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6 Myths Pushed by FOX News to Ensure Rich Don't Pay Fair Share -- Debunked

Obama's proposal to let tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire will grow the economy and is supported by a majority of Americans. So of course Fox News is in frantic spin mode.

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If, as proposed, the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire for the highest earners, the vast majority of small businesses will be unaffected. Less than 2 percent of tax returns reporting small-business income are filed by taxpayers in the top two income brackets -- individuals earning more than about $170,000 a year and families earning more than about $210,000 a year.

And just as most small businesses aren't owned by people in the top income brackets, most people in the top income brackets don't rely mainly on small-business income: According to the Tax Policy Center, such proceeds make up a majority of income for about 40 percent of households in the top income bracket and a third of households in the second-highest bracket. If the objective is to help small businesses, continuing the Bush tax cuts on high-income taxpayers isn't the way to go -- it would miss more than 98 percent of small-business owners and would primarily help people who don't make most of their money off those businesses. [The Washington Post,  8/1/10]

4. MYTH: Americans Don't Support Increasing Taxes

Cavuto: "I Didn't See That In Any Exit Voter Survey" Obama Won "A Mandate To Tax The Rich." 

Cavuto claimed "union leaders and progressives" were in "total denial" because they "say the election was a mandate to tax the rich and the hell with addressing spending. Now, I didn't see that in any exit voter survey, but maybe you did." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto,  11/14/12

Bret Baier Distorts Americans' Support For Increasing Taxes On Wealthy. 

On America Live, Fox host Bret Baier misleadingly cited recent polling to falsely imply Americans are evenly split on whether income taxes should be raised for the wealthy: 

BAIER: I think that's what we'll hear from the President, about uniting, moving forward, but we'll also probably hear what we heard from his senior adviser David Plouffe that this election also sent a message that Americans, he'll probably say, are for this balanced approach to have the wealthy pay their fair share. The one thing that's interesting is if you look at the exit polls, on the question of -- on income tax rates, you have 47 percent want an increase for only those above $250,000, 35 percent no increase for anyone on tax increases, and 13 percent for increase for all. So basically, 47 percent want 250,000 or above, and 48 percent don't raise them at all or raise them for everyone. So, you know, if you look at the exit polls, there's not really a definitive answer there. [Fox News, America Live,  11/9/12, via Media Matters]

FACT: Polls Show Americans Support Raising Taxes On Wealthier Americans

Pew Research Center: Two-Thirds Of Americans Support Raising Taxes On Incomes Over $250,000. An October 2012 Pew Research Center survey found that two-thirds of Americans support increasing taxes on Americans making more than $250,000:

Public concern over the debt and deficit, already extensive, is only likely to increase as the so-called "fiscal cliff" approaches at the end of the year. Yet among a dozen specific options for reducing the debt and deficit, only two win majority approval from the public -- raising taxes on annual incomes over $250,000 (64% approve) and limiting corporate tax deductions (58%).

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7, among 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters, finds that cuts in education spending are particularly unpopular. Fully 75% disapprove of reducing federal education funding and 61% oppose cuts in funding for student loans. [Pew Research Center,  10/12/12]

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