October 15, 2015

Sean Hannity, one of the country’s highest-paid celebrities, spent much of last night’s Democratic debate analysis whining about his tax bill and suggesting that he'll have nothing left in his paycheck if a Democrat is elected president again in 2016.

Hannity interviewed Luis Miranda, DNC communications director, as part of Fox’s post-Democratic debate coverage. Hannity kept harping on the seemingly tragic possibility he might have to pay more in taxes under another Democratic administration.

HANNITY: A lot came up tonight about who pays what. A lot of attacks against corporate America, Wall Street, the top one percent. I have a question for you. Do you know how much the top one percent pays in federal income taxes, what percentage they pay?

The question stumped Miranda and he tried to deflect, as Hannity looked like the honest broker:

MIRANDA: Well, I tell you what, I don’t think that it was an attack so much as simply how do we keep America moving forward…

HANNITY (interrupting): That’s not my question. What percentage of federal income taxes does that one percent you guys kept talking about pay in federal income tax? Do you know? Do you know?

MIRANDA: All our candidates are talking about, is creating a safety net and having an economy that works.

HANNITY: We have a safety net.

The conversation continued that way with Hannity browbeating a defense-playing Miranda. At one point, Hannity even laughed in his face.

Don’t get me wrong. Miranda was a charismatic, seemingly well-informed guest who made a lot of good points. But he should have known that the Hannity show, like most of Fox, is not a serious exploration of anything Democratic. It’s a political Punch and Judy show, where Democrats are always the villains, and the only way to win is to beat the host at his own game.

For example, when Hannity complained about an increased number of Americans on food stamps, in poverty and unemployed, instead of pointing to George W. Bush's economy, why didn’t Miranda put Hannity on the defensive by asking what Republicans want to do to help the little guy other than repeal ObamaCare, defund Planned Parenthood, deport immigrants and have more guns everywhere? He could have demanded that Hannity explain whether the stock market has not drastically improved as well as unemployment under Obama’s watch and ask what’s wrong with that? Or asked Hannity to explain how his enthusiasm for shutting down the government is going to help the economy?

Hannity returned to his own pocketbook concerns: “I pay, as a New York resident, between federal, state, sales, property taxes - 62 cents of every dollar I make goes to government. Am I paying my fair share?”

Again, Miranda, could have put Hannity on the spot by asking if he’s hurting for money and whether Hannity hasn’t made good money since Obama became president. But Miranda said, “I think, look, I think what we have to do is make sure that we have candidates who are looking at the big picture of our economy,” he said.

Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chaffee did a bit better in a later interview. Hannity started in again about his one percent tax bill. This time, he complained, “The bottom 50%, what percentage of the federal income tax bill do you think they pay?...They don’t pay any. Zero.”

“Why should I work?” Hannity asked. He took money out of his pocket and threw it in the air.

Chaffee answered, “Yeah, but the point is …the wealthy are still doing just fine. The one percent are doing fine.”

Just how “fine” is Hannity doing? Forbes ranked Hannity as 89th, tied with Leonardo DiCaprio, on its list of the world’s 100 highest paid celebrities, with earnings of $29 million last year. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hannity is worth $80 million.

But he wants viewers to think he’s the one struggling while poor people are living on Easy Street. It’s up to Democrats and liberals not to let him get away with it.

(crossposted at Newshounds.us)

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