Fox News Revives Lie To Advocate Raising Taxes On The Poor

Every year around early April, Fox News unpacks a phony statistic about taxpayers in order to imply that many Americans don’t pay taxes at all. They are starting a little early this year.

Fox News - Neil Cavuto

Neil Cavuto, the VP of business news at Fox, must know better when he alleges that 49.5% of Americans do not pay taxes. The truth is that they pay about the same tax rate as other Americans, just no “federal” taxes. And there is a good reason for that. Most of the citizens in this category are either seniors living on Social Security, students with little or no income, and the working poor who earn less than the statutory minimums to be liable for federal levies. They do, however, pay state and local taxes, sales taxes, mortgage taxes, and payroll taxes. But that doesn’t stop Fox from repeatedly asserting the lie that they pay no taxes at all.

By complaining that these disadvantaged people are tantamount to freeloaders, Cavuto is in effect advocating an increase in taxes for the poor. While he and his right-wing cohorts fight tooth and nail to protect wealthy individuals and corporations from contributing even modest amounts to the nation’s recovery, they are enthusiastically in favor of soaking the poor in order to heal the malaise on Wall Street and the misery of long-suffering bankers. It’s nice to see that these conservative, anti-tax zealots have finally found a class of people whose taxes they want to raise.

The phrase that Cavuto used repeatedly is that “everyone has [to have] skin in the game.” The arrogance dripping from that commentary is that it assumes that those not paying federal income taxes do not already have skin in the game. Cavuto thinks that people who have spent a lifetime paying into the system, and are now struggling to survive in retirement, haven’t sacrificed enough. He thinks that the unemployed would prefer to remain that way rather than find jobs and resume payments to the IRS. That’s an astoundingly stupid point of view that demonstrates just how ignorant he is of economics and the plight of people less fortunate than he is. But surprisingly, it isn’t the stupidest thing he said. In his program’s sarcastic epilogue he issued this order to the folks who are already undergoing significant hardships:

“Stop demanding benefits from a system you give nothing.”

Really? Let me get this straight. If you are so broke that you can’t pay for taxes – or housing or food – then you should not be getting any benefits from the social safety nets set up to provide housing and food for the poor? Apparently Cavuto thinks that such benefits should only go to people who already have money.

To say that the poor should stop demanding benefits because they are poor is like chastising a child for wanting to be adopted just because she’s an orphan. What a selfish freeloader. And she’s just the sort of ne’er-do-well from whom Cavuto would like to steal candy.


11 thoughts on “Fox News Revives Lie To Advocate Raising Taxes On The Poor

  1. There is NO good reason for someone not paying any federal taxes unless they don’t make any money of course. The reasons you give
    “seniors living on Social Security, students with little or no income, and the working poor who earn less than the statutory minimums to be liable for federal levies” are not good reasons – excepts as stated no income. For whatever reason, you believe only part of this population should pay for this government – that’s total BS. I’m not a big fan of the federal government, but we do need some government and we are all responsible for it – regardless of our position in society.

    • Agreed – we are all responsible except those who cannot pay. That’s exactly what I wrote. How about making corporations like GE, Exxon, etc. who have paid no taxes chip in instead of people living below the poverty level?

      • Well, we partly agree – if GE and Exxon made profits and didn’t pay a dime, sure, you’re right – they should absolutely be responsible for some level of taxes – but NOT INSTEAD of others. No way, this country isn’t about the few supporting the many. Everyone can pay, but i would agree totally that corporations as you noted can’t get away free of charge while everyone else pays.

      • Mark, I read your response a couple more times and you hit on a key disagreement we always have and I would bet most average conservatives have with liberalism – liberals allow too many excuses for groups to get some kind of “special” treatment in this country vs. treating everyone the same. It’s about equal treatment for all. We may always disagree on that, or at least the details of what that means.

  2. Well, there you go again. Your headline is a lie.
    I watched that segment and several times over, with both guests, Cavuto stated that people who pay no federal income taxes do pay other taxes.

    You also left out the part where Epstein, a Democrat, agreed with Cavuto. A lie of omission on your part.

    Many Seniors, in fact, do pay Federal income tax on their Social Security. That was one of Clinton’s gift to the Seniors.
    Another lie of omission.

    You also forgot to mention that many of the poor, poor pitiful poor receive checks from the taxpayers for nothing.

    Remember, MOST, not ALL, poor people in this country are poor because of the life choices they have made.

    • “Remember, MOST, not ALL, poor people in this country are poor because of the life choices they have made”
      Really? What are you smokin? Can the rest of us have some?

      • I doubt he’s smoking anything. He just thinks, like the vast majority of all conservatives, that all Americans start out at a point where success is always attainable. To them, the system isn’t rigged against anybody or in favor of anybody. To them, we start out totally equally regardless of things like parents’ income level, the local education system, quality of home life, local economic conditions, political climate, geography, etc. To people like Dave, a human’s only worthy of survival if he lives and dies without ever having fallen on hard times or if he’s born into a decent situation.

        I think it’s because they think no one actually deserves the safety net. How big is the portion of undeserving people surviving off of safety nets? How did they come to that number?…They just don’t sell their argument very well.

        • You got that right – success is always attainable, but i guess it depends on how you define success. The vast majority of people seem to be able to get along just fine – not saying life is easy, but they get a job, work and somehow carve a decent life out without the support of “the rich”. You continue to make excuses for why someone may be a loser or just may have less than someone else. Grow up and accept some responsibility. Not everyone who has created a decent life for themselves had anything you mention – just a desire to not be a loser themselves.

          • Where’d you get a bubble big enough to live in? I don’t think we live in the same country. And since when do conservatives think that anyone can do well without the support of the rich? I thought the only reason anyone even has a job is cause of rich people, right? I can’t believe you don’t see that where and what you are born into has a much bigger role in a person’s future than anything else. Sure, desire to succeed can lift anyone out of it, if they live in a situation where it’s realistically possible. I don’t know if you know this Steve, but succeeding in America requires start up funds, or you end up with a high school diploma at best and a job that won’t ever pay more than 22k or so. Outliers and anomalies occur everywhere, but they sure don’t make your point for you. There’s a class I took a few years ago that would enlighten you a little bit I think, it’s called Cultural Geography.

    • Dave, you need a reading comprehension course. My headline is absolutely true.

      Cavuto may have said once or twice that people pay other taxes, but he also said that they do not. And the visual evidence I supplied above is irrefutable. You do not get credit for being truthful if you are only truthful some of the time.

      And in any case, Cavuto’s point is that the people he was addressing, who are poor, should pay more in taxes. So my headline stating that they want to raise taxes on the poor is accurate.

      You may not like the truth, but you can’t deny it. Well, actually you can and have, so…..

  3. The bigger question – one that needs immediate attention – is, how the hell does Cavuto hold up that head with that scrawny neck??

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