Yesterday, the Forbes on Fox show discussed the 2.9% shrinking of the economy in the first quarter – not by discussing the causes and not by mentioning the far rosier outlook for subsequent quarters – but by pushing for corporate tax cuts as a quick fix.
The Wall Street Journal, a sister company to Fox News, reported:
The severity of the first-quarter downturn is at odds with other data showing greater strength in the economy, especially a recent pickup in job creation. Since World War II, there have been 15 other quarters during which GDP contracted by this amount or more. In 14 of those 15 quarters, hiring contracted along with output.
Meanwhile, early data from the second quarter indicate the economy has improved this spring, as warmer weather has helped release pent-up demand. Sales of new homes surged to a six-year high last month, while existing-home sales rose to their highest level since October, data released earlier this week showed.
The Journal also noted the role of the unusually cold weather and less-than-expected spending on health care - as the result of the Affordable Care Act – as other factors.
But in his introduction, host David Asman presented that information as Democratic spin:
Well, you could call it economic shock. It turns out the first quarter was a lot worse than anybody imagined, The GDP suffering the worst downturn outside of a recession in more than 50 years! Now, the White House and other Democrats blaming it largely on bad weather but some here are saying they should get a mirror.”
Later in the discussion, Asman characterized the fact that people are spending less on health care as “one of the problems.”
Asman called on panelist John Tamny first. He said he’d “zero out” the capital gains tax and cut the corporate tax. “There’s no reason that we should rob corporations of their successful future,” Tamny said.
Panelist Rick Ungar, who usually leans left, agreed. “I think maybe the place to start is with the corporate tax cuts and to see if that actually stimulates things.”
Asman just happened to have at the ready a graphic claiming the U.S. had the highest corporate tax rate in the world at 40%. He said, “It is also one of the most complicated in the world. While we top out at 40%, a lot of companies only pay about - the big corporations, ‘cause they have all the lawyers - pay about 20% cause they get all these deductions... But it’s so high, it’s so complex. Shouldn’t we start there?”
Panelist Sabrina Schaeffer agreed. “That’s exactly what I think. I think this is all about simplifying the tax system. …Our marginal tax rate and our corporate tax rate are both too high.”
Mike Ozanian, a panelist who had previously argued for smaller government instead of a tax cut, now said, “Get rid of the corporate tax. It’s a phony pass through tax that hits consumers and workers.”
The only dissent was Bruce Japsen, who suggested that we "embrace ObamaCare" to help grow the health care sector and the economy.
According to Think Progress, raising the corporate tax, if the money raised is spent wisely, can help the economy and poor families. But Asman never raised that possibility in the discussion.