Things got fiery on Fox News Channel as hosts Tucker Carlson and Juan Williams locked horns in a discussion about infrastructure funding.
During Monday’s broadcast of “The Five,” a heated debate arose about the Biden administration and potential plans to impose even more taxes on Americans with the latest proposal by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for a Vehicle Miles Tax. Carlson and Williams clashed over the impact of such an idea and who it would ultimately hurt.
“Seems like the Biden administration just spent a couple trillion dollars the other day. Oh, that was just the beginning,” the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host said as he began the segment.
“Joe Biden plans to roll out another $3 trillion plan this week. It’s for something called infrastructure. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has an idea of how to pay for it: by taxing drivers by the mile,” he added, referring to a Biden-proposed infrastructure and jobs package with a $1 trillion investment in constructing railroads, ports, bridges and roadways in the U.S.
(Video: Fox News)
After suggesting that the Biden administration could consider a tax on drivers to help fund the multi-trillion dollar infrastructure spending bill, Buttigieg walked back the idea last week. After floating the proposal, the former Democratic presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the levy is “not part of the conversation about this infrastructure bill.”
“Make poor people pay for it! Buttigieg backtracking saying, no, a tax on miles driven is not even under consideration. But…of course it is. He was just discussing it. What a liar,” Carlson said, laughing after playing a clip of Buttigieg’s remarks. “We’re going to spend $3 trillion. No tax can cover it. You can take everybody’s income in America and it wouldn’t cover it.”
“I would urge you to take a look at the gas tank next time you’re filling up, Tucker. All Americans pay tax on gasoline. So We pay tax,” Williams countered, noting that the more Americans drive, the more tax is paid.
“So pay more. Good! Tax the overtaxed. Is that your point?” Carlson asked.
“No, the reason that Pete Buttigieg … walked this back, and I think he did so quite aggressively, is because the kind of alarm that you just raised is coming from the trucking industry, it’s coming from people who live in rural areas who have to drive more to get into town,” Williams replied. “They don’t want that fight.”
He contended that the “fight” is not “beneficial to the Biden administration” and American workers, including those on Wall Street, the car and trucking industries “all say that GDP is going up.”
“They say this is going to be great for the economy. The problem comes from Republicans that say oh, how will we pay for it? You want to raise taxes on the rich. We don’t want to drive up deficits if we’re not cutting taxes for the very rich. That’s the only time they’ll do that,” Williams argued as Carlson jumped in.
“Got it! Got it! Got it!” he said.
“I’m going to tell you something!” Williams shot back, attempting to speak over Carlson.
“No, you haven’t told me anything!” Carlson responded. “Not one thing!”
“Yeah, I said a couple things. The American people like this,” the liberal cohost shot back as Carlson snarked, “Yeah. Got it.”
He turned to the other co-hosts for reaction to the administration even considering “putting the burden of this on the weakest in society.
“It immediately eviscerates Joe Biden’s promise to not raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year. So the taxes will go up,” Dana Perino noted.
Dagen McDowell argued that it’s “spending that we don’t need.”
“This is an excuse to raise taxes on the people that the left hate. High earners, punitive. Purely punitive. High earners, job creators and people who like internal combustion engines, potentially. You’ll lay on mileage tax and then also keep the gas tax. So it’s a way for the government to control what kind of car you drive,” she said.
Co-host Jesse Watters wondered, “How are you even going to enforce this?”
“Are they going to do this mileage tax by the honor system? That doesn’t work when money is involved. Install software in my car?” he asked. “You think I want Mayor Pete knowing what errands I want to run? I’ll like to stay private on that.”
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