Arthur Laffer Still A Clown

I’m not sure how many holes can be punched in Arthur Laffer’s long-discredited “supply side” theories but for what it’s worth, here’s another one:

States Lacking Income Tax Get No Boost In Growth: BGOV Barometer

Governors seeking to expand their economies by eliminating income taxes find little support for the idea in the record of U.S. states that lack such a levy.

The BGOV Barometer shows the nine states with the highest personal income taxes on residents outperformed or kept pace on average with the nine that don’t tax their residents’ incomes, according to a study of economic output, unemployment and household income by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

The findings show cutting state income taxes to stimulate growth relies on “flawed analysis” based on the theories of economist Arthur Laffer, said Carl Davis, a senior analyst at ITEP in Washington and author of the report. Laffer’s work was cited by Republican Governors Sam Brownback of Kansas and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma as a reason to cut income taxes as a way to stimulate job growth and attract business.

“Being low-tax doesn’t generate economic competitiveness or long-term economic viability,” said Ralph Martire, executive director at the nonpartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago. “There are other factors that are far more important. The state tax burden overall is marginal compared to federal tax burden.”

Laffer is a clown, though one much beloved by his Republican friends because he tells them exactly what they want to hear, facts be damned. You know, if I found a doctor who told me I could lose 20 pounds by drinking beer and eating potato chips every day, hot damn I’d be all over that diet like white on rice. But I’m not a child. I’m a grown-up.

Apparently, Republicans are children. And hey, Arthur Laffer: if you have to make shit up to scare a legislative committee into believing your bullshit, maybe you should just hang it up.

This cracked me up:

Those who don’t believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny anymore, and actually look at facts and data, recognize that since supply-side economics has been implemented in America, the complete opposite of what supply siders had promised has occurred,” Martire said.

Ouch! But it’s true. Just because you really, really, REALLY want something to be true doesn’t make it true. It just doesn’t. So grow the fuck up.

You know what’s funny? Tennessee Republicans like Gov. Bill Haslam believing in economic fairy tales like “supply side economics,” while tap-dancing around the science which supports evolution and climate change.

News flash to the nimrods in the Republican Party: there’s these things called numbers and facts and data that smart people look at to definitively prove this stuff! I know, crazy! Who knew? So if you wondered whether Tennessee’s lack of an income tax is a benefit to our economy, we can actually look at this stuff and come up with an answer! Totally weird, I know. And here we all thought we were supposed to use the Urim and Thummim, tea leaves, a set of Tarot cards and a medium to channel the Oracle of Delphi to figure this shit out.


Filed under taxes, Tennessee

11 responses to “Arthur Laffer Still A Clown

  1. themadkansan

    …Brownback is a brain-dead Dominionist, and the Koch Brothers’ corporate tool to boot. Gods, but how I’d love to just leave this place and =never= come back…

    • I know how you feel, Tennessee is Kansas’ twin on a lot of that stuff and I get so thoroughly disgusted. But you know, the crazies are everywhere — even in Oregon, California, Washington, etc. Last time I was vacationing on the San Juan Islands in Washington (aka, paradise!) I saw a flyer for a Tea Party rally.

      So I’m afraid, to paraphrase Don Henley, we’re gonna have to make it here ‘cuz there’s no more new frontier. We’re stuck. We’ll just have to root out the bastards and send them scurrying back to their John Birch Society fringes of the political sphere.

      • themadkansan

        I would so love to…

        At the very least, I need to move somewhere in the state other than this backward inbred fuckneck puddle writ large; it’s a 20K+ city, owned and run by “small-town” individuals. It’s not what you know, it’s not even =who= you know – it’s Who Know You, and heaven forbid you should get on the wrong side of the local landed-class, as I seem to have done…

  2. Ouch! But it’s true. Just because you really, really, REALLY want something to be true doesn’t make it true. It just doesn’t. So grow the fuck up.

    Fools and tools want it to be true, and can believe it because they are immune to facts and data. But the Rethugs in power know that it’s not true. They have a different agenda – not the well-being of the country, but concentrating all wealth and power in the hands of a very small number of very rich oligarchs. in other words, the new feudalism.


  3. ThresherK

    The same way “Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench” is said as one word, I suggest a new honorific title:


    It flows like cream over silk, and is perfectly descriptive.

    • tech98

      “Economic storyteller” works too.

      • R. Manhammer

        I like injecting the word “failed” into any description of Rethuglicania. So, I live here in the Failed Confederacy. The failed war criminal George Bush was the previous president. Scooter Libby, the failed and convicted felon who advised Dick “Shooter” Cheney on his move to failed Fourth Branch of Government.

        So, I’d probably say something like Failed Economist Arthur Laffer.

      • I always found it horribly ironic that someone peddling in a long-discredited economic theory would be named “Laffer.” So I sometimes call him the “Laughable economist Arthur Laffer.”

  4. Bob

    You know a doctor that will tell you you can lose weight by eating chips and drinking beer???!!!! Does he take Blue Cross/ Blue Shield?

  5. Mike G

    A background in child psychology is useful for understanding Republican “thought”. Most of us grow out of the “It must be true because I want it to be true” by the age of 7.