Fox News’ Hemmer, Perino Argue With Biden’s Economic Adviser Over Tax Evaders

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Fox News hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino argued with a senior White House economic adviser Wednesday about his claims on tax evaders.

The hosts discussed a provision within the Inflation Reduction Act, a reconciliation spending package introduced by Senate Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chuck Schumer of New York, which intends to add 87,000 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents. White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein said the new resources will not add audits for small businesses and individuals making less than $400,000 a year.

“But there are many other institutions that have said otherwise, including the Congressional Budget Office [which] is considered [to be] nonpartisan,” Perino said. (RELATED: Fox News’ Bill Hemmer Pushes Back Against Jared Bernstein Who Says Raising Taxes Is A ‘Good Idea’) 

Perino then asked if Bernstein had ever been audited by the IRS, given that the proposal doubles the chances of individuals and businesses receiving audits from the IRS.

“I have never been audited, I actually have a great record in paying my taxes and I suspect most people who are listening to my voice would say the same thing,” Bernstein said.

“Even people who are audited,” Hemmer interjected. “They have to prove their innocence.”

“Yeah, most people haven’t been audited,” the adviser said. “Here’s the thing, you shouldn’t evade your taxes. I shouldn’t have to say that, but there’s my public service announcement. It is illegal to evade taxes.”

“Nobody’s advocating that,” Perino said.

Bernstein added that taxes will not increase for anybody making less than $400,000 a year, though a report by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JRC) found that taxes will raise for those making an income below $400,000. Hemmer argued that the majority of those audited make less than $25,000 a year.

“How are you gonna square that?” Hemmer asked.

“Let’s be very clear, we are not talking about tax avoidance,” Bernstein said. “We’re talking about tax evasion. Tax avoidance, we may not like it, but it’s not illegal or as you say, between the lines. Tax evasion goes over the line and that’s what we’re talking about here. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars and it’s by far concentrated among the most wealthy, not lower or middle income people like you’re describing.”

The Inflation Reduction Act includes a 15% minimum corporate tax on corporations making at least $1 billion in profits per year. A Penn Wharton budget model said the legislation would have no impact on inflation, though Democratic lawmakers and members of President Joe Biden’s administration have disputed the report.

The JRC report estimates the legislation will raise taxes for middle class Americans and those making less than $10,000 and between $30-$40,000 a year. Not a single income group is expected to see tax cuts until 2031.