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Tycoon Steve Forbes Tells Americans They're Richer Than They Feel

Reported by Marie Therese - October 9, 2005

On yesterday's Forbes on FOX show [October 8, 2005], host David Asman started things off with the following teaser: "It's THE question now for every President's legacy. Are Americans better off than they were four years ago? Well, new information about America's wealth under President Bush ... You won't hear it anywhere else but on right here on Forbes on FOX."

During the segment entitled "Richer or Poorer?" Steve Forbes, one of the wealthiest men in the world, told FOX viewers that

"Americans are doing better than they feel ... Today American households ' wealth is higher than it was four or five years ago ... The reason is the tax cuts of 2003."

He persisted in this opinion abetted by John Rutledge and David Asman, who piped up that tax revenues are up, so maybe we should do more of them.

[COMMENT: Although tax revenues are up marginally, there are those who believe that this has nothing to do with the tax cuts, and everything to do with the enormous profits being made by the oil companies. The argument goes that, if you remove taxes generated by Big Oil, tax revenue to the government has still declined.]

Steve Forbes persisted in his pie-in-the-sky beliefs despite the fact that Forbes regulars Lea Goldman, Quentin Hardy, Elizabeth MacDonald and even Managing Editor Dennis Kneale vehemently disagreed with him. They pointed out that his argument was based on net worth and that everyone who owns a home has seen their net worth rise. However, they argued that under Bush's fiscal policies actual earning power has decreased, the middle class has seen virtually no benefit from the cuts.

Dennis Kneale called Bush's policies "drunken sailor economics - this says, let's cut taxes so he has more money to buy beer! The fact is we have a deficit of over $300 billion in the federal government despite the wonderful Bush tax cuts. ... But the deficit is still the deficit. Government is spending 20% more a year than it brings in."

However, I thought Quentin Hardy summed up Bush's economic policies beautifully:

"The very, very rich - sort of ten million bucks - your viewers out there - way to go! 8% gain. The slightly rich doin' very well, on the move - 2% gain. Those in the middle - no so much. Those at the bottom, really bad. So, here's the headline: 'Under Bush, the rich got richer.'"

Finally, some truth on FOX News Channel!

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