Stephen Moore Is a Liar, Part 2

“For now, there is nothing the matter with Kansas.” – Stephen Moore, June 17, 2014

Readers will recall that, in response to CNN bringing Stephen Moore on board as an “economics analyst”, I noted that Stephen Moore is a liar. Now I continue with the Kansas edition.

For those who forgot, in the original Wichita Eagle piece, Moore wrote:

No-income-tax Texas gained 1 million jobs over the past 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. Oops. Illinois raised taxes more than any other state over the past five years, and its credit rating is the second lowest of all the states, below that of Kansas.

For those who don’t believe all of this, here are the numbers for job creation of the four largest states over the past 20 years: Texas, up 49 percent; Florida, up 35 percent; California, up 19 percent; New York, up 4 percent.

As the Wichita Eagle itself recounted (as it decided to no longer publish pieces by Moore):

Correction: The 5-year time period mentioned in this piece 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. The totals in this piece are incorrect.

This is old news (by the way, the version posted on the Heritage Foundation makes no mention of this egregious error). But it behooves us to remember this episode because it highlights the extent of the man’s mendacity. Now as the Brownback experiment has ended, it’s useful to see exactly how disastrous the Moore prescription has been for the Kansas economy.

From June 7th post:



Figure 1: Log GDP relative to 2011Q1 for US (black), Plains (teal), and Kansas (red). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BEA, and author’s calculations.

From May 27th post:


Figure 2: Log nonfarm payroll employment for Missouri (blue), Kansas (red), and US (black), seasonally adjusted, 2011M01=0. Source: BLS, and author’s calculations.

And from September 2016, an assessment of what a counterfactual with no government spending reductions cum tax cuts would have implied for Kansas (it would’ve done better than under the Brownback program):
ardl_counterfact

Figure 3: Log Kansas GDP (black), fitted values without drought (red), and without government output reductions (blue). Drought dates as suggested by Political Calculations (light brown). Source: BEA, and author’s calculations.

Watch for more chapters of “Stephen Moore Is a Liar” as long as CNN continues to employ him as an “economics analyst”

See also this compilation.

50 thoughts on “Stephen Moore Is a Liar, Part 2

  1. Bruce Hall

    Stephen Moore may be a “liar”, but he may also be correct with regard to employment: https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LASST200000000000006?amp%253bdata_tool=XGtable&output_view=data&include_graphs=true

    Kansas hasn’t been a growth state since the land rush, so when looking at peak-to-peak employment data, Kansas doesn’t look all that bad.

    Missouri did recover more in terms of labor force, but that has been reversed recently. https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LASST290000000000006?amp%253bdata_tool=XGtable&output_view=data&include_graphs=true

    “Plains states” may be a geographical meaningful term, but the economies of North Dakota and Kansas/Missouri have significant differences. https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LASST380000000000006?amp%253bdata_tool=XGtable&output_view=data&include_graphs=true

    Could Kansas become a population growth state? Possibly, but not plausibly. Kansas’ population growth was based on agriculture… specifically small, independent farms. Corporate farming has changed the face and population of that state. The big recession saw the labor force return to 2007 levels. Kansas is doing well to keep a steady level of a labor force now.

    The logical question to ask is: would significantly raising taxes in Kansas achieve the population and employment growth necessary to reverse a long term trend? Or better yet, will that big oil and natural gas exploration (like North Dakota) or climate (like Silicon Valley) to Kansas? Sometimes, you are stuck with what you’ve got and you do the best with that. A steady labor force and a 3.7% unemployment rate for Kansas may be the best it will get.

    Reply
  2. Bruce Hall

    Well, yes, he is conflating old data with current conditions which is certainly incorrect and misleading. My point was that the conclusion he reached that Kansas isn’t doing all that badly is generally correct… using current BLS data on employment.

    The University of Wisconsin Applied Population Lab http://w3001.apl.wisc.edu/pdfs/b03_16.pdf (see figure 3) provides some demographic information that is one factor in the relative jobs performance among states. It’s difficult for “Plains” states to compare well on both relative and absolute jobs growth because of overriding population trends. North Dakota has been able to buck the trends because of the fracking industry.

    Nevertheless, Kansas has achieved “full employment” for its overall population. In that respect, Kansas is doing well and Moore, for all of his misdirection (lying), is correct.

    So I’ll repeat:
    “The logical question to ask is: would significantly raising taxes in Kansas achieve the population and employment growth necessary to reverse a long term trend? Or better yet, will that bring oil and natural gas exploration (like North Dakota) or climate (like Silicon Valley) to Kansas? Sometimes, you are stuck with what you’ve got and you do the best with that. A steady labor force and a 3.7% unemployment rate for Kansas may be the best it will get.”

    Reply
    1. 2slugbaits

      Bruce Hall Please note that the U-3 rate for Kansas is 3.7%, which doesn’t look too bad; however, the U-6 rate for Kansas is 8.1%, which is very bad and out of line for a state like Kansas and is way out of line with almost all of its near neighbors. (The one exception is Oklahoma, and who the hell wants to live in Oklahoma!) And wage growth in Kansas has been pathetic. The reason Kansas has a 3.7% U-3 unemployment rate is because lots of people are working low paying, crappy jobs with lousy hours.

      One thing Kansas could have done differently is to tax farm property. A lot of GOP dominated rural states got into the habit of taxing income in lieu of taxing farm property because Republican politicians wanted to protect their political base (i.e., farmers). Cutting income taxes and refusing to raise farm property taxes is a recipe for fiscal failure. GOP politicians bought into the fiction that the farm economy had to be protected. The result was an unbalanced economy, but a politically reliable voter base, which in the end is all that ALEC and the so-called Club for Growth ever cared about.

      Instead of planting wheat and corn, Kansas could have diversified. For example, at one time Kansas was a major producer of orchard fruits, much as its neighbor Missouri still is today. Kansas has a lot of land which could be put to better use; e.g., high value grass fed beef (the only kind my wife will let me eat!) rather than $3/bushel corn. And there are plenty of studies that show a very high return on state investments in university research corridors. At one time Lawrence, KS had the highest per capita education level in the country. Alas, no longer. There are plenty of things that Kansas could have done to avoid the mess it’s in today, but most of those things would have jeopardized the narrow interests of those reliably GOP voters, and that was a price Brownback was not willing to pay.

      Reply
        1. 2slugbaits

          Bruce Hall So evidently you think it’s good economic policy to put all your eggs in one farm basket. Protect farmers at all costs. If you’re a farm state, then double down on agriculture and make your state even more dependent on a highly cyclical industry. Yep, that’s the smart move. You betcha. Makes about as much sense as putting your 401k investments in your employer’s stock. Look, land is a relatively inelastic input, so it’s something that you’d want to tax because doing so creates less economic distortion than taxing more elastic inputs. You’ve obviously never taken an upper level course in public finance.

          You’re also wrong about research corridors centered around university towns; they do improve the rest of the state because they tend to attract a younger, higher educated and wealthier demographic. Go spend some time perusing some NBER working papers on this very topic. The GOP’s problem is that this is precisely the kind of demographic they don’t want to see coming into the state because they also tend to vote Democratic.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Hall

            2Slug, you indicated that taxing farmers more is good policy. Please explain in light of the information I provided in my last response.

            Kansas University, KSU, and other universities do help the immediate surrounding areas. Given that those universities have been around for only a few years, it is probably too early to tell how far they can go in reversing the longer trends in Kansas’ population outmigration. 😉

            I think Cato had a pretty good article about the “Kansas experiment.”
            “Of course, one can understand why the Left is so keen to highlight Kansas’ failures. For decades, the free-market Right has broadly won the argument on whether low marginal tax rates on income and corporate profits boost growth by increasing incentives to work and invest. With President Trump promising large cuts to marginal rates too, the critics are perhaps right to point out that free-marketeers sometimes overplay the case for tax cuts relative to other areas of policy.

            But it is another thing entirely to ignore the specific conditions of Kansas, and the history of how this tax cut occurred, and to extrapolate that it illustrates how supply-side economics does not work. An extensive review on the link between taxation and economic growth published here by the Institute of Economic Affairs last year showed that high marginal taxes, other things given, tend to slow the growth of economic activity.

            Taxes are not everything, and in many cases may not even be the most important policy lever to improve growth prospects. But there is a much broader theoretical and empirical literature than just the Kansas “experiment” which shows that they really do matter.”
            https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/real-lessons-kansas-experiment

    2. noneconomist

      BH: it would appear there were plenty of willing smoke blowers responsible for the nonsense that became the great Kansas experiment.
      After the big tax cuts, There was to be an economic explosion soon to follow: lots of adrenaline, look out Texas, 22,000 new jobs above normal job growth, plenty of new revenue. Blah, blah, blah.
      Yet, as unemployment has receded, participation in the labor force has remained constant. The dynamite charges–lowered taxes paid by fewer Kansans–that would blow holes in the state’s economy were mere sparklers in hands of numerous showoffs who were either incompetent ideologues, would be carnival barkers, or, simply, liars.

      Reply
  3. DeDude

    Classic Cherry-picking from a guy who had the conclusion and then went to find specific economic data in specific states and over specific time periods that would be able to support that already drawn conclusion. The only rationale for his choice of parameter, time period and states are that they support his conclusion. Sorry CNN but FAKE science doesn’t make for “diversity” in points of view.

    Reply
  4. Bruce Hall

    DeDude, to whom are you addressing your comment? Surely, you are not arguing against the BLS series since a decade is pretty much standard fare. Besides 2007 was the peak or near peak of the last economic cycle. So I must presume you mean Stephen Moore was doing the “cherry picking”.

    I must also presume that Moore was referencing the same BLS data, so either he intentionally lied (as Menzie indicated) or he ineptly referenced some other data/grossly miscalculated. My contention was not about the data that Moore alleged, but rather figures 1 and 2 that show “underperformance” for Kansas (which I’m not sure how it fits into Moore’s data issues other than a reference to “Moore’s prescription”)… so, I’m not defending Moore, just questioning “how disastrous the Moore prescription has been for the Kansas economy”.

    Reply
  5. joseph

    Speaking of liars —

    Yesterday every CBO director in history got together and signed a letter (politely) calling Paul Ryan a big fat liar.

    Reply
  6. Rick Stryker

    More false charges from Menzie on Steven Moore. Moore is certainly no liar. Moreover, as is typical of the tactics of the Left, he, like every conservative, is being held to a much higher standard that the Left does not hold itself to. Let’s break it down.

    I’ve already pointed out that Menzie’s original charge that Moore is a liar is false. Moore was obviously quoting the increase in borrowing over the most recent fiscal year, which was about a trillion dollars. He wasn’t lying and he wasn’t wrong; the quote was misleading, but not in a way that mattered: whether the number was $600 billion or $1 trillion wasn’t crucial to Moore’s argument.

    Now what about that Wichita Eagle piece? What Menzie failed to mention is that Moore did agree to publish in the Eagle and Star a corrected version which was very specific about exactly where the errors occurred. Is that what a liar does? Menzie claims that Moore made no mention of the error when he republished the piece at the Heritage Foundation. But that’s false too. At the bottom of the article it states, “Note: This column has been updated to correct an earlier version.”

    If you write a lot of policy pieces, it’s not uncommon to get some facts wrong. Everybody does it and incorrect facts don’t mean you are a liar. However, the editor of the Kansas City Star declared that she would no longer run pieces by Moore. Really? Who else is held to such a standard? Interesting that a conservative economist is held to a standard no one else is. Are progressive economists held to the same standard? Of course not.

    Moore was reacting to Krugman so he may as well be today’s case study. To take one example, you may recall during Krugman’s attacks on Reinhart and Rogoff that he wrote an article called The Excel Depression. In that article, Krugman debunked R&R’s principle finding, saying:

    “Finally, Ms. Reinhart and Mr. Rogoff allowed researchers at the University of Massachusetts to look at their original spreadsheet — and the mystery of the irreproducible results was solved. First, they omitted some data; second, they used unusual and highly questionable statistical procedures; and finally, yes, they made an Excel coding error. Correct these oddities and errors, and you get what other researchers have found: some correlation between high debt and slow growth, with no indication of which is causing which, but no sign at all of that 90 percent ‘threshold.'”

    Here Krugman has made a critical statement: that other reseachers might have found some correlation between high debt and slow growth without causation but with no 90% threshold. Krugman is essentially telling his readers that no one else has come up with any corroborating evidence. Given Krugman’s credentials, his readers would tend to believe him. But did the NYT check that statement? We don’t know, but if they had checked, they would have found it was completely false.

    For example, Padoan, Pier Carlo, Urban Sila and Paul van den Noord (2012) find that the threshold at which the debt-gdp ratio harms growth is about 90%. Similarly, Baum, A., C. Checherita-Westphal and P. Rother (2012) find the threshold is about 95% for a sample of European countries while Cecchetti, S., M. Mohanty and F. Zampolli (2011) estimate the threshold to be 85% using 18 OECD countries. Consistent with those findings, Checherita, C. and P. Rother (2010) find the threshold is between 90 and 100% for a sample of euro countries.

    Krugman’s crucial statement was wrong. Did the NYT fact check Krugman like the Kansas paper fact checked Moore? Would the NYT have asked Krugman to post a very clear correction laying out exactly how he was wrong? I haven’t seen it.

    Had the NYT done that, it would be wrong for any conservative economist (or anyone really) to accuse Krugman of being a liar. That’s a serious charge, and if you make that accusation, you have to be able to show that someone knew what the truth was but suppressed it anyway. Krugman just got the facts wrong but there is no reason to believe he did so with any malice.

    Moore should get the same consideration. Stop the double standard. And apologize to Steven Moore, Menzie.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick (500,000/mo job creation is normal) Stryker: So, $400 bn/year is inconsequential. So, if I say my income is $400 billion/year and it’s actually more like $0.0002 billion, I’m telling the truth!!!! Yes, that is Stryker-world in a nutshell.

      So you are saying mischaracterizing official budget data (say OMB, or BEA) is the same as interpreting empirical results in a particular way (I think Krugman’s point was that the hard 90% threshold is a “fragile” — in an econometric context — result). I think you are (once again) alone in your Weltanschauung. And you are saying “recent” is the period 7 to 2 years before time of writing, rather than 5 to 0 years before writing (when the data only lag a month and a half)? Let me just say, your contortions are simply amazing.

      Last question: Who is Steven Moore?

      Reply
      1. Rick Stryker

        Menzie,

        The fact that you try to cover for Krugman shows the double standard I’m talking about. You give no benefit of the doubt to Moore but you bend over backwards to defend Krugman, even though Krugman’s very words belie your interpretation. I posted Krugman’s words so that there could be no misunderstanding. Krguman said: no sign at all of that 90 percent ‘threshold.’” He didn’t say that many researchers have found some signs, but the estimates are fragile. He said “no signs at all. But I posted five links to papers that found using different data sets and estimation techniques that the turning point for when the debt-to-GDP ratio is associated with slower growth is in the range of 90%.

        Unlike you, even though I disagree with Krugman on just about everything, I would not stoop to accusing him of lying. I always assume that people who disagree with me are honorable people who are misguided and have the facts wrong, unless the evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary. In Krugman’s case I think you know my opinion, which is that he often comments on topics that he has no particular expertise in. That’s what happened in this case.

        Reply
    2. 2slugbaits

      Rick Stryker I have no idea what Stephen Moore’s actual words were. I’ve not seen or heard that CNN interview, so I don’t know whether Moore was clearly referring to a narrowly defined issuance of Treasury debt over the last year or not. Do you have a link? At the very least Moore clearly owed CNN viewers a clarifying explanation to what you yourself admitted was a misleading comment. Most of us would say that a technically true but deliberately misleading comment is not materially different from an outright lie. If you ask your teenage kid if he went to Joe’s Bar one night and your kid say’s “no” but doesn’t tell you that he really went to Max’s Bar instead, I suspect you’d call that a lie even if it’s technically true that he didn’t go to Joe’s Bar. The kid is still grounded.

      Reply
      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        2slugbaits: I was listening on TV when Moore said what he said. I was so incensed, I wrote that post right then and there. He said “budget deficit”, he didn’t say net lending by Federal government, he did not say valuation change of Federal debt. He did not caveat in any way. He just out and out lied and said the budget deficit was a trillion dollars.

        If you can find the transcript (I couldn’t), I’d welcome having the link.

        Reply
        1. Steven Kopits

          “In a report released last month, CBO said it now expects the deficit to rise to $693 billion in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, or 3.6% of gross domestic product.”

          It’s not a trillion, but not that far off, either. Is $700 bn ok, but $1 trillion is not?

          Menzie, should the US budget be running a surplus, or not, at this part of the cycle? If a surplus, how big should it be?

          http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/07/13/u-s-runs-90-billion-budget-deficit-in-june.html

          Reply
          1. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Steven Kopits: Well, if you’re happy with $700 billion being characterized as a trillion, then you’re happy with $700 billion plus/minus 43% ($300/$700 = 0.43)! Is that how you do analysis?

            On the budget, I think that — with the output gap about -1% according to CBO — a deficit should still be run. It’s probably a little larger than it should be. CBO estimates the full employment budget balance at -2.4% of GDP in FY2018. I’d say time to raise taxes.

          2. Steven Kopits

            Well, let’s take a look at the CBO projection and see what it tells us.

            All this from the June 2017 CBO Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027, Baseline Case (Table 1).

            In 2017, the CBO sees the budget deficit around $700 bn or 3.6% of GDP. Income tax receipts are 8.2% of GDP and debt held by the public is 77% of GDP.

            Now, interestingly, the CBO agrees with you, and they too see an increase in personal income taxes, pretty much in secular trend, to 2027, when they are 9.7% of GDP, an increase in tax rates of 18%. Thus, if you were in the 39% tax bracket today, then ceteris paribus, you’d be in the 46% tax bracket ten years from now, with annual increases all the way out.

            But does that solve the problem? Umm, no. The budget deficit in 2027 is 5.2% of GDP and debt held by the public is 91% of GDP. And that’s with no recession anticipated for the next ten years, making it two and a half times the longest expansion in US history.

            Not appealing, really.

            https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52801

          3. Steven Kopits

            By the way, I think the CBO is wrong. I think interest rates, which they see rising to 3.2% on government debt, decline down to perhaps 1.3%. We follow Japan down the sink.

            In such a world, you could hold the national debt constant at 77% of GDP by increasing income taxes by around 20-24% — but you have to do it from 2018. Thus, a 39% marginal tax rate today translates into a 47% rate in 2018 and 48% in 2027. The US would be about the most heavily taxed OECD country out there, once state and local taxes are factored in. Americans could envy the French their comparatively low tax rates.

            I imagine you must think this will bolster growth, but I have my doubts.

      2. Rick Stryker

        2slugs,

        Menzie is correct; Moore did say “budget deficit.” Here is the full quote: (they were talking about leaving the Paris Climate Accord)

        “MCCARTHY: And, Stephen, how does that benefit to us get out of the international agreement, if when we were in that agreement, we could watch what every country was doing, and doing as everybody is promised, that has the flexibility —

        (CROSSTALK)

        MCCARTHY: — to allow this president to rethink the goals, and why would you pull away from a table that is set where we have provided leadership, and we could provide accountability moving forward. If you are worried about what China is doing, don’t walk away, stay at the table.

        MOORE: Because, the reason is that the rest of the world wants our money. And that is all about financing a climate change industrial complex around the world, and we’re the ones who are going the fund it. And last time I checked, we have a trillion-dollar budget deficit and we don’t have the money to send to all of the countries. ”

        I quoted the actual passage since the context is important. Moore’s criticism is that the Paris climate accords commit nations not only to emission reductions but monetary payments to 2030 and beyond, money that we don’t have when budget deficits are a “last time I checked…trillion dollars .”

        The problem I have here is that Menzie is personally attacking Moore’s character based on this passage. To say that Moore is lying, Menzie must somehow know that Moore knows what the correct figure is and is suppressing it. How does Menzie know that Moore knows the correct numbers and is lying about them from this rather nebulous reference? Moore might have been referring to actual borrowing over the last year, which was in fact 1 trillion dollars, as I have already pointed out. As I have already conceded, that is misleading in the sense that it might lead viewers to think the budget deficit was $1 trillion last year. But at the same time, the actual number doesn’t matter for his argument, as long as the number is large.

        But I’d go further than that to point out that if Moore had quoted $600 billion for the budget deficit in the context of his argument as Menzie thinks he should have, that would have been much more misleading than to say $1 trillion as Moore did. Moore is worried about the payments the US will be obligated to make over the next 13 years or so and the relevant budget deficits to quote are what we expect over that time frame. From that perspective, Moore’s $1 trillion dollar budget quote is correct. Take a look at Table 1 in the CBO Budget Outlook:2017-2028 and you’ll see that the average budget deficit from the last column in the table, 2018-27, is $943 trillion. However, the deficits are rising at the end, with the budget deficit in 2027 projected to be 1.4 trillion. When you add in the final years 2028 to say 2030, the average deficit will be around a $1 trillion dollars per year over the Paris Climate Accord time horizon.

        Moore’s statement came during a quick tv exchange in which brevity is key, and the debaters don’t have time to speak precisely or stop to footnote their statements. The most plausible explanations for what Moore meant was that he was referring to actual borrowing over the previous year, which was $1 trillion dollars, or he was referring to prospective average deficits, also around $1 trillion, that would have been relevant over the time frame of the Paris Climate Accords.

        There is no basis however to claim that Moore lied, since that would have implied that he knew the numbers are not $1 trillion but claimed they were anyway. Moore attends policy conferences all the time, and would have heard both the $1 trillion borrowing number as well as the projected deficits numbers many times. He also examines economic statistics. He didn’t just pull the $1 trillion number out of a hat. That number floats around in policy circles all over the place.

        Menzie should apologize to Moore.

        Reply
        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Rick (“500,000/mo job creation is normal”) Stryker: Using your logic — that I did not know what Stephen Moore had in his heart when he uttered those words — then I could not conclude that Donald Trump has “lied” in a single of his tweets containing demonstrably incorrect information. In each case, even after he’d been told that he was stating something unfounded, the fact he “believed” something was true made any falsehood “not a lie”.

          OK, if this is the way you look at the world, then I feel sorry for you.

          Reply
          1. Rick Stryker

            I didn’t say that you need to know what’s in someone’s heart to say that they are lying. I said you need to be able to show that they knew what the truth is but suppressed it anyway. There are many ways to establish someone is lying without having to read his mind.

            Lying is a serious charge and you should have real evidence. I feel sorry for you that you live in a world in which you’ll make these kinds of accusations with so little evidence.

        2. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Rick (“500,000/mo job creation is normal”) Stryker: First, the document is The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017-2027. Table 1-1 indicates the budget deficit only hits a trillion in FY2023(!!!!).

          Now isn’t Stephen Moore paid as a “CNN Economics Analyst” — not political pundit for instance — so we should expect numbers that bear some resemblence to reality. You’re excusing him as a TV personality doesn’t cut it, given he was chief economist at Heritage Foundation. Oh. Maybe that chief economist at Heritage role does excuse him for making egregious mistakes. So I will concede, it is possible that he is just hopelessly incompetent at analysis and numbers.

          Reply
          1. Rick Stryker

            You haven’t responded to my points at all, other than to point out some typos.

            My point was that over the time frame that the US would have been obligated to make climate-related payments, the average deficit was projected by the CBO to be around $1 trillion dollars.

            My other point was not that we should excuse Moore because he’s a tv personality, but rather that anyone who succeeds on television must make quick points and will not have time to speak very precisely or footnote numbers. We don’t know exactly what he was referring to with the $1 trillion number. He might have meant actual borrowing or he might have meant prospective deficits. Without knowing that, you have no basis for accusing him of lying.

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Rick Stryker: And here I thought words like “have” as opposed to “will have” meant present tense. Guess I’ll blame my public school education.

  7. joseph

    We know quite well why Stephen Moore fudged the deficit by $400 billion, an inconsequential amount according to Megapixel Stryker.

    That is because going back to 2009, the line from Republicans was always “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.” This very phrase “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see” was repeated endlessly in the internet sewers that Stryker crawls. Indeed, if you google that phrase you will get thousands of hits.

    It’s such a great line that Republicans like Stephen Moore have been repeating it ever since, even though the deficit has declined at the fastest rate in history. Stephen Moore knew that his Republican audience would be disappointed if he didn’t repeat it one more time.

    Hence the trillion dollar lie.

    Reply
    1. Rick Stryker

      Joseph,

      You mean “sewers I crawl in” such as the CBO report. Click the link in my reply to 2slugs and you’ll see the CBO estimates average deficits of close to $1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years, 2018-2027. I’m still waiting for you to get just one thing right. All you are capable of doing is your ad hominem schtick, which contributes nothing to the blog comments and certainly doesn’t advance your case.

      Reply
  8. joseph

    Ha!. From the CBO report he cites, Rick Stryker lies about a trillion dollar deficit in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 and is finally correct when he gets to (maybe, projected) 2023.

    Gotta love Stryker’s stopped-clock-is-right-twice-a-day logic.

    There are no depths to which Stryker will not lower himself in the defense of his Dear Leader. Once you have debased yourself at his feet, there is no going back to respectable company. You can only plunge forward as a loyal soldier crawling through the muck.

    Reply
    1. Rick Stryker

      I said nothing about deficits in 2013, 2014, etc. When people refer to “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see,” they are referring to the long-term problem that projected spending is climbing more rapidly than revenues, leading to severe fiscal problems in the long run if nothing changes. I cited the latest CBO report, which shows that deficits will average close to a trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

      Again, your comments contribute nothing to this blog. Instead of responding to a simple clear point, you prefer to throw out charges such as “liar.” When I see you or Menzie calling people names, I and many other people reading this blog (the vast majority of which do not comment) realize that you don’t have any arguments.

      Reply
  9. joseph

    Oh my! So now Megapixel Stryker claims that Republicans haven’t been saying “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see” continually since 2009. (Hint: they have. You can google for yourself.). Now he claims that Stephen Moore, when he said that the deficit is a trillion dollars, he wasn’t talking about 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 or 2022, but that he was talking about the average through 2028.

    And, well, he didn’t actually mean an average of a trillion dollars because that is a lie as well, but close to an average of a trillion dollars.

    All of this in nominal dollars over the next 10 years, mind you.

    There is simply no limit to the embarrassment Megapixel Stryker will subject himself to in defense of his Dear Leader.

    Reply
    1. Rick Stryker

      Joseph,

      When did I say that Republicans have not been saying “trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see” since 2009? As usual, you just made that up.

      But yes, Republicans were saying that in 2009 but they weren’t the only ones–the CBO was saying it to about Obama’s spending plans. You can’t seem to understand simple concepts so let me try again. When people refer to “trillion dollar deficits…” they are referring to average deficit projections over a relatively long future period, based on spending and tax plans today. In 2009, the Obama Administration proposed a substantial increase in spending over the long term, which the CBO scored. As you can see from Table 1-1, the projected average deficit over the 10-year period as $927 billion, a substantial increase from the baseline. That’s what people were referring to in 2009 when they said “trillion dollar deficits…”

      Of course, deficits did not turn out to be that big since Congress did not go along with the Obama Administration’s spending increases.

      Reply
  10. baffling

    why am i not surprised to see rick stryker defend moore? rick is a proponent of lying to achieve ones goals. he and moore are both political hacks who are only concerned about spreading their ideology on any media platform that will accept them. when moore lies to make a political point, that is acceptable for rick stryker as long as the individual is pushing a conservative ideology. conservative political hacks are like a band of brothers.

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      baffling: Don’t be too hard on Rick. I have become convinced that he is paid to write what he writes, so for him, it’s just a job. On the other hand, I’m still willing to concede the possibility that Stephen Moore is just incredibly incompetent, rather than an out and out liar. However, if the incompetence is unbiased, I’d expect mistakes that detract as well as support his arguments equally. Hence, I’m leaning toward “liar”.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        rick stryker and peak trader have continued to defend an administration that can easily be confused with those in countries like venezuela. if one were to leave out names and specifics, and simply said the leader claims absolute power, can pardon himself, rails at the judiciary, name calls the congress, feels congresss should pass his legislation blindly, bullies his attorney general, fires his FBI chief because he dislikes an investigation, wants to send his political opponents to jail, places family and friends in leadership positions, tries to influence the independence of the fed, etc. one wold think this describes a leader from a banana republic, and not the current republican president of the united states of america! peaktrader and rick stryker support this type of administration!

        Reply
        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Rick Stryker: Russians. We know they’ve invested a lot in manipulating social media (even if our President refuses to acknowledge that fact). Koch brothers. I can think of many other candidates; given you’ve invested so much effort in anonymizing your entries, it makes me all the more convinced that you a paid agent.

          Reply
    2. Rick Stryker

      Actually, you, Baffling, support lying to achieve your political goals. I’ve pointed out numerous instances in which the politicians you support were lying but you refuse to condemn them, preferring to make excuses.

      You can try to pretend otherwise but you support lying Baffling.

      Reply
      1. baffling

        so rick stryker tries to two step and change the topic at hand. notice rick has not denied his support of lying to achieve his end game. look rick, i told you at the time that your position on lying would come back to haunt you. but you were more interested in winning a small battle at that time. at this point you have a lack of integrity in your discussions on this blog.

        Reply
  11. joseph

    Megapixel Stryker is desperately flailing about in a mad frenzy in an attempt to convince people that not a trillion dollars is a trillion dollars. Much like he tried to convince people to disbelieve their own lying eyes about Trump inauguration crowds — with megapixel photos no less.

    It is a sad but oddly entertaining sight to behold just to see how far he will go.

    Reply
  12. Rick Stryker

    Menzie,

    I guess you figured it out. I’ve been unhappy with what I’ve been doing for some time so I’m going to reveal who I really am.

    My real name is Ivan. I was born in a small fishing village outside of Omsk. When I was 12, the KGB took me away and raised me in a secret camp with other selected heroes of the Soviet Union. The other boys spent their days practicing shooting, martial arts, secret writing, and other spycraft. For me, it was different. I never did any of that. I was made to study time series econometrics, western capitalist macroeconomics, and to read widely in free market economics. I used to protest, saying “Comrade, why am I not like the other boys? How can I serve the fatherland studying anti-Marxist propaganda?” My teachers told me that mine was the most important mission. The KGB had inserted a very deep sleeper agent, someone who would rise within the corrupt capitalist system of America, become a billionaire real estate developer, and then ultimately President. In due time, I would be assigned to the most important economics professors who were so cogent that they have the power to stop the sleeper agent. My job was to foil, frustrate, and discredit those professors, creating chaos by endorsing capitalism.

    About 5 years ago, a Russian submarine surfaced very late at night off the coast of Virginia. I was met on the beach of Chincoteague by my US control, who took me to a safe house stuffed with computers capable of hiding ip addresses. After all those years of training, I finally got my assignment. I opened the envelope and read the intelligence on my targets: Prof Jeff Frankel. Professor Paul Krugman. And the most dangerous of them all to our cause, Professor Menzie Chinn. He needed to be stopped above all others.

    My job is done and I’m being recalled to Moscow. But I can’t help regret what I’ve done, even though I was trained from childhood to do it. Does the Democratic National Committee take defectors?

    Reply
    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick Stryker: I don’t think you have to be a Russian — you could be an American. From Politico:

      But any Americans who helped Russia wouldn’t necessarily have been someone working for the Trump campaign, cyber-researchers and Democrats like McAuliffe have said. They say it could have been be a political operative with an ax to grind, a disaffected American living overseas or even a zealous rogue ideologue.

      I’d say you fit 2/3 of the bill for the last category — you can’t be rogue because there are too many of your type. But zealous ideologue, I think that fits you to a tee.

      Reply
      1. Rick Stryker

        So now I’m a zealous idealogue working for the Russians? Or is it the Koch Brothers? Or maybe the Trilateral Commission? Maybe I’m even an space alien?

        You know Menzie, I’ve heard the UW Health System has a very good psychiatric department. Maybe you should pay them a visit and tell them about your theories.

        Reply
  13. baffling

    so not only does rick support the republican use of lies to achieve their goal, he has also clarified his support of the russian and trump administration collusion.

    Reply
      1. baffling

        Comrade rick, i guess i need more clarity from you and trump on when your words are true, when they are not true, and when they are lies. It’s getting very complicated to decipher these communications. Just to be clear, that last comment you made was not true, or lies? It is so confusing anymore.

        Reply

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