Fox & Friends graphic falsely claims, "Bill lets government set your salary"

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Fox & Friends aired a graphic that falsely claimed of the Pay for Performance Act: "Bill lets government set your salary." In fact, the bill would regulate compensation only for employees of financial institutions that have received federal assistance.

During a discussion of the House Financial Services Committee's vote in favor of H.R. 1664, the Pay for Performance Act, Fox News' Fox & Friends aired on-screen text that falsely claimed: "Bill lets government set your salary." In fact, the bill would not regulate pay for all workers but rather regulates compensation only for employees of financial institutions that have received federal assistance -- a fact acknowledged by co-host Steve Doocy and guest Glenn Beck during the segment. Additionally, the bill regulates pay for those institutions during the period in which the public investment in them remains outstanding.

From the text of H.R. 1664 as adopted by the House Financial Services Committee:

(1) PROHIBITION. -- No financial institution that has received or receives a direct capital investment under the Troubled Assets Relief Program under this title, or with respect to the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Montage Corporation, or a Federal home loan bank, under the amendments made by section 1117 of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, may, while that capital investment remains outstanding, make a compensation payment, other than a longevity bonus or a payment in the form of restricted stock, to any executive or employee under any existing compensation arrangement, or enter into a new compensation payment arrangement, if such compensation payment or compensation payment arrangement --

(A) provides for compensation that is unreasonable or excessive, as defined in standards established by the Secretary, in consultation with the Chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel established under section 125, in accordance with paragraph (2); or

(B) includes any bonus or other supplemental payment that is not directly based on performance-based measures set forth in standards established by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (2).

Provided that, nothing in this paragraph applies to an institution that did business with a recipient of a direct capital investment under the TARP.

Indeed, during the segment, Doocy said: "Now, we know with the bonus bill thing it says that if you take government money -- your corporation does -- they can control the amount of money that you would get in a bonus form and also salary if you are a top executive. But this new bill says it goes beyond just the top executives -- it affects anybody in the building" [emphasis added]. Similarly, Beck said: "So if you are taking government money -- let's just say like you are in Congress and you don't perform and your business isn't doing well, then you should make less than -- what does Congress make -- $174,000 a year" [emphasis added].

In addition to the "Bill lets government set your salary" graphic, Fox News also aired graphics falsely describing the bill as "[c]ontrolling your compensation" and "[s]etting your salary":

From the March 31 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

DOOCY: All right. Let's talk a little bit about something -- Byron York in the Examiner in Washington today, Glenn Beck, is talking about how apparently the House Financial Services Committee has approved a measure that goes beyond the AIG bonus bill.

BECK: I'm shocked.

DOOCY: It's called the Pay for Performance Act of 2009.

BECK: Yes.

DOOCY: Now, we know with the bonus bill thing it says that if you take government money -- your corporation does -- they can control the amount of money that you would get in a bonus form --

BECK: Yes.

DOOCY: -- and also salary if you are a top executive.

BECK: Right.

DOOCY: But this new bill says it goes beyond just the top executives --

BECK: Right.

DOOCY: -- it affects anybody in the building.

BECK: Let's see if I have this right. Anybody who is taking government money --

DOOCY: Your corporation.

BECK: -- we gotta make sure that their performance is good so that -- so they are not taking obscene amounts of cash, like with the AIG people --

DOOCY: Sure.

BECK: -- it's 165,000.

DOOCY: All the way from --

CARLSON: Million.

KILMEADE: Timothy Geithner will decide how much you should make.

DOOCY: Sure.

BECK: Right. OK, so let me just get this right. So if you are taking government money -- let's just say like you are in Congress and you don't perform and your business isn't doing well, then you should make less than -- what does Congress make -- $174,000 a year.

Oh, and by the way, if you work two years you get a portion of that for the rest of your life. If you work 11 years you get all of it for the rest of your life. Oh, and you get free health care. OK, so these are the guys to regulate. And they are the guys who know about performance.

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment, Government, The House of Representatives
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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