From the August 13 editions of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:
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On Fox News, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that the House tri-committee health care reform legislation includes "an employment tax," under which, "[e]very time a business hires a new worker, they'd have to pay an 8 percent tax." In fact, the "8 percent tax" is a penalty on certain employers who do not provide health care coverage to their employees, requiring them to pay 8 percent of their payroll; businesses that provide health care coverage would be exempt from the tax.
Conservative media figures have echoed House Minority Leader John Boehner's statement that "93% of the American people have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance" by arguing that because most Americans purportedly have access to health insurance, health care reform constitutes, in Fox News host Steve Doocy's words, "blowing up the system for 5 percent" who don't. These media figures have ignored that tens of millions of Americans are underinsured and that the reform bills contain several provisions intended to benefit those currently insured.
Several media figures on Fox News and Fox Business -- including Glenn Beck -- have blasted the National Endowment for the Arts for awarding Recovery Act grants to San Francisco arts organizations, claiming the grants will pay for "porn." However, those personalities ignored significant facts: Direct grants were only made to organizations that were screened to receive funding in the past, and every group they criticized previously received tens of thousands of dollars from the Bush administration.
On Fox News, Stephen Moore said of the Obama administration's plans for dealing with the economic situation: "The one thing this administration won't do is cut taxes." In fact, the recovery act included $288 billion in tax relief.
Conservatives in the media have continued to cite the findings of a widely disputed study by a Spanish economist to assert or suggest that the United States will lose two jobs for every one green job created if the American Clean Energy and Security Act passes.
The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore falsely accused Rep. Barney Frank of "involvement in giving a blank check to Fannie and Freddie," echoing the oft-repeated myth that Frank fought efforts to strengthen congressional oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Echoing a false GOP talking point, Stephen Moore claimed that "groups like ACORN" received money in the recovery act. In fact, the act does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding.
On CNBC, Stephen Moore falsely claimed that President Obama "never used the word 'entrepreneur' " in an April 14 speech. In fact, during the speech Obama said, "If businesses and entrepreneurs know today that we are closing this carbon pollution loophole, they'll start investing in clean energy now."
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The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore and Fox News anchors Bill Hemmer and Megyn Kelly promoted the falsehood -- which first appeared in a Bloomberg "commentary" by Betsy McCaughey and was subsequently promoted by Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge -- that the economic recovery bill includes a provision that would, in Moore's words, "hav[e] the government essentially dictate treatments." Limbaugh later took credit for spreading this story.
The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "has vowed ... to end the cap on Social Security taxes, which amounts to a tax hike on anyone who makes more than $100,000 in income," and he later asserted that "New York Rep. Joseph Crowley says a couple with earnings of $100,000 could be 'a police officer and nurse.' 'In New York City,' he adds, 'they'd be struggling.' " Moore's inclusion of a reference to "a couple ... [who] could be 'a police officer and nurse' " falsely suggests that Social Security taxes are assessed on households. In fact, Social Security payroll taxes are assessed on individual income.
Stephen Moore asserted that "a lot of the new [tax] revenue is coming from rich people," and then asked rhetorically, "if [Bush's tax cut] was a big tax cut for the rich, why are the rich paying more taxes than ever?" In fact, filers earning at least $200,000 paid less federal income tax in 2004 on average than they did in 2002.
Stephen Moore selectively cited Internal Revenue Service statistics in order to buttress his assertion that "[i]n the aftermath of the Bush investment tax cuts, the federal income tax burden has substantially shifted onto the backs of the wealthy." In fact, the reason that the total share of income tax paid by those making more than $200,000 increased between 2002 and 2004 is that the number of people earning at least that much increased substantially, as did the average income of people within that bracket. However, filers earning at least $200,000 actually paid an average of 4 percent less federal income tax in 2004 than they did in 2002, even though their average incomes increased 10 percent during the same period.