Math and Facts are Harder


I’m sure Paul Krugman thinks he made a morally justifiable argument in his recent NYT article supporting ¡Ocasio! She Guevara’s proposed higher tax rates, but he’s dead wrong on both the facts and his math. He wrote,

The controversy of the moment involves AOC’s advocacy of a tax rate of 70-80 percent on very high incomes, which is obviously crazy, right? I mean, who thinks that makes sense? … And it’s a policy nobody has ever implemented, aside from … the United States, for 35 years after World War II — including the most successful period of economic growth in our history.

It’s a fact that World War II ended in 1945. You can look it up.

It’s also a fact that the top U. S. personal income tax rates were cut from 70 percent to 50 percent in 1964. Paul Krugman could have looked that up in the NYT’s archives.

1964 – 1945 = 19 and 19 < 35.

Also, the peak period of post WWII economic growth in America was after that tax cut, a fact that Krugman would have also found if he researched his paper's own archives.

Space prohibits a full discussion of the impact of the tax cut, but current data show that inflation-adjusted G.D.P. increased 5.8 percent in 1964 after a 4.4 percent rise in 1963. Growth improved to 6.5 percent in 1965 and 6.6 percent in 1966. These were the three best back-to-back years for economic growth in the postwar era, and economists generally credit the Kennedy-Johnson tax cut for much of it.

Sometimes Truth just refuses to fit The Narrative.

UPDATE—To be fair to Paul Krugman, the Kennedy/Johnson tax cut became law just before his 11th birthday, so he probably has no real memory of the economic conditions he was writing about.

Krugman’s Depression


Paul Krugman says that we’re in a depression.

Uh, huh.

When I took Econ 101 back in 1965, I was taught that in order to have a depression one first needed a recession and that in order to have a recession one needed two quarters of economic contraction. We haven’t had “negative growth” in the economy for several years. Growth has been lousy but not negative. I don’t understand how that makes for a depression, but I don’t have a Nobel Prize for Economics either.

Dr. Krugman does have such a prize, and his novel definition of a depression doesn’t really make sense to me. He seems to believe that it has been caused by—I’m not making this up—”misguided budget cuts.” Federal government spending has gone up every year that I’ve been alive, and aggregate spending for all levels of government has been up every year for the last decade. What cuts? What depression?

Well, maybe Dr. Krugman is depressed. Perhaps it’s time for a med check.

As Ed Morrissey notes:

However, maybe we shouldn’t point out these facts.  If the Left wants to argue that Obama has led us into a depression, far be it from me to dissuade them.

Is it November yet?