Fox's Bret Baier misleadingly cited recent polling to falsely imply Americans are evenly split on whether income taxes should be raised for the wealthy. In fact, 60 percent of voters support some form of increase in income taxes.
During a report on Friday previewing President Obama's speech on the economy and his administration's plan to work with Congress on solving the fiscal crisis, Baier suggested Obama would argue that the election “sent a message” that Americans “are for this balanced approach, to have the wealthy pay their fair share.”
Baier then cited election-night polls that he said did not show “a definitive answer” as to how voters feel about raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 -- which is part of Obama's solution to the economic crisis. Baier stated: “On the question of -- on income tax rates, you have 47 percent wanting an increase for only those above $250,000, 35 percent no increase, on tax increases, and 13 percent for increase for all.” He concluded: “So basically, 47 percent want 250,000, or above and 48 percent don't raise them at all or raise them for everyone.”
He concluded: “So, you know, if you look at the exit polls, there's not really a definitive answer.”
But that 48 percent statistic he cited comes from adding the numbers of those who would prefer no tax increase on anyone and those who favor increasing them on everyone -- which are two completely different indicators. Indeed, what the poll actually shows is that 60 percent of Americans support some form of tax increase.
Other polls confirm this view. An October 12 Pew Research Center survey found that 64 percent of Americans support increasing taxes on households making more than $250,000, which echoed the findings of a December 2011 survey concluding that 57 percent of Americans feel wealthy people don't pay their fair share of taxes.
An Associated Press poll in August found that 53 percent of Americans would choose to raise taxes rather than cut Social Security benefits for future generations.