While any sober solution to the country’s deficit problem should include both revenue enhancement and spending cuts, conservatives have been completely unwilling to even consider tax increases, proposing steep cuts that will do little to solve the deficit, while doing much to hurt the middle class and the most vulnerable. Toeing that conservative line on Fox News Sunday today, Fox personality Brit Hume argued that cutting taxes will actually lead to increased tax revenue. Fox analyst Juan Williams responded by noting this is often not the case, citing the fact that G.E. — the nation’s largest company — paid nothing in taxes last year. Williams’ response flummoxed Hume, who appeared dumbfounded and at a loss for words. Host Chris Wallace had to jump in to smooth things over with a joke:
WILLIAMS: You’re going on as if, you know what, we don’t know how in America how to help our own deficit problem. We do! We just have to tax people.
HUME: Juan, Juan. What we need is not higher tax rates. What we need is higher revenue. And how do you get higher revenues? You get higher revenues from an expanding economy. That’s where the big money comes from.
WILLIAMS: Yeah, and G.E. paying no taxes? That’s good for America? Come on, you know that’s not right.
WALLACE: I just want to say, I pay all my taxes!