A remarkable display.
If you have been relying on the Tax Foundation as a source of information, it is time to stop.
Mark Thoma has the story:
Economist's View: "The Disappearing Tax Foundation Blog Post": I recently noted a post from The Tax Foundation accusing the Wall Street Journal editorial page of of "a textbook example of how to lie with statistics."
Bruce Bartlett points to a Tax Foundation article that accuses the WSJ's editorial page of "a textbook example of how to lie with statistics.": The Wall Street Journal's Misleading Income Chart. When the Tax Foundation questions someone's reliability, you know a line has been crossed.
Brendan Nyhan notes today that the Tax Foundation post has been taken down:
... At this point, you're probably wondering why this post doesn't contain any links to the Tax Foundation website. The reason is that this sort of intra-movement criticism has a short shelf life -- so short that the post had already vanished by this morning. Scott Hodge, the president of the Tax Foundation, confirmed that the post had been removed: "we withdrew the post for editorial and content reasons." He did not elaborate further.
Then, later, he does elaborate further -- that is, if we never got around to it qualifies as elaboration:
Update 5/16 4:51 PM [EST]: More from Hodge via email:
Like all organizations we have an editorial process. The piece was posted before I could edit it. I thought it needed revision and editing. We never got around to posting a satisfactory version. It's a moot point now.
Leaving the original post up, and then doing a follow-up post explaining the problem with the first post (which has not yet been explained other than someone thought "it needed revision and editing") would have been a more honest approach.
Either the editorial process is so bad that false claims appear on the site that are later removed without explanation -- not a very encouraging sign for the site, but one the editor apparently admits to -- or the post was removed because it told the truth. In any case, my statement that the Tax Foundation's reliability is questionable is certainly validated by this episode.
I must say I can't see any way for Hodge to rescue the situation that includes his staying on the job. Pulling graphs because they are too informative is not a good long-runs strategy if you are in the education business...