Fox News distorted President Obama's announcement that he supports allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest 2 percent of American families by claiming he "urge[d] Congress to pass [a] tax increase." However, Obama only called for Congress to allow for those tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest taxpayers as currently scheduled, not to raise taxes on any income group.
During his July 9 speech at the White House, Obama called for a year-long extension of the Bush tax cuts, first passed in 2001 and 2003, for the vast majority of Americans. The tax rates for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans would return, as previously scheduled, to the Clinton-era tax rates, an era in which the United States experienced robust growth. Many economic experts, including former Federal Reserve chairman and proponent of the initial tax cuts, Alan Greenspan, favor returning to these rates.
Since their passage, the Bush-era tax cuts have overwhelmingly favored the wealthiest 2 percent of all income earners. A study by the Urban Institute found that individuals earning more than $1 million per year got a tax break about 135 times as large as someone making $50,000 per year. In reporting on Obama's announcement, Fox News continued their incessant campaign to beat the drums of "class warfare" by portraying the end of tax cuts for a small portion of Americans as Obama "urg[ing] Congress" to pass a "tax increase on households earning more than $250,000":
Fox News also used the same language in a "Breaking News" alert: