Trump Shill: If You Get Your News From Fox News You Probably Like the GOP Tax Scam

Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress are hurtling headlong into passage of tax bill that will materially alter the tax code in ways that harm most Americans. It is flagrantly biased in favor of corporations and the wealthy with toxic provisions that will sabotage healthcare and cripple Social Security and Medicare. The GOP refused to hold hearings on the bill or even allow Democrats to review it prior to voting. Much of it was written by corporate lobbyists. And without any justification for their haste, Republicans are ramming it through before the already strong opposition becomes impossible to ignore.

foxnews-mulvaney

As usual, whenever Republicans require a boost in propaganda they turn to Fox News. They know that they can present whatever bullshit they want and that there will be no one to challenge their lies. They took advantage of that Thursday morning when they sent Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, to the studios of Fox and Friends to pimp the tax bill. He received precisely the welcome that he expected as co-host Steve Doocy offered up a softball for Mulvaney to hit out of the park. Surprisingly, Mulvaney took a wild swing that landed in foul territory (video below):

Doocy: People don’t like to pay taxes so you would think that this would be a good story for you. And yet, Mick, the Quinnipiac poll came out and shows that fifty-five percent of Americans don’t like it, as opposed to twenty-six percent who do. Can you explain to me why people don’t like the idea of a tax cut?
Mulvaney: Sure, because if you turn to any channel besides this one, all you’re going to hear is bad news about this particular bill. […] No one is focusing, as you folks do, on what’s good for people in this bill. So if you get your news here, you probably like it because your focused on what’s good for you. But if not, you don’t.

So the only reason Mulvaney had for people not liking the bill was that they weren’t watching enough Fox News. Or worse, they drifted from their “news” teet at Fox and were exposed to actual facts and honest scrutiny. Doocy was taking a chance by citing the Quinnipiac poll which he correctly quoted as showing a historic disapproval rating, especially for something being pitched as a tax cut. The poll provided an explanation for that which Fox News left out entirely. Nearly seventy percent of those polled said the bill favors the wealthy and only twenty-one percent think that it will help the middle class. In other words, people can see through the GOP spin and recognize a fraud when it’s right in front of their faces.

However, what was most interesting about Mulvaney’s response was that he explicitly admitted that Fox News was a pit of partisan bias where viewers would get only the conservative perspective peddled by the White House. He praised the “Curvy Couch” potatoes for being sycophantic hucksters upon whom he could rely to spew the government line. Just like state-run TV outlets are supposed to do. Heaven forbid that the American people might ever get an unbiased analysis of this bill that contained actual facts derived from independent experts. That isn’t what Fox News was created for, and it surely isn’t what they did this morning. Welcome to the American Pravda, now proudly out of the propaganda closet.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

All Foxed Up: The Humiliating Attempt By Fox News to Credit Trump for Obama’s Economy

It’s no secret that Fox News is the official PR division of Donald Trump’s administration. They relentlessly defend the President from any and all criticism and attack his political opponents in the most vile and dishonest terms. Fox News is worse than state-run TV. They are fully involved co-conspirators to the criminal enterprise operating out of the White House.

Fox News

Another example of just how far Fox News will go to fluff Trump occurred on his favorite TV show, Fox and Friends. This episode featured a feverishly biased “economist” who managed to get through an entire interview without citing a single economic fact. The segment began with co-host Pete Hegseth introducing a thoroughly false premise (video below):

“Under President Trump the U.S. economy continues to surge. Last month alone saw 40,000 new manufacturing jobs. Big number. And that’s just one example. But a familiar face is trying to steal President Trump’s credit.”

Hegseth’s opening was hardly fair and balanced (a slogan that Fox doesn’t use anymore). Besides cherry-picking data regarding the state of the economy, he states as a matter of fact that credit is being stolen from Trump. And the thief is, predictably, an unemployed black man. Then he plays a clip of President Obama:

“As we took these actions we saw the U.S. economy grow consistently. We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history, by far. A streak that still continues, by the way. Thanks Obama.”

Upon completion of the clip Hegseth abandons any editorial independence and asks “Shouldn’t we be thanking President Trump?” That question was thrown to University of Maryland Professor Peter Morici, who unhesitatingly agrees with Hegseth that Trump deserves all the credit for the current state of the economy. His scholarly justification for that assessment is that:

“President Obama reads from a very simple textbook of economics. All the problems in the world are caused by Republicans and when Republicans are in they cause nothing but problems.”

What’s missing from that economic analysis is anything remotely related to economics. It’s a brazenly political insult that completely avoids any factual basis. In other words, Morici has done his job as a Fox News analyst perfectly. Never get bogged down with facts when smear tactics are available.

Morici went on to concede that “during the Obama administration they created jobs, for sure,” but then he falsely asserted that it was at a slow pace. He compared Obama’s record to that of Ronald Reagan. Which makes you wonder why he didn’t bother to compare it to Trump’s. Perhaps because in the past ten months of Trump’s presidency job growth has significantly slowed. In fact, it has been the slowest ten months in over five years.

Hegseth interrupted Morici to provide additional ammunition for the argument that Trump is the savior of the American economy. He cited the thirty percent growth of the stack market (but left out that it more than doubled during the Obama years). He noted that GDP had grown in a couple of quarters by three precent (which also happened during Obama’s administration). And he praised Trump for the 4.1 percent unemployment rate (a figure that was an extension of Obama’s jobs policies).

What both Hegseth and Morici ignored is that there isn’t any Trump economy. He has done literally nothing that might have impacted any economic metrics. There has been no legislation passed relating to jobs, budget, debt, or anything else economy related. Consequently, the nation is still running on the programs put in place during Obama’s administration. The only thing that Republicans can cite as evidence of their impact is a vague claim to a “mood” in the country that has allegedly advanced the economy. So their whole argument is based on a feeling. How cute.

Morici’s closing argument was rooted firmly in typical “trickle-down” economics that have been proven repeatedly to be a right-wing hoax. And he had the gall to assert that after eight years of record growth, a continuation of the Obama plan would reduce America’s economy to that of North Korea’s. Of course, he never bothered to substantiate that bit of ultra-nonsense. And then he rattled of some of the Trumpian things he said help the economy, including tax cuts, infrastructure spending, immigration reform, and cutting entitlements. None of which have been implemented.

So in the end, Morici and Hegseth relied solely on emotional irrelevancies and their political biases to celebrate Trump’s successes that don’t exist. And somehow from that they conclude that Obama was the one stealing credit. But at least they can rest easily that their audience will believe whatever unfounded crap they dish out. That’s the benefit of having Fox News around to spread propaganda to the gullible yokels who are dumb enough to watch.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

America’s Most Hated President is Pushing a Despised Congress to Pass an Unpopular Tax Bill

We all need to let this sink in. The Republican-controlled Congress is frantically trying to get a tax bill to Donald Trump’s desk before he is impeached. The bill itself is a redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich and corporations. It will balloon the national debt and cause millions to lose their health insurance. But all of this is being pursued under extraordinarily peculiar circumstances.

Paul Ryan

What we are witnessing is a spectacle headlined by the least popular president in modern times. His approval ratings would need to improve substantially to reach the gutter. Gallup has him at a death-defying thirty-five percent. That’s just two points off of his all-time low of thirty-three percent earlier this week. He’s been mired in the low thirties for months. He has never risen above the forty-six percent he achieved at his inauguration.

The Congress is faring even worse. They are currently suffering an approval rating of only thirteen percent. That’s down by more than half from the already awful rating they had at the beginning of this session. Considering the fact that they have passed no significant legislation at all since then, it isn’t hard to understand the decline. All they have done is tried (and failed) three times to kill the popular ObamaCare program and find ways to defend Trump’s ignorance and divisiveness.

So Congress is going all in on a tax “reform” bill that promises to boost the economy, create millions of jobs, and cut taxes for everybody, without raising the debt. All of that has proven to be outright lies. The wealthy will be the only beneficiaries of this bill, while most middle class Americans will see tax increases. And the deficit will rise by more than a trillion dollars. Not surprisingly, this bill has garnered little support among the public. A paltry twenty-nine percent of voters support the GOP Tax Scam. More than half (56%) oppose it.

So what we have here is the most hated President in modern times pushing a despised Congress to pass a bitterly unpopular tax bill. It’s a thoroughly Republican project that got zero votes from Democrats. Nevertheless, the GOP is pulling out all the stops to force this garbage down the country’s throat whether they like it or not (they don’t).

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

And throughout the process we are being told lies by representatives who have lost any pretense of decency. They are even going so far as to support a child molester for the senate in Alabama to insure they have the votes they need for this abhorrent legislation. Let’s hope the American people remember this betrayal by their so-called representatives and vote them out of office next November. Then we can get on with the business of impeaching the traitor in the White House.

WTF? Trump’s Treasury Secretary Says GOP Tax Plan Restores Great Depression Policies

When Donald Trump returns from his “Humiliate America Tour” of Asia he will be greeted by politics and scandals that he cannot continue to avoid. His embrace of Vladimir Putin, the ongoing investigation into his collusion with Russia, indictments of his campaign and administration staffers, sexual abuse by GOP senate candidate Roy Moore, and the already floundering Republican attempt at tax reform.

Donald Trump

Trump has dived hair first into the tax debate with his customary aversion to the truth. On multiple occasions he has referred to the still stewing tax legislation as the “biggest tax cut in history.” It isn’t. But that didn’t stop his Treasury Secretary (aka the Foreclosure King), Steve Mnuchin, from lying to CNN’s Jake Tapper on behalf of his pathological boss (video below). In this exchange Mnuchin attempts a shady two-step to relocate the goalposts to another county. Tapper addresses the falsehood that Trump is proposing the biggest tax cut in history:

Tapper: We’ve tried to find a way that this is true, but it’s not.
Mnuchin: This will be the largest change since President Reagan.

A large change since Reagan is not the same thing as the biggest cut ever. Tapper displayed several different ways to calculate the tax impact of the Trump bill, but none of them achieved the ludicrous claims of Mnuchin and the President. So Mnuchin reloads and aims to move the goal posts even further by pointing out that just the corporate tax rate would drop from thirty-five percent to twenty. That, of course, has no impact on the tax bills of average Americans. And it still doesn’t support Trump’s gross exaggerations.

Undeterred, Mnuchin followed that up with perhaps the worst defense of fiscal policy imaginable. He bragged that the pass-through tax rate (which mainly benefits large corporations) “is gonna be the lowest rate since the 1930’s.” So Mnuchin is expressing outright pride that his plan matches the one in effect during the Great Depression. Really?

The big lie that Mnuchin, Trump, et al, relentlessly propagate is that our current tax system makes the U.S. uncompetitive. And they say this at the same time that they brag about how great the American economy is doing. Trump praises himself regularly for the historic performance of the stock market (although he has nothing to do with that). But if that’s true, why would we need to give more tax breaks to the very people and businesses who are already disproportionately prospering? Especially at a time when there are so many other critical demands for resources, including natural disaster relief, healthcare, infrastructure, and deficit reduction.

The goal of the Republican Party has always been to restore the economic principles that benefit their primary constituency and donors – corporations. These are the same principles that brought about the Great Recession of 2008, and most other financial disasters. And that includes the Great Depression. However, we do not often hear them so openly admit that this is their objective. It’s bad enough that these robber barons are constantly trying to steal from the American people to enrich themselves. But when they are so comfortable that they feel no need to disguise what they’re doing, it’s a sure sign of trouble ahead.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Twitter Scorches Fox News and Trump for Taking Credit for Obama’s Economy

The big economic news on Friday was that 33,000 jobs were lost in September. It was the first time in seven years that the jobs numbers went negative. Most reports were quick to cite the rash of hurricanes that plagued the nation in recent weeks. However, the job growth statistics throughout 2017 have lagged behind the same time period in 2016.

Donald Trump economy

It’s no coincidence that Donald Trump and Fox News have been bragging about the performance of the stock market. It’s an easy, albeit deceitful, distraction from the other bad news of the day. Never mind that stocks are currently in the second longest bull market in history and that it started in 2009 under President Obama. Trump has done literally nothing that would change the momentum of Obama’s economy. Not a single economic bill has reached his desk for signature. But that hasn’t stopped him and his propaganda division at Fox News from trying to steal the credit, as demonstrated in these tweets:

The wealth increase that Fox News is touting is based solely on the rise of equities. Not only is it false to describe that as “the nation’s wealth,” it is a fluid indicator that could reverse course tomorrow. Indeed, many stock analysts regard the market’s current position as overvalued. These analysts are predicting a “correction” that could send the markets down ten or twenty percent. What’s more, the soaring stock market does not reflect the economic realities of most Americans. Other economic indicators (i.e. wages) are showing only small advances. The beneficiaries of stock gains are predominantly the usual suspects of the GOP (Greedy One Percent).

Some of these discrepancies were observed by the Twitter community, who proceeded to bludgeon Fox for their bullshit. A few of the notable comments follow:

It’s always dangerous to rely on stock market performance to validate the economy. There are too many factors that can shift investor sentiment. And with Trump’s saber-rattling over nukes with both North Korea and Iran he’s playing with fire, literally. And if that doesn’t sink the markets, then his proposed tax plan, which will benefit only the rich and blow up the deficit, will do the job.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Says His Tax Reform Plan Is ‘Not Good For Me, Believe Me’ – Hell No. Release YOUR Taxes!

This week Donald Trump suffered another legislative defeat as his latest attempt to kill ObamaCare was declared dead (again). So he traveled to Indiana on Wednesday to deliver a speech on his next project, tax reform. He promised to spell out the details of the plan that he will present to Congress. For the most part it was a rehashed jumble of familiar Republican proposals that rotted on the vine decades ago.

Donald Trump

Trump’s snake oil speech peddled such scams as eliminating the estate tax, that affects only 0.2 percent of taxpayers. He also wants to nix the Alternative Minimum Tax that insures that wealthy folks like himself can’t pile up deductions and pay nothing. Corporations will cheer Trump’s proposal to cut their tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Never mind that the current schedule hasn’t stopped them from achieving record profits. He would also give them a privileged rate to repatriate offshore funds. It’s ironic that Trump has no problem demeaning the patriotism of people who protest systemic racism, but corporation that hoard money abroad to keep it out of U.S. treasuries – where it would benefit all Americans – are patriotic victims of the system.

Virtually everything in Trump’s plan would benefit corporations and the rich. His proposed tax brackets of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent, would insure that those with higher income would bear a smaller share of the overall tax burden. At this time Trump has left out popular deductions for things like mortgage interest, charitable donations, or medical expenses. And all of this would supposedly be paid for by a growing economy. Except that that theory has been proven false every time Republicans implemented it in the past. And especially now, when economic recovery is in its eighth year and unemployment is at historic lows, it would have little to no impact.

So it was jarring to hear the President champion this creaky GOP sham as beneficial to low income earners. But to make matters worse, he adorned his gift to rich Americans with this shameless claim to selflessness (video below):

“Our framework includes an explicit commitment that tax refom will protect low income and middle income households, not the wealthy and well-connected. They can call me all they want. Not gonna help. I’m doing the right thing. And it’s not good for me, believe me.”

Believe you? Why the hell would anyone do that? If there’s one thing that Donald Trump is known for, it’s lying. His rated comments at PolitiFact are 69 percent “Mostly False, False” or “Pants on Fire.” He has been scored as telling a lie on average every three minutes. And the Washington Post has collected over 1,000 lies Trump has told since his inauguration.

More to the point, asking people to believe him about his taxes is the height of hubris. Despite promising to release his tax returns during the campaign, he now adamantly refuses to do so. Why would he break that campaign promise unless there was something seriously damaging in his taxes? It could be that he isn’t the success story he claims to be. Or maybe there are blatant violations of the law. It could reveal associations with mobsters. Or even worse – Russians. Anyone who is dumb enough to take Trump at his word should not be allowed outside of an institution. And if Trump wants to us to accept his claim that his tax proposals won’t benefit him, all he has to do is release his taxes. Don’t hold your breath.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Warren Buffett Blasts GOP Healthcare Bill as the ‘Relief for the Rich Act’

On Tuesday the Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, was forced to make an embarrassing announcement. After insisting that the Senate would vote on the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill before the July fourth recess, he has now removed it from the schedule. He had a good reason. There was no way it pass. At least nine Republican senators had indicated that they would vote no.

Warren Buffet

The so-called “Better Care Reconciliation Act” is not only unpopular with some senate Republicans. Recent polling shows that the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to it. The USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll puts its approval at only twelve percent. The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll is only slightly better with seventeen percent of Americans approving. That includes support from only thirty-five percent of Republicans. [And this just in: Even the latest poll from Fox News shows approval at only twenty-seven percent. Twice as many oppose]

These are disastrous numbers for any public policy. It’s startling that the GOP would even be interested in pursuing this farce. And yet, McConnell continues to be optimistic about its prospects for passage. So does Donald Trump, who just met with the GOP senate caucus and celebrated their non-achievement.

Among the skeptics of the Republican plan to make twenty-two million more people uninsured is billionaire investor Warren Buffett. In an interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff (video below), Buffett made his opinion crystal clear. He expressed his support for a more inclusive healthcare plan saying that single-payer “probably is the best system.” Then he outlined what is one of the most troubling and unfair aspects in the GOP bill in the following exchange:

Woodruff: “One of the things the Republicans are looking at, as you know very well, is doing away with the so-called Obamacare surcharge on people earning a higher income. So, Republicans are looking at taking that away, or doing away with that, which would mean a tax cut, you have said, for people like you.”

Buffett: “Well, I brought my tax return along for the last year. I filed this on April 15. And if the Republican — well, if the bill that passed the House with 217 votes had been in effect this year, I would have saved — I can give you the exact figure. I would have saved $679,999, or over 17 percent of my tax bill.

“There’s nothing ambiguous about that. I will be given a 17 percent tax cut. And the people it’s directed at are couples with $250,000 or more of income. You could entitle this, you know, Relief for the Rich Act or something, because it — I have got friends where it would have saved them as much as — it gets into the $10-million-and-up figure.

Bringing in his tax return to provide a tangible example of how the wealthy would benefit was a nice touch. It was an effective method to drive the point home. But it was also subtle dig at Trump, who still refuses to release any of his tax returns. And Buffett had something to say on the subject of politicians feathering their own nests as well:

“I might point out — it might be an interesting question. I think members of the Senate and the House get $174,000 a year. But most of them have — if you look at the disclosures, they have substantial other income. If they get to higher than $250,000, as a married couple, or $200,000 as a single person, they have given themselves a big, big tax cut, if they — if they voted for this.”

Indeed. The median net worth of members of Congress is slightly more a million dollars. Fifty-one percent are millionaires. Obviously, they would personally profit from the changes proposed in the Republican bill. And that profit comes at the expense of millions of Americans being thrown off of their insurance plans. Millions more would suffer higher premiums and deductibles, fewer services, and denial of coverage for preexisting conditions.

Buffett has long been an advocate for average Americans, despite his great good fortune. His critical observation that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary became known as the “Buffett Rule.” He’s a shining example of a Patriotic Millionaire (billionaire) who puts the welfare of his country and fellow citizens above his own personal interests. It’s the sort of compassion that Republicans ought to exercise when crafting their healthcare bill. But then, why would they start now? They have never done it before.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Gets Schooled By Nebraska Farmer on Dangers of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Today is Earth Day and there are tens of thousands of people around the world attending the March for Science. Meanwhile, on Fox News, host Sandra Smith is interrogating a mild-mannered farmer from Nebraska about why he and ninety others are opposing the Keystone XL pipeline. (Video below)

Fox News Keystone XL

Art Tanderup represents a group of family farmers whose land and businesses would be put at risk by the pipeline. His appearance on Fox News was rather risky as well considering the network’s blatant support for the fossil fuel industry. Smith began the segment with a question that focused on an overtly partisan premise:

“President Trump has argued that the pipeline construction would bring new jobs. But the whole thing is now in the hands of a state regulatory board […] What is you goal here?”

Trump’s support for Keystone rests on a foundation of disinformation. Independent analysts agree that the the project would create about thirty-five permanent jobs. But even if it created more, that wouldn’t justify destroying communities and the livelihoods of private citizens.

Nevertheless, Tanderup responded to the question without addressing the political overtones. He said that the goal is to “leave the tar sands in the ground and move more rapidly to renewable fuels.” Elaborating on that he continued:

“After we learned how destructive the chemicals and the tar sands are, we have come to realize that this type of fossil fuel should not be happening. It doesn’t matter where it’s at. We need to look for other sources of renewable energy.”

But Fox’s Smith was undeterred. She continued using the President as wedge for her questioning. Or perhaps to remind her viewers that this farmer is contradicting their commander-in-chief.

“Those that support the Keystone XL pipeline, like the President, say that this is the best economic and the best solution for the native plants and animals of these areas. Considering that it’s a lot less dangerous than transporting this fuel by rail. What do you say to that?”

Tanderup was prepared for that angle and unbothered by the presidential name dropping. He noted that often underground pipeline leaks are not discovered for years. Consequently, they produce more damage over time than more visible rail accidents. So Smith changed directions and asked a leading question about energy independence. That led to this exchange:

Smith: We all want to achieve energy independence in this country. This was an effort and a step in that direction. How do you achieve that?”
Tanderup: Well first of all, this is not American oil, and it is going across America…
Smith: “But it’s coming from Canada, rather than the Middle East, would be the argument.”
Tanderup: “That’s true, but it’s going across America to be refined and exported, which is not for America’s use.”

Notice that Smith was fact-checked live about her contention that energy independence had anything to do with this. It doesn’t. But even then she attempted to imply that Canadian oil was the same as American. It’s not. And Tanderup’s obvious knowledge of the subject left her floundering.

This brief segment is a profound summary of the whole Keystone XL debate. The pipeline does not create the jobs that supporters claim. The oil is not American, so it doesn’t contribute to energy independence. And the refined oil is intended for export to Europe and Asia. So it isn’t helping to reduce American fuel imports. And if this Nebraskan farmer can get it right, so can Fox News. Which is the best evidence that Fox is deliberately getting it wrong to advance their right-wing political agenda.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Robert Reich: Why Trump’s Plan to Strip the IRS is Incredibly Dumb (Video)

Anyone looking for idiotic ideas from the Donald Trump administration wouldn’t have to dig very deep before hitting the mother lode. Some of the more obvious examples include a health care plan so reviled they didn’t even bring it up for a vote. Cutting taxes for the rich. Building a wall on the southern border. Banning all Muslims from entering the country. And denying the catastrophic effects of climate change. But wait, there’s more.

Robert Reich Trump IRS

Robert Reich addressed a new Republican folly in a short but poignant video (posted below). He details how the GOP, in a committed effort to advance the cause of stupidity, put forward a proposal to cut the budget of the IRS by 14 percent. Apparently, having nothing else to do, they’ve had plenty of time to come up with ever more asinine initiatives.

In this case they found one that is a win-win for Republicans who hate government in general and the IRS in particular. This proposal would make it harder for the IRS to carry out its responsibilities. Thus, it would open up the agency to criticism for inefficiency that was created by this very cut. It would also create inefficiencies in every other branch of government that is starved for revenue by the reduced tax receipts. Which in turn would make those branches subject to criticism as well. By leaving untold billions of legitimately owed taxes uncollected, the federal deficit would skyrocket. Then, of course, the GOP’s pseudo-deficit hawks would whine about that and use it as a phony justification to cut more programs for the poor and middle-class.

What’s more, efforts by a crippled IRS to audit greedy corporations and millionaires would be severely curtailed. Consequently, they would have free rein to continue robbing the American people. Billions of dollars necessary to run critical federal programs like Social Security, the military, public safety (food, water, consumer products, etc.), transportation and infrastructure, medical research, criminal prosecution and prevention, and so much more, would be lost to fraud. These proposed cuts would come on top of previous cuts that have already hamstrung the IRS. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in a detailed and enlightening analysis

“[P]olicymakers should not ignore the damaging effects of the significant cuts that have occurred in IRS funding, which remains well below its 2010 level even before adjusting for inflation. The cuts have led the IRS to reduce its workforce, severely scale back employee training, and delay much-needed upgrades to information technology systems. These steps, in turn, have weakened the IRS’s ability to enforce the nation’s tax laws and serve taxpayers efficiently” […]

“[F]rom a fiscal perspective, starving the IRS makes no sense, as the return on the investment is high. Each additional $1 spent on IRS enforcement yields $6 of additional revenue from collecting taxes owed.”

Nowhere else in the federal government can spending generate that kind of return on investment. It’s just plain nuts to eliminate such a productive method of raising funds. Especially when it doesn’t rely on new taxes or gutting useful programs. These cuts would have the triple purpose of weakening vital services upon which every American relies, granting amnesty to tax cheats everywhere, and artificially creating excuses to lash out at Big Government.

In the end, it is law abiding Americans who will have to shoulder the burden for these deadbeats. And let’s not forget that Trump himself is among those who would benefit from a broken IRS. Although we may never know how much since he refuses to releases his taxes. So the question is: Are the GOP really that stupid, or are they shrewdly executing their mission to starve the government, crush the middle-class, and enrich their benefactors?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Retracts Their Dangerously False Food Stamp Story – And Still Gets It Wrong

On Tuesday Fox News broadcast an episode of their “Entitlement Nation” series that made some startling claims about the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (aka food stamps). What was not startling was that they got it all wrong (as reported here on News Corpse). Fox & Friends co-host, Abby Huntsman, asserted that “$70 million of taxpayer money was wasted on food stamp fraud.” Then she asked “Is it time to end the program altogether?” Because eliminating a program that keeps millions of kids and seniors from starving is preferable to looking for ways to reduce a minuscule amount of alleged fraud.

Fox News

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has weighed in to chastise Fox for their “mistakes.” They wrote to the network asking them “to correct a report from Tuesday morning’s edition of ‘Fox & Friends’ alleging new heights for food-stamp fraud in the United States.” They stated that the agency had not issued any data for 2016 and that they didn’t know where Fox was getting their info. Except to say that “We saw that there was a story on Breitbart.”

So Huntsman aired a retraction of her dangerously false food stamp story Friday, saying that the data she cited was incorrect. However, she went on to assert another falsehood saying that the “correct” number for food stamp fraud was $853 million for the three years from 2009 to 2011. In fact, that number refers to any errors (i.e. under/over payments), not just fraud. And it’s still an uncommonly low error rate. What’s more, Fox removed the original story from their website, leaving only a correction but no indication of what they corrected. That is not how ethical journalists operate.

So now that Fox has apologized for reporting false information, will they also retract their suggestion that the SNAP program be eliminated? Not likely. Fox News and the Republican Party have opposed virtually every social welfare program, including Social Security and Medicare. And they are currently obsessed with repealing ObamaCare. They are devoted to making life more difficult for people who are already undergoing hardship. While simultaneously they strive to make life easier for the wealthy by reducing taxes and regulations that benefit the population at large. So merry Christmas and happy new year from Fox News.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.