July 16, 2016

Fox Business' Stuart Varney, a much beloved and frequent guest on many Fox News programs, flailed around like a twitter troll trying to upend Occidental College political scientist Caroline Heldman's arguments that the real immorality in our economic system is income inequality.

She made the point that Republican administrations are responsible for debt and deficits much more so than Democratic ones which didn't go over well for Varney.

Varney never used any facts as he wailed like an injured baboon, his defense of the uber wealthy came from nothing more than him repeating how immoral it is to tax the wealthy over 50% of their income.

When Heldman gave him examples of how high taxation didn't stunt growth or hurt the economy, Varney sounded like a child and said basically, "No he didn't."

Varney, "Where has this ever worked? Can you show me an economy which does what you have said it should do..."

"Yes, the 90's. The 90's and Bill Clinton." She followed by saying, "If you look at Obama's economy, he's not only pulled us out of a catastrophic liquidity crisis. We also have remarkable growth given what he inherited."

"He didn't pull us out of market liquidity crisis, alright...I can see we're failing on this one.."

"He certainly did."

"No, he didn't. It was the federal reserve which pulled us out of the liquidity crisis, not President Obama."

"Who do you think runs the national government? The president."

Varney got on his high horse about all the taxes the rich are paying now and it veered off into la-la land.

"You're paying over half of your income in taxes to the city, state and federal government. Over half! I say that's immoral. Flat out immoral..."

Caroline Heldman said, "If you want to talk about morality, let's talk about the distribution of our wealth in our country."

"It's the strivers that make income in America!"

She laughed at him saying, "That's not what's happening. You're misrepresenting the case, Stu. Wealthy Americans are laughing at what you're saying right now because we all know how tax havens work. We don 't pay 50% of our wealth in taxes. Give me a break."

Media Matters:

As for Varney’s attempt at a substantive critique of Heldman, he claimed at the end of the segment that she could not identify an example of high taxation coinciding with increased economic growth. She had provided that example, the economic boom of the 1990s under President Bill Clinton, when higher taxes did not stymie economic growth. Varney also claimed that the wealthy pay too high a share of income taxes in this country, seemingly citing a Wall Street Journal article from 2015 that says the top 20 percent of earners contribute 84 percent of income tax revenue. But many economists have argued for higher tax rates; Dirk Krueger and Fabian Kindermann even said the “optimal” tax rates for the top 1 percent of U.S. earners could be as high as 90 percent.

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