In a segment called "Breakfast with 'Friends'," Fox News weekday correspondent and weekend host of Fox & Friends, Pete Hegseth spoke to voters in Ohio about the latest Democratic presidential debate.
Speaking to a table of Republicans and a table of Democrats, Hegseth got a lesson on wealth inequality from a retiree named Bill.
Sitting down with two men at the Democrats table, Hegseth asked Bill what he thought about raising taxes on the wealthiest in the United States, citing Senator Elizabeth Warren.
"I think she makes a lot of sense. You know, when she brought up that billionaires and taxing them after about $50 million, two cents of every dollar that they've made after, it's nothing to them, and it would help so many people here."
"I mean, we could build our infrastructure, the schools, colleges—we could do so [much] with that."
"These 3 percent of the people that we have that own almost half of what we are worth in the United States is just deplorable."
But Hegseth pressed back with the standard Republican criticism of such plans.
According to Hegseth and the GOP since the age of President Ronald Reagan, rich people who pay less in taxes than the poor and middle class are "job creators."
Their excess wealth will trickle down.
Having lived through Reaganomics, Bill wasn't buying what Hegseth was peddling, though.
"It seems to me like—if I remember correctly—back in the 1960s and 1970s, that if you were a millionaire, your taxes were awfully high."
"I think it was in that range 50, 60, 70 per cent—nobody bitched about it then, still made lots of billionaires."
"I think once you get past a couple of million dollars, you got all the money you need. How about giving some of that to the people who worked for a living that can't make it?"
His criticism comes at a time when the wealthiest—thanks to GOP tax cuts—pay a lower percentage of taxes on their income than any other group.
Watch the exchange here.
A Fox & Friends diner guest tells Pete Hegseth that the wealth gap "is just deplorable," and that "back in the 60s… https://t.co/ZeAaAvyqzs— Bobby Lewis (@Bobby Lewis) 1571227554.0
Bill's facts were correct.
The 1980s and Ronald Reagan began the era of shrinking tax rates for the wealthiest in the United States. Previous tax rates were as high as 94% after WWII and never dipped below 50% until the age of Reaganomics and his "trickle down" theory.
Some feared for Bill's safety after the bit of education provided to Hegseth—who looked quite uncomfortable.
@revrrlewis @yashar Shortly after, this man was thrown in a Fox News van and never heard from again.— Biden Thoughts With Jack Handey (@Biden Thoughts With Jack Handey) 1571228542.0
Others remarked on Hegseth's body language.
@revrrlewis @OMAHAGEMGIRL Always interesting to watch the @foxandfriends hosts cut their eyes toward the producers… https://t.co/l578bYmlBe— Ward Carroll (@Ward Carroll) 1571228278.0
@wardcarroll @revrrlewis @OMAHAGEMGIRL @foxandfriends You just know the in-the-field reporter is sweating bullets t… https://t.co/6rfERPWYr0— We did it! We did it Joe! (@We did it! We did it Joe!) 1571229193.0
@revrrlewis control room shouting in his ear piece: "cut to the studio, cut to the studio"— Blue Bee (@Blue Bee) 1571227626.0
Others remarked on accurate information on Fox & Friends.
@DirkTheJust1 @revrrlewis @majorityfm I mean even in the early 80’s the rate was much higher— Brian Alford (@Brian Alford) 1571233559.0
@Brian_Alford @DirkTheJust1 @revrrlewis @majorityfm This is what i try and tell people even 10 yrs older than me th… https://t.co/Ryp8gUiJGR— guy from idaho (@guy from idaho) 1571241282.0
@singledadstatus @DirkTheJust1 @revrrlewis @majorityfm I blame this guy for making trickle down appeal to the worki… https://t.co/qGUhL9oHNh— Brian Alford (@Brian Alford) 1571247752.0
Others had clear memories as well.
@revrrlewis Notice how reporter lied about the effective tax rate. Effective tax rate is always lower then the top tax rate.— Keith Franklin #AllStarWarsIsGood (@Keith Franklin #AllStarWarsIsGood) 1571229525.0
@Franklin808 @revrrlewis exactly. Stock options should be immediately taxed too. Too many corporations offer gross… https://t.co/X8E6rQvtIc— Coup R’anch Doritos (@Coup R’anch Doritos) 1571233094.0
Some were thinking Bill had the chops for national office.
@franciklipp @revrrlewis —Or both these diner guys 2020— JMoLawre ☮️🗯🔳🔲 (@JMoLawre ☮️🗯🔳🔲) 1571234460.0
@revrrlewis @yashar The cure for Fox News and the Trump Administration is an informed voter.— Sue M (@Sue M) 1571228792.0
@franciklipp @revrrlewis https://t.co/sGT3FT2QKx— Sassafras⛾Lea (@Sassafras⛾Lea) 1571242477.0
As of Wednesday, October 16, the 2020 presidential election is 383 days away.
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Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!