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While Misinforming About Public Opinion On Tax Cuts, Laura Ingraham Advises Struggling People “Go Hug” As Many Rich People As Possible

Reported by Ellen - December 3, 2010 -

Multimillionaire Laura Ingraham appeared on The O’Reilly Factor last night (12/2/10) where she didn’t just argue that Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be extended, she put forth the misinformation that the public agreed with her. Host Bill O’Reilly did properly push back on that falsehood and he pointed out that people feel resentful of “the fat cats (who) are making a ton of money living large” while “most Americans are struggling.” Ingraham not only dismissed that sentiment but she advised those struggling Americans to “find as many rich people as they can find on the street and go hug them.”

The discussion last night came just a few days after Ingraham spoke out against a debit card program for low income people in Oakland, California. As Media Matters' Oliver Willis noted in his post about her comments, Ingraham’s annual income is estimated at $7 million and her latest contract with Fox is reportedly “seven figures.”

Ingraham said, “Obviously, November 2nd was a message that we need less of this big government redistribution of wealth and more returning economic power to the people… We have the wind at our backs and the people with us…The public opinion polls on this are basically let these tax cuts, these Bush cuts, continue, let’s figure out ways to grow this economy.”

Well, not really. PolitiFact’s Truth-o-Meter rated John Boehner’s similar claim “false” and commented: The general pattern we see in these polls is that Americans are more likely to side with the Obama position than with the Republican position, though neither view won a clear majority… A plurality of the "American people" actually support what amounts to a tax hike for the wealthiest Americans.

“It’s close,” O’Reilly said. “Public opinion polls are very, very close.” Actually, no. But we’ll give O’Reilly points for challenging his colleague on the falsehood.

O’Reilly went on to say, “There’s not a lot of sympathy in this country, and I think I’m absolutely right in saying this, for rich people like me and, I assume, you… The perception is that the fat cats are making a ton of money living large. But most Americans are struggling.”

“You know what my view is?” Ingraham said, “Is that people should find as many rich people as they can find on the street and go hug them, OK? Because we want rich people to be expanding their companies, hiring, figuring out…”

O’Reilly interrupted. “But they’re not. The banks (are) getting bailed out and then they don’t lend the money to the folks. You know, the rich people aren’t spending as much money.”

Now Ingraham interrupted. “Bill, don’t stoke the class warfare here… That’s what the left has been saying.”

“It’s what the polls say, Laura,” O’Reilly said.

“No, the polls on this, when you talk about small businesses and Subchapter S corporations being at the effectively, the highest tax rate in the world, which is basically what they’ll be at,” Ingraham argued.

O’Reilly acquiesced a bit, by “explaining” that the highest corporate tax in the world would go into effect if the “tax hike” goes through.

But what he didn’t mention is that that rate would only affect 2-3 percent of small businesses.

Ingraham added, “What we need to know is that the last time the Democrats tried to ram through and did successfully ram through an unpopular piece of legislation, it killed them on November 2nd.”

Maybe she ought to heed her own warning.

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