by Andy Newbold/Media Matters
On today's edition of Special Report -- billed as one of Fox's "straight news" programs -- host Bret Baier highlighted an article by the investment site The Motley Fool in an attempt to place Occupy Wall Street protesters in the top one percent of earners. The article, titled "Attention, Protesters: You're Probably Part of the 1%," explains that a person making $34,000 annually is among the top one percent of income earners worldwide. Baier quoted the article as saying, "Americans we consider poor are among some of the world's most well-off.... Many of those protesting the one percent are, ironically, the top one percent."
But in mocking the Occupy Wall Street protesters, Fox ignored that the very same article notes that "[i]n America, the top 1% earn more than $380,000 per year."
Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office showed in a recent report that the top one percent of income earners in the United States more than doubled their share of after-tax household income between 1979 and 2007, while those in the lowest and middle three income quintiles saw "their shares of after-tax income decline" during that period. From the report:
The share of after-tax household income for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income more than doubled, climbing from nearly 8 percent in 1979 to 17 percent in 2007.The population in the lowest income quintile received about 7 percent of after-tax income in 1979; by 2007, their share of after-tax income had fallen to about 5 percent. The middle three income quintiles all saw their shares of after-tax income decline by 2 to 3 percentage points between 1979 and 2007.
The report included the following graph showing increased disparity in income (after transfers and federal taxes) between the top one percent and the rest of the population between 1979 and 2007: