It’s hard to think of anyone who has given more to her country than Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran who lost two legs during the war. Yet Fox News chickenhawks such as Tucker Carlson and now Fox Senior News Editor Dom Calicchio can’t stop denigrating both her service and patriotism.
Media Matters explains the origin of this latest smear:
It began with a Chicago Sun-Times October 1 article, which opened with the provocative headline “You pay more in property taxes because 27,288 Cook County homeowners pay nothing,” with a photo of Duckworth underneath.
Of course, the same logic goes for any veterans benefit — whether it is pensions or VA hospitals — because everyone else will be paying more taxes in order to provide them. And “tone deaf” does not go far enough to describe the editorial decision to make a decorated veteran who lost both her legs in combat into the poster child for this purported injustice.
Fox News couldn’t resist this latest opportunity to smear a Democratic woman of color as a freeloader. Calicchio honed in on the Duckworth aspect with the misleading headline, “Democrat Tammy Duckworth hasn’t paid property tax on her Illinois home since 2015, report says.”
Democrat Tammy Duckworth hasn’t paid property tax on her Illinois home since 2015, report sayshttps://t.co/KyJCSQSVqW— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 3, 2021
Probably because of a fast backlash, Fox has now changed its headline to “Democrat Tammy Duckworth slammed for getting tax break on her Illinois home.” But the never-having-served Calicchio is still suggesting she took something she didn’t deserve, even as he kinda/sorta admits she followed the law in the subtitle: “The U.S. senator's income is too high to justify her tax break, even though she gets it for being a disabled military veteran, a tax watchdog in Chicago suggests.”
That’s right, it’s a tax watchdog group complaining, not any tax authority, that “too many people become eligible to pay no tax, thus increasing the burden on those who fail to qualify for breaks, according to the report,” as Fox said.
But, not surprisingly, Calicchio went out of his way to demonize Duckworth as a wealthy moocher:
Duckworth and her husband have saved more than $42,000 through the senator’s disability exemption since 2015, according to the newspaper. The couple own a three-bedroom home in Hoffman Estates, Cook County, valued at about $250,000, the report said.
Then, under the sub-headline “Second home in Virginia,” Calicchio wrote:
The senator and husband Bryan Bowlsbey also own a six-bedroom, $1.3 million home in Virginia, where they were billed more than $16,000 in taxes this year, according to the report. Virginia offers an exemption for disabled vets that is similar to the one in Cook County, Illinois, but Duckworth and her husband don’t qualify because their Virginia home is not their primary residence, according to the Sun-Times.
Duckworth receives an annual salary of $174,000 and she earned royalties totaling more than $300,000 in both 2019 and 2020 from a book that she wrote, the report said. The income of her husband, who works in cybersecurity, was unclear.
For some disgusting reason, Tucker Carlson has also singled out Duckworth for smearing. Cowardly liar and America-hater Carlson has accused her of hating America and called her “a coward” and “a fraud.”
You can watch Eric Trump get treated like a victim over the tax fraud investigation below, from the July 2, 2021 The Ingraham Angle.
(Duckworth image via screen grab)
Personally, I like Kevin’s nicknames for the previous administration as reminders of the true nature of the relationship between Pence and Trump. The latter was too lazy to do much himself, allowing the former to govern, even though whatever the former did was at risk of being overturned by a tweet from the latter. Kevin’s nicknames cut to the core of that relationship far better than my previous sentence.
Similarly, the 2017 Tax Transfer really does need to be discussed as such – the moment we fall for the canard that it was a “tax cut” for anyone but the uber wealthy is the moment we allow the Hannitys and Limbaughs to spin utter falsehoods about our pocketbooks.
As for Putin’s influence on Trump, it’s pretty clear that Trump was intimidated by him. I honestly don’t know why – but I have a feeling those AWOL tax returns may well show how far in hock Trump still is to Russian funders…
Kevin, esteemed buddy – I think it’s about time you put those ‘Pence White House’ and ’Pence’s childish spokesman’ witticisms back in the socks&underwear drawer. We all know that Trump was the childish spokesman for the Putin White House and that Pence was Putin’s hand-picked back-up childish spokesman.
She also satisfies a second narrative – the one about how non-Caucasian women are moochers from the public trough, just like Ronald Reagan’s “Welfare Queen” (actually a petty criminal who Reagan wildly inflated to Godzilla-sized theatrics). Angry Right Wingers can use this kind of thing to paint Duckworth with that same brush, and use her as a new example to fuel their hatred.
And she satisfies a third narrative for angry Right Wingers – the one about how all politicians (other than Pence’s childish spokesman) are corrupt, and how our taxes are regularly wasted on such corrupt people. This then gets used to argue to lower taxes on the wealthy, and to repeatedly assert that government programs never work.
One might be confused by the Right’s obvious hypocrisy here – in their attack on Duckworth, they are doing exactly what they’ve accused the Left of doing – of not supporting “Our Troops”. But we should remember that angry Right Wingers have never considered Senator Duckworth to have really been one of “Our Troops”. They’d prefer their troops to be whiter and maler.