Hauser’s Law, Laugher Curves, and Why One Should Never Trust a WSJ Oped

David Ranson repackages one of the usual suspects from the bag of lies from the rightwing:

Will increasing tax rates on the rich increase revenues, as Barack Obama hopes, or hold back the economy, as John McCain fears? Or both? Mr. Hauser uncovered the means to answer these questions definitively. On this page in 1993, he stated that “No matter what the tax rates have been, in postwar America tax revenues have remained at about 19.5% of GDP.” What a pity that his discovery has not been more widely disseminated.

Say what? Regular readers of this blog might have seen this silly claim made by certain rightwing trolls many times. I could demolish this line of nonsense by showing Federal revenue by source (individual income tax, corporate profits tax, and payroll tax) as a percent of GDP but Zubin Jelveh has already done so in his Lying with Charts:

Hmmm, corporate tax revenues have declined dramatically. Why, then haven’t overall tax revenues dropped? Well, we can primarily thank social insurance programs like Social Security for that. Here’s a chart showing social insurance program tax revenues

Zubin also charts individual income taxes as a percent of GDP showing that this ratio did rise after the 1993 tax increase while it fell after the 2001 tax cut. The claim made by Ranson has been made by many others – and it has been shown to be silly many times as well. But the WSJ oped page does seem to be on a mission to outdo the National Review for the dumbest rightwing rag with respect to economics.