We noted recently that Fox News has campaigned against Democrats' proposal to let the Bush tax cuts for the top two brackets to expire by claiming that "50 percent of small business income would be hit by raising taxes on the so-called wealthy." Their claim relies on an expansive definition of "small business" that includes entities that both the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Tax Policy Center have said are not actually what people consider to be small businesses. Indeed, among the enterprises that Fox News counts as "small businesses" are law partnerships, accountants, consultants, real-estate investors, actors, professional athletes and authors like President Obama."
Today, Fox News provided a bit more insight into its definition of small business, with an interview of "one small business CEO" who says his business "will be hurt" if the top tax cuts will expire.
His name is Simon Jacobs and he is the CEO of Hale and Hearty Soups. Fox didn't mention this during the segment, but Alexis Glick reported on the September 11, 2008, episode of Fox Business Network's Money for Breakfast, that "The New York City soup chain sees annual sales of up to $40 million at its 23 stores" (accessed via Nexis). Is that a "small business"?
Not according to the Small Business Administration. In order to qualify as a "small business" by SBA standards, a limited-service restaurant like Hale and Hearty can't bring in more than $7 million in annual receipts.
During the interview, the CEO said that $250,000 in annual income is "not a lot for a business." But according to the Tax Policy Center, "[t]he average positive business income reported on 1040s is less than $40,000" and "[a] single filer who has only business income and makes the average of $40,000 would have to see his profits rise five-fold before he'd be hit by higher tax rates" under Obama's plan.
If this odd take on what "a lot" of money looks like is beginning to sound familiar, it might be because conservative media figures have been telling us that a household making $250,000 isn't necessarily rich -- nevermind that it's several times greater than the median household income, even in Manhattan.
From the September 23 edition of Fox News' Happening Now: