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America Is a Scam for the Rich: Fox News’ Dominion Settlement Is Tax-Deductible

A person seen from the waist down walks by the Fox News office.

Well, we all knew Fox News was going to come out ahead in its $787.5 million dollars settlement to Dominion Voting Systems, and somehow their basically-a-win is even worse than it initially seemed. That’s right, it turns out that you can knowingly lie, repeatedly, to the American people, and when you get caught, you get to write off at least a portion of your lawsuit settlement as debt on your taxes. Cool! Per HuffPost:

Fox can deduct the Dominion settlement from its income taxes as an expense necessary for the cost of doing business. Fox Chief Communications Officer Brian Nick has confirmed the deductibility of the settlement.

Make this makes sense to me, an English major: How is lying to everyone a necessary and legitimate expense towards the cost of doing business?! Don’t worry, this is not just Fox News scamming us all out of money that could repair our aging infrastructure, no, it’s basically every big business. Per the above article:

Big companies often deduct large settlements to help offset some of the cost, but since settlement amounts are usually confidential, it’s difficult to pin down exactly how much they benefit. Payments that are seen as restitution or compensation can be deducted, while payments made to the government or at the direction of a government are usually not deductible.

So to put it in layman’s terms: these horrible companies are out there doing dirty things, getting sued, and when they get caught, they are allowed to deduct their settlement amounts against what they owe to the IRS. Whereas I can’t even deduct my dog’s overnight kennel costs when I have to travel for work. America, ain’t she grand?!

Don’t worry though. Fox News doesn’t get to write off the full amount. No, just about a full quarter of it. Per HuffPost:

Robert Willens, a tax professor at the Columbia University School of Business, estimates that after the tax write-off, Fox will incur about three-fourths of the settlement amount, about $590 million.

“The key is that if the payments are being made to private parties and not at the behest of the government then you can pretty much conclude without any fear of contradiction that the payment will be deductible,” he said.

Crime pays, as long as you have deep enough pockets to cover the initial payment. Then you get to deduct it against your taxes and the American people will suffer as a result because that’s income that doesn’t go to our government.

It’s also highly likely that Fox News has insurance to cover a portion of its settlement as well. See? There are all sorts of loopholes for the rich to allow them to basically do whatever they want, and give them a soft landing when they get caught. Per HuffPost:

Also, if Fox is insured, insurance is likely to cover some of the settlement. Chad Milton, a partner at Media Risk Consultants, said a large media company such as Fox could have anywhere between $100 million to $500 million in coverage, including media liability insurance and other types of insurance.

“It’s not hard to stack up $100 million but as you go higher than that, it gets harder and harder,” Milton said.

Like with all insurance, there’s a deductible, but in a high-profile case like this, the article points out that attorney fees alone most likely met it. There is, however, also likely an “annual aggregate limit of liability” and keep in mind, Fox News has an even bigger defamation lawsuit waiting in the wings against them to the tune of $2.7 billion from Smartmatic. However, no date has been set yet, so it could be years until that case is heard.

Fox News, like the cockroaches from hell who can survive anything, has already said the Dominion settlement doesn’t really impact them much. Per HuffPost:

Fox has also said it doesn’t expect the settlement to affect its operations.

“We don’t expect significant operational effects or changes to our business given our cash flow, strong balance sheet and the health of our business,” the company said in a statement after the settlement was announced.

I got nothing. This all feels like a scam for the rich, where they pay proportionally very little and take a lot from the American people, and we all suffer as a result.

(featured image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and politics for five years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She has probably seen Cliffhanger more times than you. Team Edward 4-Eva.