Fox broke from its usual narrative by reporting that over the last 43 years the net worth of the wealthy has "skyrocketed," pointing to this as a rationale for President Obama's call to allow past tax cuts for the wealthy to expire. Previously, Fox has manufactured the notion of a high tax burden on the wealthiest Americans, in order to attack Obama for wanting to let these cuts expire.
During a Fox & Friends Sunday segment co-host Clayton Morris attempted to use a study on household net worth to attack President Obama's plan to end the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy. But during the segment, co-host Alisyn Camerota, citing the study, reported that median net worth is the "lowest it has been in decades" but for "the top 1 percent, the net worth has skyrocketed" going up 71 percent during the period analyzed. Camerota noted that the discrepancy in net worth is one reason that Obama has proposed returning the top marginal tax rates for high-income earners to their previous level.
Indeed, a study by New York University economics professor Edward Wolff found that the net worth of American households has fallen to a 43-year low. CBS reported that Wolff found that while the median net worth of American households had fallen to $57,000 because "the lower and middle classes appear poorer and less stable," the "wealthiest 1 percent of American households increased their average wealth by 71 percent" during the same period.
Additionally, during roughly the same period studied by Wolff, the top 5 percent of income earners' share of the national income jumped 5 percent, to over 21 percent of all income earned in 2010.
Also, in 2010 the top 1 percent of earners saw their income grow by 11.6 percent while the remaining 99 percent only saw their income grow by 0.2 percent. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explained that this trend means that, "the rich are paying more taxes because they're much richer than they used to be," but this does not mean they are shouldering a historically high tax burden.
Previously, Fox has pushed its manufactured notion that the wealthy have an unreasonably high tax burden, claiming they pay a disproportionately large share of federal income taxes while hiding the fact that income gains and net worth gains have primarily been enjoyed by the wealthiest Americans. Fox used this contrived burden to attack Obama for calling for not adding more to the national deficit by extending tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
Now that Fox has admitted to the massive net worth gains of the top 1 percent, perhaps it will stop trying to protect their historically low tax rates.