Fox Business host John Stossel says he recently dressed up as a homeless person and begged for money to prove that “you shouldn’t give money to these street people.”
“Yes, we are turning into a nation of freeloaders,” Stossel told the co-hosts of Fox & Friends on Thursday. “Because you feel like a sucker if you’re not when government keeps offering you stuff.”
“And advertising that there’s food stamps available for you!” co-host Brian Kilmeade agreed.
Guest co-host Peter Johnson wondered if Stossel had ever been a “freeloader.”
“I freeloaded off my parent,” Stossel admitted. “To be fair, it’s wealthy people who do most of the freeloading: corporate welfare, farm subsidies and I collected federal flood insurance because I had a beach house.”
In an effort to prove that freeloading was a lucrative pastime, the libertarian host said he recently posed as a homeless person as stunt for his Fox Business show. In the video clip, Stossel can be seen wearing a fake beard and dirty clothes. He asks people passing on the street to put money in his Styrofoam cup while he holds a sign that reads, “Homeless & Cold: Anything will help, please. God bless.”
“I had heard that some people beg for a living and can make big bucks, $80,000 a year in some cases,” he explained. “I made at a rate of about $24,000 — tax free. I just did it for a couple hours.”
“With one sign that said, ‘I really need help’ and one sign that said, ‘I’ll be honest with you, I just want a beer,’ I collected the same rate,” he added. “People just automatically give.”
“Ah, jeez,” guest co-host Juliet Huddy sighed.
“And you shouldn’t give to these street people,” Stossel advised. “You’re really supporting alcoholism and drug problems.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ Fox & Friends via Mediaite, broadcast July 5, 2012.