Fox Business maligned essential anti-poverty programs, deriding food stamps, unemployment insurance, and the Earned Income Tax Credit as “a form a welfare, income redistribution” and evidence that America now has an “entitlement mentality.”
Host Stuart Varney's attack on these programs came just as a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed just how essential these and other government programs are to keeping tens of millions of Americans out of poverty.
Arloc Sherman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that “public programs keep one in six Americans out of poverty -- primarily the elderly, disabled, and working poor -- and that the poverty rate would double without these programs.” The CBPP included a graph to show just how important these programs are for reducing poverty amongst millions of Americans:
Yet Varney bemoaned “all these people on food stamps,” Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit and unemployment insurance as “a form of welfare, income redistribution” and “entitlement mentality.” Watch:
Varney completely ignored the need for such programs to keep millions of Americans out of poverty. After guest and Democratic strategist Krystal Ball defended the social safety net, Fox's Charles Payne castigated poor people for not being embarrassed enough about their situation:
PAYNE: Krystal, there's no doubt that these are good programs. I think the real narrative here, though, is that people aren't embarrassed by it. People aren't ashamed by it. In other words, there was a time when people were embarrassed to be on food stamps. There was a time when people were embarrassed to be on unemployment for six months, let alone demanding to be on it for more than two years.
I think that's what Stu is trying to say, is that when the president says Wall Street is at fault, so, you are entitled to get anything that you want from the government, because it's not really your fault, no longer is the man being told to look in the mirror and cast down a judgment on himself. It's someone else's fault. So food stamps, unemployment, all of this stuff, is something that they probably earned in some indirect way.
Maybe it's Fox Business who should be ashamed of themselves.