Look Who Rose From Irrelevance?

In General Interest by Jonathan Tasini0 Comments

One of the enduring feats that always amazes me is the way in which liars, fools and manipulators, who are proven to be such, still manage to occupy some space in the public debate and rise from the dead. You remember Arthur Laffer, the man who peddled the phony and discredited “Laffer curve” arguing for lower taxes? Well, he’s baaccck…with another pile of manure to sell.

Citizens for Tax Justice looks at a new phony baloney argument by Laffer, in which he tries to claim that 62 percent of the 3 millions jobs created over a ten-year period sprung up in nine states without an income tax. Except it’s rubbish:

1) Most of the states without income taxes contributed just one percent or less to the nation’s job growth over the period Laffer examines.  Laffer’s claim has nothing to do with the “nine states without an income tax,” and everything to do with one of those states: Texas.

2) Texas’ economy differs from that of other states in many significant ways, and comparing its job growth to the rest of the country provides no insight into the economic impact of its tax policies.  This is particularly true of the time period Laffer examines, since it includes the housing crisis that Texas largely avoided for reasons unrelated to tax policy.

3) Looking beyond the specific Recession-dominated time period chosen by Laffer, Texas’ job growth has otherwise generally been in line with its rate of population growth.

It’s important to get on top of this nonsense right away and shred it to pieces because, otherwise, it threatens to join the other phony arguments about the economy. Kill it in its infancy.

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