Fox Exploits Stock Market Turbulence To Push GOP Policies, Major Tax Cuts

On August 24, major stock markets in the United States opened their trading sessions with significant declines and sustained losses of 3 to 5 percent throughout much of the morning. Fox News used the event to advocate on behalf of numerous failed Republican policy demands, such as major tax cuts for the wealthy and a significant roll back of federal regulations.

Fox Uses Tumbling Markets To Shill For Republican Policies

Fox's MacCallum Exploits Dow Drop To Demand “Dramatic” Tax Cuts. On the Aug. 24 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum was joined by Fox contributors Katie Pavlich and Mary Anne Marsh to discuss the morning's stock market losses. MacCallum claimed that the market plunge should refocus attention on the allegedly poor performance of the economy during the Obama administration and openly advocated that the president adopt Republican policies to “dramatically cut taxes and cut regulation.” Pavlich added that the Affordable Care Act was partly responsible for underlying weakness in the economy, falsely claiming that the law “killed a lot of jobs” while arguing for its repeal. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 8/24/15]

Fox's Gasparino: A Republican President Would Solve Market Crisis With “Tax Reform,” “Less Spending.” On the Aug. 24 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jenna Lee and Fox Business contributor Charles Gasparino discussed the sell-off and hinted that it could be indicative of investors' worry about a looming recession. He concluded that if a Republican is elected president in 2016 their likely policy prescriptions would be “good for the economy” and allay stock market concerns:

GASPARINO: This may not be an issue in 18 months, because you may have a Republican in the White House. And you're gonna get tax reform, you're gonna get less spending, and you're going to get-- you're gonna roll-back in regulations. Which I think is going to be good for the economy. [Fox News, Happening Now, 8/24/15]

Heritage's Steve Moore Points To Tax, Regulatory Reductions As Solution To Market Tumble. On the Aug. 24 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney and Heritage Foundation economist Steve Moore used the stock market setback to question whether or not the United States was moving “closer to recession.” Moore warned that “a sustained bear market” could push the economy toward recession, while claiming that the best solution to reinvigorate the economy was tax and regulatory reductions. Varney complained that Democratic policies were simply aimed to “beat up on the billionaires” and implored Republicans to focus on “lowering tax rates to go for [economic] growth.” [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 8/24/15]

Fox's Policy Prescriptions Won't Help The Economy

Vox: In Perspective, Market Sell-Off Is Only Marginal. In an August 24 post, Vox highlighted a tweet by economist Justin Wolfers putting the Monday morning market plunge (and its summary recovery) into perspective, showing the market has continued to gain over the last eight years, despite drops:

[Vox, 8/24/15]

Congressional Research Service: Tax Cuts Have No Positive Impact On Economic Growth. According to a September 2012 study from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), there is no evidence that reducing top marginal tax rates or capital gains rates stimulates economic growth. The CRS study, which reviewed data from 1945 through 2010, concluded that tax rates for the wealthy “do not appear correlated with economic growth,” but that reductions in top marginal rates does appear to contribute to growing economic inequality (emphasis added):

The results of the analysis suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth. The top tax rates appear to have little or no relation to the size of the economic pie.

However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. ... Tax policy could have a relation to how the economic pie is sliced--lower top tax rates may be associated with greater income disparities. [Congressional Research Service, September 2012]

Dire Obamacare Predictions Have All Fallen Flat. Right-wing media outlets have spent years arguing that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would hurt consumers, kill jobs, and fail in its primary objective of expanding health insurance coverage. The recent publications of four independent studies have shown that in every case their predictions were wrong. The Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report that found “no adverse effect” on employment caused by the ACA. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the number of uninsured individuals dropped by 15.8 Million people since 2013, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data that found half a million people took advantage of the ACA's fallback option for people who lost previous insurance coverage. [Media Matters, 8/17/15]