Shortly after an on-air guest made the false claim that the top one percent of earners pay 99 percent of the taxes in the U.S., Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy issued a correction and informed the show’s viewers that the richest Americans don’t pay nearly that much.
While railing against socialism and the Democratic Party on Thursday morning, former Republican congressional candidate Maria Elvira Salazar sounded the alarm on “handouts,” claiming that redistribution turns poorer citizens into “parasites of society.”
Taking aim at Medicare for All, Salazar said she’s not opposed to universal access to health care but argued that the U.S. cannot provide for it without taking away the incentives for rich people to “produce wealth.”
She then tossed out this outright falsehood: “Remember that one percent of the country, this country, pays 99 percent of the taxes. The one percent, the most—the richest people, pay 99 percent of the taxes.”
Initially, the claim went unchecked, as co-host Brian Kilmeade piggybacked on her assertion to defend the “one-percenters,” adding that the United States already has too many social programs it cannot afford.
However, following a commercial break, Doocy was made to correct the record.
Referencing recent research from the non-profit Tax Foundation, the Fox News host explained that the top one percent pay something closer to 45 percent of the taxes. Per their most recent public data, in fact, the organization found that the top one percent paid 39 percent of federal income taxes.
After issuing the correction, the hosts all agreed that it was still a “big number” that America’s wealthiest pays.