Fox News and Fox Business figures have been attacking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on his tax policy, especially in the days after he announced he would attempt to end tax cuts enacted by the Trump administration in 2017.
Attacking Biden’s tax policy is one of a few strategies Fox hosts have employed when trying to vilify the candidate's overall economic proposals. In the wake of Biden’s speech unveiling his economic proposals on July 9, Fox prime-time host Laura Ingraham wasted no time in calling Biden’s plan a “road map to ruin,” and host Sean Hannity listed higher taxes when contrasting the supposed 2020 platforms, saying, “Our very way of life hangs in the balance.”
Anchors, hosts, and contributors on both channels have consistently claimed that a Biden presidency would tank the economy, railing against him for potentially raising taxes, and in some cases suggesting Biden was being unduly influenced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
But the specific policy these figures repeatedly brought up is Biden’s proposal to eliminate some of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which in actuality would not ruin the economy since most taxpayers see little of their benefits. These cuts, which were marketed as a win for the middle class by Trump and Fox, continue to disproportionately advantage the wealthy and are failing to live up to promises that they would help the middle class and pay for themselves.
- On her June 30 show, Ingraham ranted against Biden’s June 29 comments that he would end most of the 2017 tax cuts, saying, “If Biden wins, every American will be paying more taxes, not to pay down the debt or help the elderly, but to give AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)] and company more money to wreak havoc on the country that you love. Meaning more anti-American propaganda in the schools, more attacks on the nuclear family and the big green deal.” Ingraham also claimed that if Biden got rid of those 2017 tax cuts, which, again, continue to overwhelmingly benefit the rich, it would ruin people's 401(k) retirement accounts.
- Fox contributor Jason Chaffetz appeared on the July 3 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight and claimed that a Biden presidency and subsequent raise in taxes would take the country in the “wrong, wrong, wrong direction.” Dobbs agreed and said the markets would go south at the prospect of a Biden presidency, saying the possibility is “scary stuff.”
- Fox Business host Charles Payne appeared on the June 26 edition of America’s Newsroom and suggested that Biden is “going to be so beholden to the left if he wins” that he will not only get rid of the tax cuts, but also go “a lot further.” Payne also suggested that these policies would tank the stock market.
- Payne repeated the refrain that eliminating tax cuts would crash the market on the July 1 edition of his Fox Business show, Making Money with Charles Payne.
- And Payne appeared on Varney & Co. on July 9 to attack Biden’s tax proposals and claimed, “It’s pretty clear that the stock market wants President Trump to be reelected,” adding that for “an economy as vulnerable as ours is going to be going into next year, to actually see higher taxes would be economic suicide.”
- On July 2, all three hosts of Fox & Friends fretted about the potential end of the 2017 tax cuts.
- Fox Business host David Asman interviewed former California Republican Party Chair Tom Del Beccaro to discuss Biden’s tax plan on the June 30 edition of The Evening Edit. Del Beccaro claimed it would “saddle the whole economy with tax hikes that will go directly after job creators.”
- Fox Business contributor Phil Flynn claimed on the July 1 edition of The Claman Countdown that a Biden presidency is “the biggest threat to the market right now.
- Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis and contributor Gary Kaltbaum criticized Biden’s plan to raise taxes on the June 30 edition of After the Bell. Francis opened the discussion by sarcastically claiming, “What a great idea: If the economy is in a slump, what you really want to do is raise taxes because that’s just the smartest thing you can do.” Kaltbaum replied that if he had Biden’s ear, he “would simply say: No, Joe.”
Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo has repeatedly focused on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s hypothetical role in a Biden presidency, fearmongering about higher taxes resulting from the senator's potential influence on Biden. During Warren’s campaign for president, Bartiromo pushed similar nonsense that a Warren presidency would tank the economy and ruin the American dream.
- On the June 29 edition of America’s Newsroom, Bartiromo predicted a mass sell-off if Biden becomes president, because “in a Biden presidency, the most important voice, economically speaking, will be Elizabeth Warren. … Her voice will be critical in terms of economic policy.” Bartiromo also said, “I think once the market starts understanding the impact, we will probably see a sell-off.”
- On July 1, Bartiromo claimed her sources were telling her Warren would be key to Biden’s economic policy, adding, “She wants higher taxes overall.”
- On the July 2 edition of Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, Bartiromo asked Federated Hermes chief investment officer Stephen Auth if markets would trade down on a Biden presidency with Warren as the key economic voice. Auth replied, “I don’t think it’s good news for markets,” and suggested Trump should call Biden “‘tax-and-regulate Joe’ instead of ‘sleepy Joe.'"