Brit Hume asserted that Democrats "could turn [the stimulus] into business-friendly tax cuts or personal income tax rate cuts," but that "those are Republican ideas." In fact, the recovery act included tax incentives for businesses estimated to total $75.9 billion in 2009 and 2010.
During the July 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report, senior political analyst Brit Hume asserted that the Obama administration and congressional Democrats "could turn [the stimulus] into business-friendly tax cuts or personal income tax rate cuts," but that "those are Republican ideas. And this Congress and this president, they don't seem to do Republican ideas." In fact, the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included tax incentives for businesses that the nonpartisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated total $75.9 billion in 2009 and 2010.
Hume's claim follows the assertion, made on Fox News the previous day by Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Stephen Moore, that "[t]he one thing this administration won't do is cut taxes." But the recovery act included $288 billion in tax relief, including the Making Work Pay tax credit, an annual credit of $400 per individual or $800 for families, in addition to a temporary increase in the earned income tax credit, a temporary increase in the refundable portion of the child tax credit, and an increase in the first-time homebuyer tax credit, as well as the business tax incentives.
Furthermore, the Fiscal Year 2010 budget Obama submitted to Congress has several tax cuts for individuals and businesses, including a proposal to "eliminate capital gains taxation on small businesses."
From the July 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
HUME: If you listen carefully to the talk about a second stimulus package, what you will hear is the sound of chickens coming home to roost. Defenders of the $787 billion spending colossus Congress passed back in February say only a small fraction of the money has gone out and it's not fair to call the whole thing a failure because unemployment is still going up. Fair enough.
But that's the age-old problem with government stimulus. It always takes a while for the money to get out the door, get spent, get into the hands of consumers, who it is hoped will then spend it again to get things moving.
Too often by the time that happens, the economy is already recovering and the money is largely wasted. The spend-out rate will doubtless accelerate in the months ahead and may have more of an effect. But, remember, that money is not free. It has to be taxed or borrowed from people already sweating out a bad economy, and the amounts involved this time are so staggering that the future borrowing and taxing they will require will be a major burden on the economy.
Don't expect anyone to admit that the huge stimulus package, with all the questionable stuff that was in it, was a mistake. But don't expect anyone, least of all the Obama administration, to let Congress do it again -- Bret.
BRET BAIER (host): What do you think the chances are that the administration would redirect some of the money that's already in the stimulus pipeline?
HUME: Well, it would require congressional consent to do that. I suppose they could turn it into business-friendly tax cuts or personal income tax rate cuts, which are thought to have an incentive effect as well as a spending effect. But those are Republican ideas. And this Congress and this president, they don't seem to do Republican ideas.
BAIER: At least not yet. Brit, thanks.