Fox News suggested this week that Americans who had access to computers and air conditioning could not really be considered poor.
Tuesday’s edition of The Five asserted that a new Census Bureau report showed that the so-called “war on poverty” had failed because 45 million Americans were still living below the poverty line.
“The war, this war against poverty was plotted to continue indefinitely,” Fox News host Greg Gutfeld opined. “The census counts a family as poor, but excludes the government spending that they get, the programs they get from that actual income. So what happens is it guarantees that programs will grow while poverty is unchanged because you’re not counting the money their getting!”
As the segment continued, an on-screen chyron below the panel listed some of the types of items that people who were allegedly poor might have, including air conditioning, cable TV, computers, Internet access and high definition televisions. The word poor was in quotes, suggesting that people owning those items might not be living in poverty.
Co-host Eric Bolling argued that under President Barack Obama, poor people did not even have to “pretend” that they were looking for a job to receive government assistance.
“President Obama is the first president to pull that [requirement] out,” Bolling said. “So it’s literally more financially for you to stay on welfare programs than it go out and get a job for a good percentage of the population.”
As Media Matters notes, the Fox News points about the type of items impoverished families owned reflected a 2014 report by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which said that poor people now had “consumer items that were luxuries or significant purchases for the middle class a few decades ago.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast Sept. 16, 2014.