Hoisted from the Archives from Four Years Ago: Arguments for Expansionary Fiscal Policy/Economist Decline Watch

Stephen Moore Is a Headline Speaker at the APP Goldbug-Grifter Conference. Stephen Moore Also Tells Lots of Lies. See a Pattern Here?


Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: As you will remember from yesterday, the grifter-goldbug conference featuring grifter-goldbug George Gilder, Steve Moore, Benn Steil, Peter Schiff, and Jim DeMint as its five top headliners is a production of the American Principles Project. We already told you why George Gilder his no business speaking about monetary policy. Briefly, he's not only a goldbug, but a grifter, who says that he faced a difficult choice back in 1999-2000 when he decided not to tell the truth about what he thought to the paying clients of his newsletter.

In short, he lies.

We also told you about Steven Lonagan, who runs the APP Monetary Policy Project. He also lies.

See a pattern here?

So how about number 2 on the headline list, Steve Moore?

Deron Lee (2014): Why One Editor Won't Run Any More Op-Eds by the Heritage Foundation's Top Economist: "PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — ‘I won’t be running anything else from Stephen Moore’...

...So says Miriam Pepper... of the Kansas City Star... after her paper discovered substantial factual errors in a recent guest op-ed.... Pepper told me, ‘I was contacted by Moore’s people saying they wanted to run a response.’ In the interest of fairness, she agreed. Moore... submitted a version of a column that originally ran in Investor’s Business Daily. Contra Krugman, the column argued that Kansas’s tax-cut experiment needed more time to work, and cited statistics.... The Star ran Moore’s column on July 7.... Moore had written:

No-income-tax Texas gained 1 million jobs over the last five years; California, with its 13 percent tax rate, managed to lose jobs. Oops. Florida gained hundreds of thousands of jobs while New York lost jobs. Oops....

Moore’s numbers did not match those of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, Moore later acknowledged, he was using BLS numbers not from ‘the last five years’ but from an earlier five-year period: December 2007 to December 2012... dubious, because the... housing crash... hit some states harder than others--and... swamped any tax-rate effect.... [But] Moore’s numbers were wrong even for 2007-12.... As [Yael] Abouhalkah wrote....

Texas did not gain 1 million jobs in the 2007-2012 period Moore measured. The correct figure was a gain of 497,400 jobs. Florida did not add hundreds of thousands of jobs in that span. It actually lost 461,500 jobs. New York, with [its] very high income tax rates, did not lose jobs during that time. It gained 75,900 jobs Oops, indeed....

When Abouhalkah discovered the errors, Pepper informed editors at the Wichita Eagle, the Star’s sister McClatchy paper, which had also run the piece. The Eagle ran its own correction, somewhat different from the Star’s. The original version published in Investor’s Business Daily remains uncorrected... did not respond to a request for comment....

There’s also the larger question of what the corrections do to Moore’s overall point in the op-ed. As Silverman noted, the paragraph ‘arguably contains the most important statistics in the piece,’ and ‘the Florida/NY comparison now refutes his claim… the whole thing reads very messy for anyone trying to decide whether his is a convincing argument.’ It would be good, he said, for the papers to get some comment from Moore ‘about whether his errors undercut his argument.’

The Star did, eventually, get such a response... an email from Moore... ‘I do regret the mistakes in my piece,’ but added, ‘My point is that they don’t change the conclusion that the no income tax states have substantially outperformed the high income tax states over every period since about 1970...’  It’s not an especially full-throated reckoning, but Pepper says it’s more than Moore offered at the time of the original correction. As she tells it, the statement came only at the end of a ‘snippy’ email exchange in which Moore complained about a July 25 Abouhalkah column further highlighting his errors....

Both Pepper and Brownlee were republishing a piece that had appeared elsewhere first—it was in IBD before the Star—and therefore should have been factchecked already. ‘You assume Heritage has edited these pieces too,’ Pepper says. ‘But, lesson learned. There will be no future Heritage pieces published that don’t get thorough factchecking.’

He lies. There are a lot of them in a small space: By mid-2014, 2007-2012 are not "the last five years". Moore's numbers aren't even the 2007-2012 numbers that he claims they are. Reversing the lies does not leave Moore's argument coherent. That is three, right there.

So, yes, there is a pattern here.


After reading a question from Paul Krugman, I spent an enjoyable part of a week learning more about the 550-330 BC Loyal-Spirit Haxamanishya Great Kings of Persia, chief among them Darayavush the Great:

I am Darayavush, the great king, king of kings, the king of Pârsa, the king of countries, the son of Vishtashpa, the grandson of Arshama, the Haxamanishya.... This is what I have done, by the grace of Ahuramazda have I always acted. Whosoever shall read this inscription hereafter, let that which I have done be believed. You must not hold it to be lies. I call Ahuramazda to witness that is true and not lies...

The Persians, we are told, were taught by their prophet Zarathustra to strive to assist their God Ahuramazda--the Great and Good Mind--by focusing the teaching of their young men on three things:

  • To ride horses.
  • To shoot arrows.
  • To tell no lies.

To me, right now, seems to me to be the result of a kind of anti-Persian education: tell lies--even the most transparent ones--whenever convenient to do so.