Fox News on Democratic tax proposal: "Will it kill incentive to strive for success?"
Research ››› ››› SIMON MALOY
On the October 25 edition of Fox News' Your World, host Neil Cavuto introduced a segment on the Democratic tax proposal authored by House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) by saying that "[i]t is being called the mother of all tax hikes" and asking: "So are these tax hikes going to stop people from striving for success?" During the ensuing discussion, with Fox Business Network anchor Cheryl Casone, conservative radio host Ben Ferguson, and Nation writer Ari Melber, neither Cavuto nor his guests addressed whether the tax plan will "stop people from striving for success," though the on-screen text for most of the segment read: "Dem tax plan: Will it kill incentive to strive for success?"
In simply noting that the Democratic plan "is being called the mother of all tax hikes," Cavuto omitted the fact that it is congressional Republicans -- such as House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) -- who have referred to it as such. Rangel said on October 25 that the proposal is "revenue-neutral."
From the October 25 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neal Cavuto:
CAVUTO: Throw in a Fox News alert for you. It is being called the mother of all tax hikes. Democrats unveiling a trillion-dollar tax plan today, it includes a 4 percent surtax on people earning $150,000 a year. Now remember when a million bucks was considered rich only last year at this time? So are these tax hikes going to stop people from striving for success? Let's ask Fox Business Network anchor Cheryl Casone. We've also got radio talk show host Ben Ferguson and Ari Melber, a writer for The Nation. Cheryl, what do you think?
CASONE: Well, you know, it's funny, because when you talk about these tax hikes it makes it sound so easy. But $150,000, $250,000 when you're trying to get by in a lot of cities in America -- not all cities in America -- but that amount of money is not what it used to be. And to make -- to put out these numbers, the Democrats put these numbers out there like they did today, it doesn't make sense, and it does hurt people when they're trying to make a better, you know -- make money for their family, make money for themselves. I mean, I think that we're going in the wrong direction. AMT has to go. Has to go. But I think this is the wrong way to do it.
CAVUTO: OK, you're talking about the alternative minimum tax. Ari, the rap against this plan is A: Great, get rid of the alternative minimum tax, but bad if it means the definition of rich in less than a year has gone from a million dollars to now as little as 150,000. What say you?
MELBER: Well, Chairman Rangel is moving on both fronts. He's cutting the alternative minimum tax. You're talking about making up $80 billion there. And he's also boosting the earned income tax credit and, potentially, if he gets this done, going after some of the offshore income from foreign subsidiaries that the Republican Congress never dealt with. So if you raise the revenue, it looks good for American taxpayers.
CAVUTO: All right, I guess not those 150 and over, though. Ben, what do you make of that?
FERGUSON: No, it's not. It's not at all. There's two other major things in here that people aren't even talking about. One, Charlie Rangel wants to get rid of the domestic tax break for actually manufacturing here in America. What a great way to send a bunch of jobs overseas. Not only does this tax people at 9 percent -- not just 4, but 9 percent when they allow the Bush tax cuts to go away, which they've already said they already want to do. You're going to kill people.
But, more important than that -- three years ago, they were the ones championing for tax breaks for domestic manufacturing. Now they want to get rid of the same tax break they were in favor of three years ago. This will send everybody to China.
CAVUTO: All right, Cheryl, I want to focus on --
MELBER: Well, Ben's point --
CAVUTO: Ari, I will get you in here, my friend, I just want to focus Cheryl on this point, and that is that the definition of the rich keeps changing. Unlike a lot of politicians, at least, you know, Charlie Rangel kind of put figures to that sentiment, unlike a lot of others. But I think that the concern is no presidential candidate has repudiated this, so I would assume that everyone welcomes it.
CASONE: Welcomes the actual -- that we tax people who are making $150-250,000?
CASONE: If you've got a wife and kids, two kids, you're making 250, in a lot of cities across America that's not that much money.
CAVUTO: Yeah, but a lot people across America look at that and say that's a lot of money --
CASONE: I mean, he's a New York senator [sic]!
CAVUTO: That's a lot of money, and I think they've done studies -- and Ari, maybe you're saying this -- they've done studies that say "maybe this isn't our group of voters anyway, so go ahead and gouge them." Is that what's going on?
MELBER: Well, I don't know about the political motivations, but the 4.6 percent, Neil, to your question, kicks in after $500,000. And to Ben's point about domestic manufacturing cuts, you know, that was something George Bush opposed last time, so they should be glad, if they're consistent, to get it off the books. The real issue that you're going to hear all the Democrats talk about --
FERGUSON: Is that? Wrong --
MELBER: --is whether secretaries should be paying more taxes than hedge fund managers. A lot of this--
FERGUSON: No, the issue --
MELBER: --is about beating back the class warfare that Bush is doing and making it fair.
CAVUTO: All right, so real quickly, Ari, you think this is going to happen? Real quickly, yes or no, is this going to happen?
MELBER: It could happen by the end of this Congress. It's not going to happen in a month --
CAVUTO: All right, Ben, is this going to happen?
MELBER: --by the end? Yeah.
FERGUSON: No, it's not going to happen, and the reason why it's not going to happen is because most people know the people that run small businesses are the people that make $150,000 a year.
CAVUTO: Cheryl, is it going to happen?
CASONE: No, no. I love you, but no. No way.
CAVUTO: OK, we shall see, we shall see.