Thursday, April 07, 2005


In NRO Larry Kudlow reported Evidence, Evidence, and More Evidence
Lower tax rates spur economic growth. End of story.

An opinion piece by reporter Anna Bernasek in last Sunday’s New York Times actually argues that there’s no real evidence that lower tax rates spur economic growth. Bernasek finds a couple of economists to back up her idea before concluding that tax “reform based on a notion that taxes are bad for the economy is just that: a notion not backed by strong evidence.”

Let me beg to differ in a very strong way.... In our capitalist free-market system, strengthening the link between effort and reward has proven to work time and again. I respectfully disagree with Anna Bernasek and the New York Times. More tax freedom will always fuel our free economy.

Extreme Leftwing Matthew Yglesias blogged I'm sticking with my line that conservative lack of substantive policy knowledge is a much bigger problem than the liberal lack of philosophizing. To get a good sense of where things have gotten to, take a look at Larry Kudlow coming out against "academic-style econometric finagling" as a way to assess the impact of tax rates on economic growth. After all, who needs finagling when you've got "the laws of common sense." Needless to say, only a lunatic like Paul Krugman would think that contemporary conservatism has become hostile to the basic methods of scholarly inquiry.... He cites a few academics in defense of his proposition, which is good of him, but then he goes on to disparage the very concept of engeging in "academic-style" reasoning, which he prefers to call "finagling." Obviously, Kudlow cares not a whit about what the actual empirical research shows

At least Kudlow specifically cited a few academics in defense of his proposition. Yglesias does not cite ANY sources for what he calls the actual empirical research

Kevin Drum blogged Matt is right to point to this piece of nitwittish writing from Larry Kudlow, one of National Review's seemingly endless stable of embarrassing shills on economic matters. Commenting on a perfectly sound and well backed up article in the New York Times that highlights the embarrassing lack of evidence to support the notion that tax cuts increase economic growth, Kudlow says

That is a good way to show you know what you are talking about. You belittle the opposition. Kevin does go on to at least quote some sources to try to prove his point that there is no correlation between taxes and growth, showing a graph indicating "declining growth rates" and then saying "the total tax take in the United States has only gone up from 24% of GDP to about 28% of GDP in the past half century. That's just not enough to have much of an effect on anything" and then ends with "we have plenty of scope to raise taxes if it's necessary to fund programs we want to fund." which shows the left's real objective - raise taxes to fund programs THEY want to fund.

apostropher blogged You'd think that the right-wing clown brigade would eventually get tired of being wrong about everything. But you'd be mistaken.

Another ad hominum attack


apostropher said...

It's spelled "hominem," and it doesn't mean quite what you think it does. An ad hominem version of my post would be: "There's no point in bothering to read his argument because he's just part of the right-wing clown brigade." To be fair, though, your misuse is more common than the proper usage, so no points deducted there.

Thanks for reading.

Don Singleton said...

I agree I misspelled it, but Ad Hominem is a logical fallacy that involves replying to an argument or assertion by addressing the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself or an argument pointing out an inconsistency between a view expressed by an individual and the remainder of his or her beliefs.

I don't see where "You'd think that the right-wing clown brigade would eventually get tired of being wrong about everything." is any different from "There's no point in bothering to read his argument because he's just part of the right-wing clown brigade." Both disparage the person making the argument, rahter than addressing the argument itself.

apostropher said...

The refutation of the argument resides in the three links I attached to the words "you'd be wrong." Not much point in simply rehashing already well-made refutations as if they were my own. The fact that they are members of the right-wing clown brigade doesn't weaken their arguments any, it's just the club to which they proudly belong, and more power to 'em. They're clearly driving their little clown cars directly to the bank.

However, a disparaging remark is not the same as an ad hominem attack.

Don Singleton said...

I disagree. A disparaging remark is an attack to the person, rather than addressing the subject itself.