As Fox's "very clearly partisan" economic analyst, Stuart Varney has been a vocal advocate for the wealthy while leading a crusade against the poor, including attacking policies intended to benefit low-income workers. He even went so far as to double down on his criticism of poor Americans for owning appliances by claiming that “many of them have things -- what they lack is the richness of spirit.” Varney's antagonism toward the poor even became so great at one point that he departed from his normal tax cut mantra to criticize the Earned Income Tax Credit, a program that reduces the tax burden for low-income workers and has been proven effective in lifting families out of poverty, as a “welfare scheme.”
On this morning's Fox & Friends, where Varney holds a regular segment purporting to reveal “Who's ruining the economy,” Varney reacted to reports that San Francisco will be the first city in the nation to raise its minimum wage to more than $10 by claiming that “this is not a reason to stand up and cheer” and that it's “probably not” a “good deal” for workers. Varney railed against the wage increase by suggesting that the “massive increase in labor costs” would not lead to “any more jobs” and concluded by complaining that the “state [is] dictating what [employers] are going to pay.” Watch:
However, as is usually the case with Varney, his analysis is off the mark and leaves out some facts. The San Francisco minimum wage hike stems from voters passing a proposition in 2003 that requires the minimum wage to increase each year, tying it to inflation and cost of living. And while it is true that the city's 32-cent minimum wage increase will make it the highest in the nation, nonpartisan analyses have shown that increases in minimum wage do not affect the employment rate.
But false and misleading economic analyses are par for the course for Varney. He's a consistent voice for the right-wing myths that the stimulus failed, that the government is banning incandescent light bulbs, that cutting taxes (but only for the wealthy, remember) increases revenues, that green energy is a waste of time and money, and that the problem with the deficit is spending, not revenue. He has incessantly complained that Obama is a socialist, who is “committed to wealth redistribution.” If Varney's crusade to defend the wealthy while attacking the poor doesn't totally erode his credibility as an economic “analyst,” his awful record of misinformation should.