Neil Cavuto of Fox Business isn’t a news personality who typically ends up at the top of internet searches, but his interrogation of Million Student March organizer Keely Mullen has gone viral.
Mullen appeared on Cavuto’s program to discuss the demands of her movement, which includes free college tuition for all, a $15 minimum wage for campus workers, and cancellation of all student debts.
Things turned frustrating for Mullen when Neil Cavuto started asking her questions about how these things would be paid for. The business journalist used a popular interrogation technique of asking only questions that he already knew the answer to.
“If you taxed all the 1% at 100% of their income, do you know how much revenue that would bring in?”
A staggered Mullen wasn’t sure, so Cavuto informed her it would be $1 trillion — barely enough to support Medicare for three years.
According to a 2013 article from Forbes, there was approximately $1.2 trillion in student debt within the U.S., so clearly the $1 trillion wealth confiscation that Mullen is supporting would not be enough to deliver on every demand of the Million Student March.
Neil Cavuto raised a second point as well that Mullen didn’t have a good response for.
Pointing out that the wealthiest Americans are already taxed at more than 50 percent and that’s why there is so much money offshore, he brought up the point that the outsourcing of wealth would only get worse if tax rates continued to climb.
“So if that happens, Keely, where do you get the money from?” he asked.
To that, Mullen said, “There will always be a one percent.”
It’s an uncomfortable exchange to watch — see video below — but Keely does have her supporters, who may have been better candidates to take on Neil Cavuto. It certainly couldn’t have gone worse.
If you do a search for Neil Cavuto and Keely Mullen online, you have to go through three pages of results before you get to a news outlet that isn’t a conservative blog talking about this story.
When you do finally come to one, it’s a Reddit thread in which some commenters were furious with the journalist for “hand-picking” his opponent and ignoring some points that might have been easier to debate.
One commenter points out that most wealth comes through capital gains instead of income tax.
“Billionaires don’t increase in wealth through income but capital gains, so talking about income tax is missing the whole point of why billionaires have a lower effective tax rate than secretaries,” the commenter wrote.
Others called out Neil Cavuto for choosing a college student, who would “fit into his narrative” instead of seeking out someone who could actively debate.
Still, others found it rude that Cavuto would take the gloves off with a college student who has no political training.
“She’s a kid talking to an almost 60 year old guy that’s doing this as a career on a satellite delay interview. He badgered her with misleading numbers and was aggressive. That’s the interview you give a Democratic presidential candidate or someone running for governor. Not some 20 year old college kid trying to make a difference.”
Regardless of whether it was good form, the interview is now out there for you to decide. As for the other side, AJ+ has a considerably more sympathetic look at the inequities of student debt in the U.S. You can check it out below.
What do you think about what Neil Cavuto did to Keely Mullen in the Fox Business interview? Did he go too far for the sake of ratings, or did he raise some legitimate points that the Million Student March will need to confront if they hope to see concessions? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image of Neil Cavuto via screen grab]