Fox News: Where Billions In Revenue From The Wealthy Is Always "A Drop In The Bucket"
Research ››› ››› EMILY ARROWOOD
After President Obama proposed allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for incomes over $250,000, Fox News dismissed the revenue this would bring as merely "a drop in the bucket." In the past, Fox has repeatedly characterized billions in revenue increases from the wealthy or corporations as being too little to bother with, but claimed that relatively small amounts of funding for public broadcasting and Planned Parenthood were unaffordable.
Fox Dismisses New Revenue From Expiration Of Bush Tax Cuts For The Wealthy As "A Drop In The Bucket"
President Obama's Proposal To Allow The Bush Tax Cuts To Expire For Wealthier Americans Would Raise $850 Billion Dollars In A Decade. From The New York Times:
President Obama, drawing a contrast with what he called Republican trickle-down economics, called on Monday for temporarily extending the Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 while letting the taxes of the wealthiest go up.
A one-year extension for people making under $250,000 would cost the government $150 billion in revenue, the administration estimates, an amount that would be added to the deficit. In a point of comparison, economists estimate that letting the cuts expire for people above that threshold would generate $850 billion over 10 years. [The New York Times, 7/9/12]
Fox Anchor Jon Scott: Revenue Raised By Proposal Is "A Drop In The Bucket." While Happening Now anchor Jon Scott interviewed Wall Street Journal columnist Simon Constable, Scott dismissed the president's proposal because the money it raises would run the government for a mere "eight and a half days":
JON SCOTT: What [Obama] didn't explain is how raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is going to help create jobs, or do anything like that. Our brain room did - ah, took - a number crunching exercise and found that if the president gets what he wants, in other words if you boost taxes on the wealthiest Americans, you get enough money in year to run the federal government operations for about eight and a half days. Ah, it's kind of a drop in the bucket.
SIMON CONSTABLE: I mean, that's nothing. That's a few weekends, basically. [Fox News, Happening Now, 7/9/12]
Fox's Dobbs Scoffs At Projected Revenue Because It "Would Pay For The Federal Government To Operate For Eight And A Half Days." Appearing on America Live with Megyn Kelly, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs laughed off the effect this new revenue would have:
LOU DOBBS: This is why President Obama is such a great leader. This tax would raise an estimated, estimated, $85 billion dollars in one year. That would pay for the federal government to operate for eight and a half days. Eight and a half days. Meanwhile, he's run up deficits and the national debt by about four and a half trillion dollars in three and a half years. This man is not making sense as the leader of this great nation. [Fox News, America Live, 7/9/12]
Fox Previously Dismissed The Buffett Rule As "Fund[ing] The Government For 7 Days"
The Joint Committee On Taxation Predicted The Buffett Rule Would Raise $47 Billion Dollars Over 10 Years. According to The Washington Post, the Joint Committee on Taxation says the Buffett Rule "will bring in $47 billion over 10 years." [The Washington Post, Wonkblog, 4/9/12]
Fox Anchor Bill Hemmer: Revenue From Buffett Rule "Would Fund The Government For 7 Days." America's Newsroom anchor Bill Hemmer noted that the Buffett Rule "would raise $47 billion over the next 10 years." He then added: "$47 billion would fund the government for 7 days. So just more than one working week." [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 4/11/12, via Media Matters]
Fox Anchor Chris Wallace Wrote Off The Buffett Rule As Covering "Just 17 Days" Of The Deficit. During an interview with Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace characterized revenue from the Buffett Rule as insignificant in its effect on the federal deficit:
WALLACE: In the last week, the president has made a couple of major speeches and devoted his entire weekend media address to the Buffett rule. When the president introduced the Buffett Rule last September, he said it was a matter of fairness and this is the quote, 'we also stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade.' But here's the math: the Buffet Rule that millionaires should pay a minimum tax of 30 percent would bring in $47 billion over the next decade, while the president's budget adds $6.4 trillion to the deficit over the next decade. David, according to one estimate -- the money you would get from the Buffett Rule would cover just 17 days of the increased deficit under the Obama budget. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 4/15/12, via Nexis]
Fox's Eric Bolling: The Buffett Rule Will "Not Help The Debt." On The Five, co-host Eric Bolling dismissed the potential effects of the Buffett Rule on reducing national debt:
BOLLING: Warren Buffett does not say that a Warren Buffett tax will solve a darn thing. The only thing a Warren Buffett tax will do is create class warfare. Not help the debt, certainly not help the American economy. [Fox News, The Five, 4/11/12, via Media Matters]
Fox Contributor Krauthammer Called The Buffett Rule A "Gimmick" That "Will Do Nothing To Help The Deficit." On the April 16 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer dismissed the legislation as a "nothing but a gimmick":
BRET BAIER: I think we are at a consensus on this panel. I want to take a live look at the Senate floor. There are 44 no votes on so-called Buffett rule. This is based on the billionaire investor Warren Buffett who advocates the wealthy pay the same tax rate of the subordinates and would impose 30 percent minimum rate on people earning more than $2 million a year. Then it would be phase phased in, that 30 percent minimum rate, on anybody earning $1 million a year. It will fail in the Senate since there are 44 no votes already. Significance here, what about this? And the president talking about it every stump speech.
BAIER: Charles, how do Republicans push back on what the Obama administration sees as a rich, political point?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER (Fox News contributor): Well, first, to point out it's gimmick. Even the liberals are saying, even though the "Washington Post" some legislators admitted it's nothing but a gimmick, it will do nothing to help the deficit.
BAIER: But it's a $47 billion gimmick. They are coming out and saying over ten years, $47 billion could be used for x number of infrastructure jobs, whatever.
KRAUTHAMMER: Yes. I'm not sure that people buy that. If you point out this is dumbing of the capital gains tax. You have to make a case. It certainly won't expand the economy or spur economic growth as Obama pretends and he said now twice in the last week. If anything it will retard economic expansion. And decrease the number of jobs because it takes away investment and decreases the amount of investment. Historically in the last 60 years when you raise capital gains tax it retards growth, and when you lower it, it increases it. That's why Kennedy and Reagan had economic growth as a result of reducing the capital gains tax. That is not a sound bite unless you speak really quickly, but it's a case that can be made, and Republicans are going to have to do it. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 4/16/12, via Nexis]
Fox Scoffed At The Effect Repealing Tax Subsidies For Oil And Gas Companies Would Have On The Deficit
President Obama Proposed Repealing Tax Subsidies For Oil And Gas Companies Worth Nearly $40 Billion Over Ten Years. On February 13, Bloomberg reported:
President Barack Obama, who pledged an "all of the above" energy strategy that included fossil fuels, renewed his proposal to cut more than $40 billion in tax breaks for oil, gas and coal producers in the next decade to spend more for conservation and alternate energy.
The plan calls for a $4.75 billion cut in tax credits for oil companies in 2013, including repeal of $3.49 billion in so- called intangible drilling costs, for a savings of $38.6 billion by 2022. [Bloomberg, 2/13/12]
Krauthammer: Ending The Tax Subsidies Wouldn't Cover Four Months Of Deficit Spending If Collected For 100 Years. Appearing on Fox's Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox Newscontributor Charles Krauthammer said of Obama's proposal, "If you collected this subsidy, this ah, tax, from the oil companies for the next hundred years, it wouldn't cover four months of deficit spending under this administration." [Fox News, Special Report, 4/15/12, via Media Matters]
Dobbs Minimized Effect Of Oil Subsidies On The Deficit. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs criticized the president for suggesting closing tax loopholes for oil and natural gas companies:
DOBBS: Maybe the president might, instead of focusing on that $4 billion, what he calls a tax giveaway -- let me put that into some perspective if I may. $4 billion amounts to, are you ready -- $5 trillion in deficits, right? In less than four years on the part of this administration. It represents 0.0008 percent. Notice how the number eight keeps showing up here tonight? Eight percent of the total problem. Now, think of that -- $5 trillion and this president is focused, for whatever reason, on 0.0008 percent of the problem. That is how much President Obama is on track to put into deficit in under four years. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 3/29/12, via Nexis]
Click here to see more of Fox defending tax subsidies for oil and gas companies.
Fox Dismissed Eliminating Tax Loophole For Corporate Jets As "Just A Symbol"
President Obama's Proposal To End A Tax Break For Corporate Jets Would Have Raised $3 Billion Over Ten Years. Bloomberg reported on the president's proposal "to end a tax break for corporate jet owners":
Such a change would put $3 billion into the Treasury over a decade, said two congressional aides familiar with the proposal. Democrats want to require companies that use jets for business purposes to write off the cost over seven years, instead of the five years allowed under current law, said a congressional aide and a White House aide. Airplanes used for charter or commercial flights already must be depreciated over seven years. [Bloomberg News, 6/30/11]
Fox's Briggs On Eliminating Corporate Jet Tax Break: "It's Really Just A Symbol ... It's Not Going To Make Much Of A Difference At All." On the July 1 edition of Fox & Friends, the guest co-hosts discussed ending tax breaks for corporate jets. Guest host Dave Briggs said the gesture was "really just a symbol ... to make Republicans the party of the corporate jets" and that the proposal would not "make much of a difference at all." From the broadcast:
BRIGGS: It's really just a symbol, you know, he wants to make the Republicans the party of the corporate jets. It really isn't about fiscal health for our country. I mean, it's not going to make much of a difference at all. He just wants to put that symbol in the voters' minds ahead of 2012.
During the segment, the following on-screen text aired:
[Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/1/11]
But Fox Complained That Much Less Expensive Programs, Like NPR and Planned Parenthood, Were Unaffordable
NPR Received $5 Million From The Federal Government In 2010. According to the Associated Press, NPR received about $5 million in federal funds in fiscal year 2010. NPR has stated that federal, state, and local government grants combined make up only 4.6% of their funding. [Associated Press, 3/17/11; NPR, accessed 7/10/12]
Planned Parenthood Received $487 Million In Government Funding In 2010. According to Planned Parenthood's 2009-2010 annual report, the most recent available data, the group received $487.4 million in "government health services grants and reimbursements" during the year ending in June 2010. [Planned Parenthood, accessed 7/10/12]
Fox's Doocy Attacked NPR Funding To Defend Oil Subsidies. On the April 20 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy discussed comments that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had made about the GOP's budget priorities. After playing video of Pelosi talking about "big subsidies to big oil," Doocy said, "Why didn't she mention the big subsidies to NPR or Planned Parenthood there while she was at it?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/20/11]
Hannity: "We Can't Afford" The "Hyper-Political" NPR. On the March 17 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity discussed the House vote to defund NPR with Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers and said "we can't afford" to fund NPR. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/17/11]
O'Reilly: "It's Hard To Believe Liberals Want To Continue Funding Things Like Public Broadcasting [And] Planned Parenthood." From Fox's The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Liberals want an expensive, nanny state. Conservatives want smaller government, much more self-reliance, and local control. I tend to side with Republicans because I understand the danger ahead. Even if President Obama does not quite get it. The world will not continue to prop up America's massive debt indefinitely.
So federal spending must come down, and fast. It's hard to believe liberals want to continue funding things like public broadcasting, Planned Parenthood, and various art projects. That's optional stuff. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 4/8/11]