links for 2007-07-14
Around the Lafayette, CA Reservoir This Morning

Stupidest Man Alive Emeritus Strikes AGAIN!!

A correspondent writes that there is one and only one person who supports and endorses the Wall Street Journal's latest Laffer curve--the one that when Ezra Klein saw it he said:

Ezra Klein: Is The Wall Street Journal Worth Saving?: [When] Brad DeLong described this as "Most Dishonest Wall Street Journal Editorial Ever." I thought that was obvious hyperbole, if for no other reason than the data set encompassing dishonest Wall Street Journal editorials is far, far too large for Brad to have comparatively evaluated in a mere day or two. It'd be like declaring a yawn from moments ago your favorite breath of air ever. It might have felt that way, but that's a hasty choice from a large pool.

Brad, however, may be right. One of the ways that mendacious ideologues can lie with statistics is to simply draw and ill-fitting line through the data, pretending it shows something entirely different than it really does... the Wall Street Journal did exactly that the other day, and in a particularly transparent and embarrassing way...

The endorser? Donald Luskin of National Review:

Why am I not surprised?

It is an absolutely amazing chart: if we would only cut our corporate income tax rate by eight percentage points, we could collect an extra $900 billion a year in tax revenue--$3,000 per person per year!

UPDATE: Donald Luskin whines and whimpers:

The essence of the matter is whether the trendline in the chart is legitimate. No doubt a graphic artist at the Journal took some liberties in drawing it through the highest datapoint, Norway -- but that said, the Journal editorial never said the line was a formal trendline, anwyay...