking people in the executive suites, they are behind like 80 percent of this bill. The big thing they are behind is obviously the aspect of "Too Big to Fail." The fact that there is really a slush fund in here that if you get in trouble, there's 50 billion dollars to bail you out. And that, it's more than just the money to bail you out. The fact of the matter is when government is behind Wall Street, it lowers it costs of borrowing. It can make money, by the way, Goldman Sachs made 3 1/2 billion dollars in one quarter, that's pretty good, isn't it?
WILLIS: That stays in the system whether they have that money or not, the government is still going to be there to do "Too Big to Fail." Neither the democrats nor the republicans oppose it because they rely so heavily on campaigns. [Fox News, Hannity, 4/22/10 ]
In Fact, The Provision Gasparino Called A "Slush Fund" Established Regulatory Authority To Liquidate Failing Financial Firms, Not Bail Them Out. [See HERE ]
Gasparino Falsely Claimed That The Extension Of The Bush Tax Cuts Would Mean That Businesses Would Increase Hiring. From Gasparino's December 15 New York Post column:
Things are finally looking up for the US economy: A growing pool of evidence points to much higher economic growth and even higher stock prices next year.
The causes go well beyond low interest rates, higher capital levels at banks or even the latest pickup in retail sales.
* No tax hikes (probably): Obamanomics was predicated in large part on raising taxes on the "rich," affluent, even if most of those taxpayers aren't so affluent (consider a family of four earning $250,000 in New York City) and are small businesses who hire a lot of people and investors who put money to work in the markets.
In fact, businesses have cited the likelihood for higher taxes as why they've been hoarding cash instead of hiring, and investors have cited higher capital-gains taxes for keeping money out of the markets. But with the Bush tax rates almost certainly extended for two years, businesses and investors can put money back to work. [The New York Post, 12/15/10 ]
In Fact, the Congressional Budget Office Stated That "[I]ncreasing The After-tax Income Of Businesses Typically Does Not Create Much Incentive" For Them To Hire. [See HERE ]