'Unable even to get basic facts right': Paul Krugman tears into the 'hack' economist Trump wants to appoint to the Fed

'Unable even to get basic facts right': Paul Krugman tears into the 'hack' economist Trump wants to appoint to the Fed
CBS

President Donald Trump plans to appoint right-wing "economist" Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve Board, and people who know anything about actual economics (and basic factual reporting) are livid.


Moore, a fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation, is best known for appearing on TV, talking about the economy, and completely botching his facts.

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and columnist for the New York Times, lambasted the nomination of Moore, whom he has sparred with many times in the past.

"Moore isn't just a hack, with terrible judgment," Krugman said on Twitter. "He's a hack who has repeatedly shown himself unable even to get basic facts right."

Binyamin Applebaum, another Times columnist, noted that Moore once "got so many facts wrong that the Kansas City Star's editorial page editor vowed never to publish his work again."

Indeed, he wrote a column trying to argue that low-tax states do better than high tax states, and he included this error-ridden passage:

No-income-tax Texas gained 1 million jobs over the last 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.

In fact, as Kansas City Star columnist Yael Abouhalkah pointed out, in addition to choosing a particularly problematic time period to make this judgment, his numbers were just wrong:

Texas did not gain 1 million jobs in the 2007-2012 period Moore measured. The correct figure was a gain of 497,400 jobs.

Florida did not add hundreds of thousands of jobs in that span. It actually lost 461,500 jobs.

New York, with [its] very high income tax rates, did not lose jobs during that time. It gained 75,900 jobs.

Miriam Pepper, an editor of the Kansas City Star, told the Columbia Journalism Review after the incident that his errors were so egregious that she "won’t be running anything else from Stephen Moore.”

Krugman noted that, in addition to this spectacular mistake, Moore was completely unrepentant when his predictions about Kansas' tax cuts were refuted.

"He made a bad prediction, which happens -- but refused to learn from the error, falsified facts, and doubled down on his doctrine," said Krugman.

Need more convincing? Here he is getting the budget deficit — a simple government accounting measure — completely wrong. Here he is completely botching the facts about the Reagan tax cuts. Here he is making up facts on CNN.

After spending much of his career shilling for the GOP, Moore has since become completely bought-in to Trump's takeover of the party. Proving he'll do anything to stay in the good graces of the Republican Party, the Heritage Foundation fellow wrote a book called "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy" lavishly praising the president's policies, despite increasing evidence that the White House's boasting is baseless.

Which is just to say, given his record of repeating disgrace, he seems to have the perfect resume to appeal to a president who lives in the world of "alternative facts."

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