Wednesday, December 21, 2011

John Taylor: New GOP Adventures in Economic Sophistry

     Today in his editorial at the Wall Street Journal (pg. A19) Taylor outdid himself even on an editorial page renowned for economic sophistical arguments for whatever the latest Republican bad policy idea needs some intellectual hack to back up.

    So it is that Mr. Taylor is now arguing with a straight face that not only may the payroll tax holiday be doing little good, it is in fact doing great harm-by increasing the famous "business uncertainty." Now the GOP obstructionists in the House claim that extending it only 2 months increases uncertainty-it would seem that their holding it up is what is creating the uncertainty for economic forecasters but why should logic be allowed to interject?-but Taylor takes it further and claims that even for a year this is unacceptable uncertainty.

   So the payroll tax cut is actually slowing the recovery-after all the recovery did slow during the first half of the year and the tax cut was for this year, ergo, the tax cut caused the slowdown in the recovery. It had to have, as correlation always proves causation.

   Turns out economic analysis is easier than you thought? What caused the Asian Crisis in 1997? Bill Clinton caused it, as this was when the Monica Lewinsky scandal started, if he hadn't had an affair with her, there would have been no crisis. Must have been as correlation always proves causation. Why did the stock market collapse that on Black Monday, 1987? Because the Mets failed to repeat. After all correlation always proves causation .No need to prove it, no need to consider any other factors. And it goes without saying who caused the Japanese earthquakes: Obama. He was president and they happened; anyone who knows anything about Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS) knows that's more than enough. Indeed the correlation equals causation thesis is believed by no one more than those who hate Obama whether on the Right or the Left.

  Speaking of correlation I mean we obviously should listen to Mr. Taylor as no one is a greater expert on how to create middle class prosperity than him. Take his famous Taylor Rule, thanks to which we enjoyed the Great Moderation.

  You remember the Great Moderation-the period that saw the great moderation of upward mobility and America's standard of living. Ok, he's less an expert on how to create middle class prospertiy than how to erode it but close enough.


  1. If we'd only extended the Bush tax cuts, and left the payroll tax cut out, could we then blame the Bush tax cuts for creating uncertainty? Here's an idea for Mr. Taylor: get rid of all the tax cuts, and let's see what happens to uncertainty.

  2. Yes, I'd made that point in my eariler post

    I suspect that Taylor is not concerened about the uncertainty the Bush tax cuts cause-after all we still don't know their final status now. I'm sure it's not because payroll tax cuts benefit the nonrich whereas the Bush tax cuts benefit the rich.