Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik drew attention recently to the Kansas City Star, which ran a rather smug op-ed last month from the Heritage Foundation’s chief economist Stephen Moore purporting to show that tax cuts like those imposed by Governor Sam Brownback (R) in Kansas spurred job growth, and blowing raspberries in Paul Krugman’s general direction.
Then Kansas City Star columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah compared Moore’s job data to that from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Moore had cited figures in which low-tax states like Texas and Florida had gained jobs over the last five years while higher-tax states like California and New York lost them. Turned out, he was using stats from 2007-2012 (which included the financial collapse); data from the last five years erased that trend.
As Hiltzik and others showed, even the data he cherry-picked from 2007-2012 was wrong:
But Moore’s 2007-2012 numbers are still incorrect. In that period, the BLS says, Texas didn’t gain 1 million jobs, but 497,400. Florida didn’t gain “hundreds of thousands of jobs”–it lost 461,500 jobs. And New York didn’t lose jobs–it gained 75,900 jobs. Yes, California lost jobs, as Moore said. So at least he’s batting .250.
[…] Moore’s effort was worse than cherry-picking–it was akin to trying to pick cherries in an apple orchard.
The op-ed now has the following editor’s note:
And the following corrections:
Notice how the “oops” now appears to refer to the actual mistakes of the author, not the supposed ones of his opponents.
“I do regret the mistakes in my piece,” Moore wrote in an email to the Star. “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.”
[h/t LA Times]
[Image via Heritage]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]