Things got a bit heated Wednesday morning on Fox Business Network when host Maria Bartiromo took issue with a guest’s assertion that the rich aren’t paying “their fair share” of taxes.
During a discussion on the latest fundraising hauls by 2020 presidential candidates, Republican strategist John Thomas said that Democratic frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is tarnished by the recent revelation that he’s a millionaire, claiming it undermines his “fundamental brand promise” that “millionaires and billionaires are evil capitalists.”
This prompted Fox contributor Richard Fowler to push back, stating that Sanders never said that millionaires are evil, but simply insisting that “everybody should pay their fair share.” That line got Bartiromo—a long-time Wall Street reporter—to get involved.
“Who’s not paying their fair share?!” she shouted at Fowler. “Just tell me who’s not paying—this is really—this is such a talking point that bothers me!”
As Fowler explained that they’d had this conversation in the past, Bartiromo claimed the top-ten percent wealthiest Americans pay 71 percent of the taxes, and chastised her guest for using a “talking point.”
After calming Bartiromo down, Fowler went on to say that they “almost agree on this point” and that he is mostly talking about taxes on those who make their income from capital gains or real-estate investment when it comes to paying “their fair share.”
Bartiromo, however, was not done, accusing Fowler of “putting apples together with oranges” by grouping together capital gains and income. After she and Thomas tag-teamed Fowler on capital gains and how it’s “an essential part of this country and entrepreneurship,” Fowler said he wasn’t arguing we shouldn’t have capital gains but that “we should level the playing field” while using investor Warren Buffet’s example that he pays taxes at a lesser rate than his secretary.
“It is level, that's another talking point, and you're confusing it,” Bartiromo lectured Fowler. “Warren Buffett, when he talks that he has to pay less in taxes than his secretary, it’s two different things.”
The segment would go on like this for another minute or so, with the rest of the panel pummeling Fowler for having the audacity to want capital gains taxed at a rate similar to income.