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Fox News’ Solution For The Deficit: Tax The Poor More

Reported by Guest Blogger - November 23, 2010 -

By Brian

Talk about class warfare! Forbes on Fox not only argued on Saturday (11/20/10) that if only the poor would pay more federal taxes, they wouldn’t want so many government services, but it would be good for them to “have a stake” in government.

Host David Asman’s intro said it all: “The Forbes team says, ‘Forget the families making more than $250,000. America needs to start taxing those who don’t pay any federal income tax at all.’” Four out of six panelists, plus Asman agreed with the sentiment.

Mike Ozanian said the poor should pay up. "Right now, David, 47% of U.S. households do not pay federal income taxes. That gives them no stake in how much money Washington is spending. I say they should pay some taxes. This way, at least they'd be interested in all that spending. Otherwise, they’d agree to everything and that’s one of the reasons our deficit is as big as it is."

Quentin Hardy was one of two voices of dissent. "So Mike seems to think they're not paying any taxes to the federal government at all because they're not paying income taxes? Mike, they pay taxes in other forms, try the gas pump. From the people who gave you tax cuts for the rich...we're going to pay off the massive debt by taxing the poor."

Dennis Kneale said, "It used to be we worried about the haves and the have nots. The bigger divide today, guys, is between the taxed and the taxed nots. And forty-five percent of U.S. households now get some form of direct government check. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment payments... These people are never going to be in favor of cutting government spending."

Bill Baldwin was the only other dissenter. "I think it's curious that we have these conservatives like Mike who are so sensitive to how taxes might depress the work effort of rich people and are totally oblivious to what they might do to poor people."

Neil Weinberg was even more explicit in his suggestion that the poor are greedy. "If you go to Denny's and you get all you can get, you pile up your plate, you get more and more, and that's the problem with people who don't pay any taxes. They feel like it's all me more, me more… There’s no sense of a stake in the system."

"The entitlement mentality in America is a big problem," Asman agreed.

Victoria Barrett also agreed. "It is a growing problem.” She reiterated the “don’t have a stake” argument and added that federal taxes for them are “kind of a NIMBY, not in my backyard."

Hardy was outraged. "This argument is obscene… You are all arguing that the poor don't care, they just take the government services. They don’t care ‘cause it costs them nothing, as if the rich are somehow parsimonious about government services. Never mind all the lobbyists they (the rich) pay to get favors, and tax breaks, and cuts."

"Which we have all criticized," Asman said dismissively.

As Hardy protested that nobody had made such criticism during this segment, Asman interrupted him and asked Kneale to “go ahead” instead.

"Plenty of low income people own HDTV sets, own their own car, own their own home, and yet they can't afford to give the government a $1000," Kneale said. He added that he knew a woman who runs a charity who has started charging inner city youth for the charity’s services. “She said it makes them proud, it gives them a stake in improving their lives. And I think we can do the same if we made more Americans start paying some taxes.”

Hardy said, "This is the best case for taxes on the rich I've ever heard."

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