Posts Tagged ‘voodoo economics’

Trump Awards Arthur Laffer the Medal of Freedom

June 20, 2019

Trump Awards Arthur Laffer the Medal of Freedom

Failed businessman Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer. “Freedom” here must refer to freedom from reality. Dr. Laffer popularized the “supply side” theory of economics, which holds that if you cut the taxes of rich people so they have even more money, some of it will magically trickle down to society’s less wealthy. This fiction was a favorite of Herbert Hoover, daddy of the Great Depression, and early-onset Alzheimers Ronald Reagan. You can see why the notion would be attractive to Mr. Trump, who became a millionaire at the age of 8.

Arthur Laffer revived this “supply-side” zombie with a visual aid, the “Laffer Curve,” allegedly first drawn on a cocktail napkin in 1974. That theoretical chart, based on wishful thinking and zero data, purports to show that tax cuts for the rich will boost the economy and pay for themselves. While the curve’s drinking-binge origin tale seems apt, it’s a fiction, mythologized by Dr. Laffer’s hype man, conservative pundit Jude Wanninski. The story is now enshrined in GOP dogma and, embrassingly, at the Smithsonian.

Donald Trump, despite the populist rhetoric of his campaign, enthusiasticly slashed taxes for the rich once elected, which helped no one but the wealthy. The medal award is yet another example of Mr. Trump doubling-down on a lie. How could the Laffer Curve be untrue when Arthur Laffer got the Medal of Freedom? Of course, maybe he really got it for co-authoring a book of fawning fiction called Trumponomics.

More:

“Trump is giving Arthur Laffer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Economists aren’t smiling.” Elizabeth Popp Berman, Washington Post

“Trump Awards Medal to Controversial Tax-Cut Champion Laffer,” Margaret Talev and Justin Sink, Bloomberg

“Trump Awards Kook Art Laffer for Inventing Fake Curve,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Why are we still pretending ‘trickle-down’ economics work?” Morris Pearl, The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The New GOP Math: ‘Dynamic Scoring’ Doesn’t Add Up.

January 7, 2015

The New GOP Math: 'Dynamic Scoring' Doesn't Add Up.

Republicans now rule Congress, so the House of Representatives has a new rule: “Above All, Do No Math.” From now on, there’s no problem that can’t be solved by cutting taxes for rich people and corporations. The GOP calls this “Dynamic Scoring,” but others have called it “Voodoo Economics” and “Magical Thinking.” Why? Because it doesn’t work. Paul Ryan wants to call it “Reality-Based Scoring,” but clearly he lives in an Alternate Reality.

The assumption underlying “Dynamic Scoring” is the “Trickle-Down Theory” of economics. In a pre-automobile age this was called the “Horse-and-Sparrow Theory,” because if you fed your horse enough oats surely some would filter through the horse, fall on the road, and feed the sparrows. Then as now, this produces pitifully few oats but a whole lot of horsecrap.

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Paul Ryan, Republican Intellectual

October 14, 2014

Paul Ryan, Republican Intellectual

Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI-1) is running for reelection, and he’s rolled out his Big Ideas:

In the realm Higher Mathematics, he’s figured out how to cut taxes but keep popular tax deductions and government benefits. The method seems to involve lots of sleight-of-hand and wishful thinking. Maybe there’s a secret formula in Atlas Shrugged.

In Climate Science, Mr. Ryan has determined that humans have not contributed to Global Warming, despite decades of research that indicate otherwise with a 97% consensus. This isn’t just a tree-hugger matter; the Pentagon says Climate Change is a threat to National Security.

Related:

“How Paul Ryan Convinced Washington of His Genius,” Alec MacGillis, The New Republic

“Like Newt Gingrich? You’ll Love Paul Ryan.” NotionsCapital.com

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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