Tax Cuts (Shifts) and Those Liberal Republicans

Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Reynolds want you to believe this:

I HADN’T HEARD THIS: Bush’s tax cuts make the tax system more progressive, according to a new study from the Joint Economic Committee. Of course, what’s really interesting is how little tax revenue comes from people in lower brackets.

They point to this link, which links to a paper from Jim Saxton’s hacks. Never mind that Jonah Goldberg can’t bother to read up on the fact that these are only tax deferrals (incidentally, Goldberg is continuing to attack Andrew Sullivan for not reading Party of Death as he continues to be too lazy to read anything sensible on economics), neither Jonah nor Glenn has any clue what this paper really says. It does NOT say the tax code has become more progressive as a result of the most recent tax deferral. Nor does it say that it is more progressive as a result of either the 2001 or the 2003 tax cuts.

No, all it says is that if one looks at only Federal income taxes paid, the very rich pay a lot in taxes. That does not even compare the average tax rates of each group for this narrow subset of taxes paid by individuals. Never mind all those deferred tax liabilities that George W. Bush wants to pretend no one will be responsible for. Glenn Reynolds cannot even bother to actually READ a 2-page piece of spin from a bunch of rightwing hacks posing as government economists!

Update: Matthew Yglesias has more closing with:

It’s a little disappointing that the Republican Party thinks that misleading people is a good use of time for the people working at the JEC and the Council of Economic Advisors when they could be spending time developing policies or trying to make the population better informed.

Think about it – we taxpayers foot the bill for Saxton’s hacks at the JEC. Why am I paying taxes to support economic dishonesty?

Update II: Brad DeLong says young Matthew is a philosophical naïf:

Matt is wrong when he says that Reynolds and Goldberg “believe the world operates in totally bizarre ways.” You cannot make inferences from what they write to what their beliefs are.

Maybe I’m also a philosophical naïf – so tell me, did Brad just suggest that Jonah Goldberg lies? Stupidity or Mendacity? With Goldberg, it is really hard to tell!