Fox News host Neil Cavuto claimed that spending cuts that lead to austerity "will never happen," even as data show that continued cuts remain a drag on economic recovery. In fact, economists contend that if it weren't for government cuts, the unemployment rate would be lower.
Discussing the economy with Fox News contributor Dennis Kucinich on Friday, Cavuto argued for cutting spending to halt what he called the country's spending problem and lower the deficit. When Kucinich cautioned against sanctioning new austerity, Cavuto replied: "You have no reason to worry, my friend; that will never happen." He added: "We will never cut our way into austerity. We won't cut our way out into a paper bag."
Cavuto went on to dismiss the fact that the automatic spending cuts scheduled for March 1 would have further impact on slowing growth.
In reality, cuts in government spending in the last quarter of 2012 led the economy to shrink for the first time in more than three years. CNN Money reported that a "large cut in federal spending, primarily on defense, was one of the biggest drags on growth."According to the Wall Street Journal, "government spending, which has been a drag on growth for more than two years, declined for the ninth time in 10 quarters."
The New York Times quoted Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as saying that the drop in spending "is the tip of the iceberg on fiscal austerity from Washington." Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, told the Times that "we're being more austere than we need to be." He added: "The economy isn't growing that fast and you don't want to be taking away stimulus now."
Since the recession ended, the public sector has shed over 700,000 jobs. In a 2012 report, the Economic Policy Institute found that "if it weren't for state and local austerity, the labor market would have 2.3 million more jobs today; half of these jobs would be in the private sector." EPI added: "If all of these 2.3 million jobs had been filled, it is likely that the unemployment rate would now be between 6.7 percent and 7.5 percent." The unemployment rate currently stands at 7.9 percent. Even as the private sector has steadily added jobs, government cuts have held the economy back:
Moreover, experts argue that the across-the-board government spending cuts scheduled for March 1, commonly referred to as the "sequester," could halve U.S. economic growth and lead to one million lost jobs.
Conservative media voices have insisted that an increase of the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $9 would harm the economy. However, a wealth of economic evidence disputes the claims that minimum wage hikes are job killers, that the minimum wage is already high, and that it only applies to jobs held by relatively young workers.
From the February 14 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Multiple Fox News personalities have suggested the Justice Department's lawsuit against Standard & Poor's is 'political retribution,' either papering over or outright ignoring the facts behind the suit. However, the S&P investigation began well before U.S. credit was downgraded, and a raft of internal emails suggest the company may have knowingly inflated securities ratings.
From the February 4 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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From the January 29 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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Fox News contributor Monica Crowley attacked an immigration reform proposal by claiming the federal government has failed to protect the U.S.-Mexico border. However, recent reports show that undocumented migration from Mexico has come to a halt, and border security is at an all-time high.
After a bipartisan group of senators announced a proposal to overhaul the U.S. immigration system that will focus on -- among other initiatives -- border security and opening a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the country, Crowley blasted the federal government for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, causing states like Arizona to take matters of border security into their own hands. Crowley said drastic measures are needed because "the federal government either has not or will not enforce [the U.S.-Mexico] border."
However, Crowley's suggestion that current border security is not capable of enforcing our laws is wrong. An April 2012 report by the Pew Hispanic Center explained that net migration flow from Mexico to the U.S. has been reduced to zero and may be headed in the other direction:
After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants--most of whom came illegally--the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed, according to a new analysis of government data from both countries by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.
Among the causes for lower undocumented immigration, the report points to heightened border enforcement, increased amount of deportations, and the growing danger of illegal border crossings.
Conservative media have denigrated solar energy by denying its sustainability, ignoring its successes, and arguing the U.S. should simply cede the solar market to China. Yet this booming industry has made great strides, and with the right policies can become a major source of our power.
From the January 18 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:
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After President Obama announced an executive action clarifying that doctors are permitted -- but not required -- to discuss gun safety with patients, conservatives in the media trumpeted a number of falsehoods, including the baseless claim that Obama is requiring doctors to report all gun owners to law enforcement.
Media coverage of the debt ceiling frequently claims that raising the limit without simultaneous spending cuts would give President Obama a "blank check," repeating a pattern of promoting this false narrative -- or failing to correct it -- that occurred during the unprecedented brinkmanship of 2011. The phrase implies that the debt ceiling governs additional spending desired by the White House, when in fact it is a restriction on the executive branch's ability to borrow money to pay for spending measures already enacted by Congress.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto and Fox guest Stephen Moore agreed that President Obama is wrong to suggest that federal spending growth is driven by health care costs, when in fact Obama is right. Health care spending is the only category of federal spending projected to grow substantially over the next two decades, and government health insurance is actually more efficient than private sector insurance. And the president's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains provisions that aims to contain and reduce national health care costs.
Fox and right-wing media figures defended Republican House Speaker John Boehner's decision to cancel a vote on an aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Following sharp bipartisan criticism over that decision, Boehner agreed to a vote this week.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto claimed that the recent deal to avoid ending tax cuts for all Americans adds "4 trillion in new spending." But the $4 trillion estimate is not new spending; rather, it's lost revenue in comparison to what would have been collected if all the Bush tax cuts expired.
Discussing the January 1 tax deal on Your World, Cavuto claimed that the deal expands government spending "to the tune of $4 trillion over the next ten years."
An on-screen graphic also claimed the deal would add $4 trillion in spending over ten years:
But the $4 trillion estimate, which was published by the Congressional Budget Office, is lost revenue in comparison to what would have been collected if all the Bush tax cuts expired. Politico reported that the CBO's estimates "attribute most of the cost to lost revenues or payments on refundable tax credits." The Hill also pointed out that nearly all of the deficit increase would be due to an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts:
The Senate deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" will add roughly $4 trillion to the deficit when compared to current law, according to new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The extension of lower tax rates for the bulk of the nation's taxpayers and the addition of a patch to the Alternative Minimum Tax would add roughly $3.6 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, the CBO said. Other individual, business and energy tax extenders would add another $76 billion. The extension of unemployment benefits would cost roughly $30 billion, and the so-called "doc fix" would tally another $25 billion through fiscal 2022.
In addition, according to Politico, "CBO begins its analysis from its March current law baseline that assumes all of Bush-era tax cuts would expire at New Year's Day, and therefore gives no deficit-reduction credit for the fact that the deal begins to raise rates for the wealthiest Americans." Politico continued:
Yet since last spring the CBO itself has warned that if nothing were done, the so-called "fiscal cliff" combination of tax increases and automatic spending cuts could throw the country back into recession. In the same way, critics would argue that the deficit estimates now don't give enough credit to the improved economic growth that could result from the tax cuts.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto defended Republican House Speaker John Boehner from criticism after Boehner reportedly told Democratic Senator Harry Reid, "Go f*** yourself."
Politico reported that in the midst of negotiations to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases that were scheduled for January 1, Boehner verbally attacked Reid:
House Speaker John Boehner couldn't hold back when he spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the White House lobby last Friday.
It was only a few days before the nation would go over the fiscal cliff, no bipartisan agreement was in sight, and Reid had just publicly accused Boehner of running a "dictatorship" in the House and caring more about holding onto his gavel than striking a deal.
"Go f*** yourself," Boehner sniped as he pointed his finger at Reid, according to multiple sources present.
Reid, a bit startled, replied: "What are you talking about?"
Boehner repeated: "Go f*** yourself."
On Your World, Cavuto claimed that criticism of Boehner was "not fair" and said the remark was "entirely justified" because Boehner "risked his job" by agreeing to raise taxes "without so much as a token gesture in spending cuts in return from Harry Reid." He concluded:
CAVUTO: It is a wonder Boehner didn't curse more. It is even more of a wonder why the media didn't wish he did. That's not fair, that's not right, that is wrong. Would it ever kill us to get the other side of the story? Would we ever try?