On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume used the pronoun "we" in reference to the Republican-led House of Representatives, which recently passed a bill to cut the estate tax. Hume said: "We've passed" a measure that would eliminate the tax "for nearly everybody," but that the measure is "stuck in the Senate."
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On the July 23 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, guest host and Washington bureau managing editor Brit Hume used the pronoun "we" in reference to the Republican-led House of Representatives, which recently passed a bill to cut the estate tax. Hume said: "We've passed" a measure that would eliminate the estate tax "for nearly everybody," but that the measure is "stuck in the Senate."
On June 22, the House of Representatives approved legislation permanently exempting estates worth less than $5 million ($10 million for married couples) from the tax, and substantially cutting the tax rate for estates above the taxable threshold. Of the House's 251 Republicans, 226 voted for the bill, joined by only 43 of the House's 201 Democrats. The House's one independent representative voted against the legislation.
As Media Matters for America noted, Fox News anchor David Asman similarly referred to the Republican Senate delegation as "we." During a conversation with Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), Asman asked why "we" didn't invoke the so-called nuclear option to prohibit filibusters of President Bush's judicial nominees "if we had the votes to do it."
Additionally, Hume left unchallenged House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's (R-IL) suggestion that the primary reason for eliminating the estate tax is so that "people who have spent their whole life working to build up a small business or a family farm" can "pass it on to the next generation." As Media Matters noted, a March 2005 report by the Brookings Institution's Tax Policy Center found that of all the estates affected by the tax in 2004, only 440 (roughly 2 percent) were "primarily made up of farm and business assets," whether large or small.
In addition, The New York Times reported on April 8, 2001: "Even one of the leading advocates for repeal of estate taxes, the American Farm Bureau Federation, said it could not cite a single example of a farm lost because of estate taxes."
From the July 23 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:
HUME: Let me just touch one last issue with you, and that's the estate tax or the "death tax," as Republicans like to call it. We've passed a measure that would eliminate it for nearly everybody. That's stuck in the Senate.
Where is that issue going? Is there a chance you could get that done?
HASTERT: Well, one of the things that I have really worked on over the last few years is to get the estate tax done. We passed it out of the House I don't know how many times.
I think there's an opportunity to do it in the Senate. We should do it in the Senate. It's something that people who have spent their whole life working to build up a small business or a family farm -- they ought to be able to pass it on to the next generation. I think we'll get it done.