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Fox Host Asman Ignores Evidence To Talk Up Tax Cuts

Reported by Guest Blogger - April 20, 2011 -

By Brian

Forbes on Fox, one of Fox News' “business shows,” featured a discussion about cutting taxes to raise revenue. Predictably, the panel was split in half over the measure. Host David Asman “broke the tie” and threw his hat in with the tax cuts. But in doing so, he ignored evidence showing that tax cuts do not raise revenue.

Panelist Rich Karlgaard led off the discussion, saying, "Lower the price of taxes, which the Simpson-Bowles commission recommended by the way, and which Paul Ryan is recommending by the way, and we're going to get this economy growing, and we'll have more tax revenue."

Asman said the Debt Commission said to "Lower the top rate from about 40%, which is where it is today, down to 23%." Fox later posted a graphic saying the top rate was 35%, busting Asman's 40% proclamation.

Panelist Neil Weinberg was one dissenter. "If we're going to lower taxes to run up more debt, that’s kind of like Wal-Mart saying we're going to lose money on every product and make it up on volume. It's crazy."

Asman argued, "Historically, it has worked… When you lower the tax rates, the government revenues increase."

Panelist Elizabeth MacDonald agreed. "What's crazy is that people in Washington who have no more sense than a flock of geese, who don't look at the facts about how tax cuts do increase revenues… When the Clinton administration hiked taxes on the upper bracket, that brought in less than half of the revenue that cuts in the capital gains tax and the death tax brought in by 1996."

"Look what happens to revenues, revenues go up when tax rates come down," Asman said. He referred to a Tax Foundation chart, which is a conservative group.

Panelist Morgan Brennan was the other dissenter. "Revenues go up when the tax rates come down in the short term. Maybe over the next 2 years if we were to do that, that would happen."

Asman argued, "But that was a long term trend. This is from 1980 until 2011, that's not short term."

Morgan persisted. "I'm sorry, but I don't think cutting taxes is going to be enough for our longer term problem here, with our economy. And actually, the Congressional Budget Office published a huge, intensive report, back in the fall, looking at this issue as well... In the long term, it would mean a reduction in income and create more government debt."

Panelist Elizabeth MacDonald said, "It's also been proven that the CBO has been off by a factor of $150 billion or more in its tax revenue or tax hike estimates in terms of the revenue brought in, so those numbers really can’t be trusted."

Comment: If Asman and E-Mac checked out the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, they would see that tax cuts lose revenue. Asman is supposed to be a fair host, not a propagandist.

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