Last night on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity interviewed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and expressed his outrage that Weiner wants the rich to pay more in taxes. Noting that Weiner is from New York, Hannity said, “Let’s go through the New York numbers.” The Fox News host then said if Weiner had his way, New Yorkers would be paying “55, 60″ percent of “earned income,” a figure he calculated by including federal, state, and city taxes, sales tax, property tax, estate tax and “other hidden taxes.” “Why do you think you have a right to tax 60 percent of people’s money?” Hannity asked.
Weiner replied that it’s not about wanting to tax anyone, that “it is just about choices.” “I choose to stay on the side of the middle class. You want to defend the rich,” Weiner told Hannity, adding, “You want to borrow for Rupert Murdoch’s tax break,” referring to Hannity’s boss and billionaire News Corp. chairman. However, Hannity wouldn’t budge, and he didn’t dispute his love for Murdoch:
WEINER: If you give a tax cut to Rupert Murdoch. — We got to borrow the money to pay Rupert Murdoch’s tax break. You want to do that?
HANNITY: Listen, thank God, you know why for Rupert Murdoch? — Rupert Murdoch is a job creator. Rupert Murdoch is a taxpayer, Rupert Murdoch donates to charity and more than you do Congressman.
WEINER: He’s a very fine man. He’s a very fine man but that is not the question. The question is, you want to give him a tax cut and borrow it from my kids, no deal. No deal.
HANNITY: You know what, thank God Rupert Murdoch created a job for me so, I could tell you, you’re taking way too much in spending too much of the taxpayers dollars.
It’s unclear how Hannity concluded that some New Yorkers will end up paying 60 percent of their income on taxes. He seems to just be adding up certain tax rate percentages, but of course, that’s not how it works.
And Weiner is right. The U.S. government will have to borrow more than $400 billion to pay for the Bush tax cut extension of the next two years, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.
But while Hannity is defending Murdoch’s billions, other billionaires are calling for the rich to sacrifice more. “I think that people at the high end — people like myself — should be paying a lot more in taxes,” billionaire Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway William Buffett said recently. “We have it better than we’ve ever had it.”