Growing up sucks; it means having to let go of those childish, simplistic beliefs that make the world a more colorful place, like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, fairy dust, and the idea that tax cuts create wealth and jobs. Some people adapt, some people don’t. Heritage Foundation chief economist Stephen Moore is one of those who didn’t.
Media Matters reports that Moore got busted for using incorrect statistics to mislead readers about any relationship between tax cuts and job creation in the United States. In his July 7 op-ed, published in The Kansas City Star, Moore cherry picked his data to launch an attack on Paul Krugman, claiming that places like New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and California are all “getting clobbered” by the tax-cutting states like Kansas. For extra irony, Moore went on to accuse liberals of cherry-picking data.
On July 24, The Star published a correction to Moore’s op-ed, stating specifically that he “misstated job growth rates for four states and the time period covered.” The editorial board of the Star inserted this annotation to Moore’s inaccurate claims:
Please see editor’s note at the top of this column. 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. NOTE: These figures are incorrect. The time period covered was December 2007 to December 2012. Over that time, Texas gained 497,400 jobs, California lost 491,200, Florida lost 461,500 and New York gained 75,900. Oops. Illinois raised taxes more than any other state over the last five years and its credit rating is the second lowest of all the states, below that of Kansas! (emphasis original)
According to Media Matters, it was Yael Abouhalkah that took Moore’s piece to task for its inaccuracies:
On July 25, Star columnist Yael Abouhalkah explained the correction in more detail. Abouhalkah wrote that Moore had “used outdated and inaccurate job growth information at a key point in his article” and that Moore should have used data from 2009 to 2014, rather than from 2007 to 2012. Abouhalkah also argued that “the problems with Moore’s opinion article damaged his credibility on the jobs issue.”
Not that Moore has much credibility to begin with on the “jobs issue,” according to Media Matters:
Moore’s credibility on “the jobs issue” is not the only troubling aspect of his economic punditry. Moore was recently brought on as the chief economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation after serving for many years on the right-wing editorial board of The Wall Street Journal and as a go-to economic commentator on Fox News. Moore has a history of disparaging reasonable economic policies in favor of fiscally irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy and painful spending cuts to vital programs.
Moore has referred to unemployment insurance as a “paid vacation” for jobless Americans and bizarrely claimed that laws guaranteeing paid sick leave for full-time workers were “very dangerous for cities.” Moore spent years basely claiming that the Affordable Care Act would reduce job creation, seamlessly transitioning from one debunked talking point to the next along the way. He is also an outspoken opponent of increasing the minimum wage, claiming that even a moderate rise in wages would result in a “big increase” in unemployment. In a recent foray out of the safety of right-wing media, Moore’s anti-living wage spin was easily cut down by CNN anchor Carol Costello.
Sounds to me like it’s time for the Heritage Foundation to give Moore a “paid vacation.”