Cheryl Casone

Tags ››› Cheryl Casone
  • On Fox, Expansion Of Overtime Protections Is "Left-Wing Economic Engineering"

    Blog ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    Fox News renewed its attacks against federal overtime protections ahead of a rumored announcement that the Department of Labor will extend guaranteed overtime to qualifying employees earning up to $52,000 annually.  

    Throughout the day on June 10, Fox News and Fox Business personalities derided an expected proposal from the Labor Department that would expand guaranteed overtime pay to millions of American workers who currently work uncompensated hours. During a news update on Fox Business' Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, contributor Cheryl Casone said the rule was being called "frankly, a job killer." On Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney complained that President Obama was attempting to lift wages "by fiat," and claimed that the overtime rule would harm "the assistant managers of this world, who will no longer become assistant managers." On Cavuto: Coast to Coast, host Neil Cavuto quoted Rep. Tim Walberg's (R-MI) opposition to overtime protections, adding that "you can't fathom" why the Labor Department would act to expand overtime.

    On Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott was joined by reporter Kevin Cirilli of The Hill and Weekly Standard editor Daniel Halper to discuss political and economic repercussions of such a regulatory change.  Halper blasted the administration for engaging in supposed "left-wing economic engineering" before concluding that the rule change might "end up hurting the average worker":

    HALPER: You have to give it to  President Obama, he promised to govern with a pen and the phone, and he is. He's coming through. He's going around Congress ... the problem with this left-wing economic engineering is that it might not work, right? It might help some people, but it's probably going to hurt a lot of other people. Why should an employer, for instance, increase the hours of its current employees, give  a lot of overtime, if it will cost them a lot more? 

    The employer, their bottom line, is to worry about their bottom line -- to worry about making money. And if this costs them too much money, well they're just going to find a way around it. And it's going to end up hurting the average worker and laborer. And, it's not going to achieve its stated goal, no matter how noble it may be.

    In fact, economists believe expanding overtime protections to include more salaried employees is vital to long-term economic recovery. Under current federal guidelines, salaried employees are only guaranteed overtime pay if they earn up to $23,660 per year. Raising the threshold to $52,000 would expand overtime protections to at least 6.1 million additional American workers, and bring the policy roughly in line with federal standards last witnessed in 1975, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Economist Jared Bernstein of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities predicted that the rule might actually boost job creation by encouraging employers to hire more part-time help.

    Fox has a long history of opposing overtime protections while ignoring any economic benefits. The network attacked the administration in March 2014 when President Obama initially requested that the Labor Department review its standards. Despite admitting that they did not know what the administration would propose, Fox personalities called the regulatory change a job killer and complained that it amounted to "forced income redistribution." Fox figures worried that paying people for the hours that they actually work "undercuts work ethic" and created a "disincentive to stand out." Fox host Bill O'Reilly surmised that the president "may be actually hurting" workers by extending overtime protections, while Fox's Jon Scott wondered if the proposal was just an election-year distraction

  • Fox's Cheryl Casone Calls Repaying Government Tax Credit "A Huge Tax Bill"

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN THORN

    Fox Business Network's Cheryl Casone misrepresented a tax credit in the Affordable Care Act by omitting vital information about the program and warning it could lead to "a huge tax bill."

    On Fox News' America's Newsroom, Casone mischaracterized the consequences of the ACA's insurance exchange tax credit application, claiming "if you do not accurately project your 2014 income by October 1, 2013 -- that is this year -- you're going to be hit with a huge tax bill." Casone went on to explain: "you're going to get a tax subsidy from the government to help pay for getting into the exchanges" and noted that "you may have to pay the government back in the spring of 2015":

    But Casone mischaracterized the program by claiming it will lead to a "huge tax bill." Recipients may have to repay the tax credit -- in part or in full -- received for the insurance exchange if the recipient projected his or her income lower than it turned out to be. But Casone failed to acknowledge that should an individual's projected income be higher than his or her actual income, he or she, if eligible for the credit, will receive a refund from the government.

    As Tim Jost at Health Affairs explained last year, this method is a widely accepted way of providing private health insurance to low- and middle-income families:

    At the heart of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care reforms are the premium tax credits, which will extend health insurance coverage to 18 million lower and middle-income Americans. The idea of using tax credits to purchase private health insurance for the uninsured is one of a number of the historically conservative policy positions adopted by the ACA. Both the Paul Ryan Roadmap and a recent proposal by James Capretta and Robert Moffit on How to Replace Obamacare also support premium tax credits to make health insurance accessible to Americans.

    To create tax credits that are sufficiently substantial to in fact make health insurance affordable to lower-income Americans, without creating a program so costly that it is unaffordable to the country, tax credits must be means-tested and must be structured so as not to crowd out employment-based insurance. This turns out, not surprisingly, to be very complicated.

    [...]

    Reconciliation.  Although the tax credit is paid in advance directly to an insurer on a monthly basis, it is in fact a tax credit that must be claimed on the taxpayer's annual income tax return.  Final eligibility for the credit, therefore, cannot be known until the taxpayer files his or her annual return, at which point household income for the year will be finally determined. A "reconciliation" must then occur between the tax credit already received and that to which the individual is actually entitled.   If over the course of the year household income turns out to be greater or less than projected, or if household composition or compliance with other eligibility requirements has changed, the final tax credit may turn out to be greater or less than the amount already paid.

    If the taxpayer turns out to have been eligible for more than had been paid, the taxpayer gets a refund.  If, however, the government has paid more than the taxpayer in fact turns out to be entitled to, the taxpayer must pay the money back.

  • Fox Sets Standard For Jobless Claims Not Reached In Decades

    Blog ››› ››› ALBERT KLEINE

    Fox Business anchor Cheryl Casone set an unreasonable standard for weekly jobless claims, stating that the figure needed to dip to 200,000 or lower to show a healthy labor market -  a level that hasn't been reached in over 40 years.

    In the wake of the Labor Department's release of weekly jobless claims figures for September 23-29 that showed a slight increase from the previous week's report, Casone weighed in on what this meant for overall job growth. From the October 4 edition of Fox & Friends:

    CASONE: Here's the problem. We need to see job growth. We need to see these claims numbers come down to 200,000 and below to see meaningful job recovery and we're just not getting that unfortunately.

    However, the real problem lies in Casone's figures. The 200,000 benchmark is unrealistic today, as historical data show that the last time initial claims numbers were that low was in 1970, when the U.S. population was about 203 million  (around 65 percent of current population estimates). Furthermore, the current figures are by no means outlandish, approximating those experienced in the early 2000s. From the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

    St. Louis Fed

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 9/22/2012)

    The above graph also shows that while there have been slight upticks in initial jobless claims, the overall trend has been downward since 2009.  While Casone claims that these numbers inhibit job recovery, the private sector has nonetheless created 4.5 million jobs in the last 29 months.

  • FLASHBACK: Fox News On Gas Prices In 2008

    Blog ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Following GOP strategy, Fox News is again blaming the Obama administration for rising gasoline prices -- a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by energy analysts. But back in the summer of 2008, when the average U.S. gasoline price hit a record high of $4.11, Fox said that "no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices."

    In 2008, Fox's coverage occasionally even mirrored the facts: expanding domestic oil drilling will not significantly lower prices, and the only way to reduce our vulnerability to gas price spikes is to use less oil. Perhaps there was more room for reality-based coverage at Fox when there wasn't an incumbent president to defeat?

    In case you missed it, here's how Fox is covering gas prices now:

  • Fox Panel Teams Up To Promote A Bushel Of Misinformation On Health Care Reform

    ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

    A seven-minute segment on Fox News' America Live featured a deluge of falsehoods and distortions about President Obama's health care reform record, including the false suggestion that PricewaterhouseCoopers found that health care reform is responsible for rising costs. In fact, Pricewaterhouse found that reform is "expected to have minimal impact on [the] medical cost trend in 2012."

  • Conservative Media Mark Oil Spill Anniversary By Attacking Drilling Regulation

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    In the days leading up to the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a disaster that killed 11 men and resulted in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, conservative media figures have complained about federal oversight of drilling and have called for a swift increase in domestic oil production. This comes as news reports note that Congress has yet to enact reforms recommended by the National Oil Spill Commission, that the agency tasked with minimizing risks from offshore drilling lacks the resources to do so effectively, and that a design flaw in the blowout preventers has not been fixed.

  • Fox's Business crew launches a class war against the poor

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    On today's episode of Fox News' Cashin' In, Fox Business employees Cheryl Casone and Tracy Byrnes and regular FBN guest Jonathan Hoenig came up with a radical idea to solve America's national debt problem: Raise taxes on the poor!

    Casone got things started with a "Fox News Alert" about a new Congressional Budget Office report about average federal tax rates in 2007. She was so put off by the fact that millions of Americans earn so little income that they earn more in tax credits than they owe in federal taxes -- meaning they pay no federal income tax -- that she put forth the following question to Hoenig:

    CASONE: A new government report showing 40 percent of income tax filers are paying no income taxes at all, and are getting money back. And this has someone here saying enough is enough. You want America's debt mess cleaned up? It's time for all Americans to pay up.

    [...]

    So Jonathan, did we just find a way to solve America's debt crisis, do you think?

    She was asking if "a way to solve America's debt crisis" is to increase the tax burden of the poorest Americans. Note that according to the CBO report she cited, the average pretax income of the lowest 20 percent of households in 2007 -- that's half of the 40 percent of income tax filers she wants to "pay up" -- was $18,400.

    According to the 2007 poverty guidelines used by the Department of Health & Human Services, a family of four with an income of $20,650 is below the poverty line.

    Yes, Casone is proposing to balance our national debt on the backs of those Americans living in poverty.