Cactus and his merry band of madmen…and Megan McArdle

I googled the title phrase and ‘Behold!’, here are the three links.  Mike also sent them.

Cactus and his merry band of madmen and Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle has a question

Megan McArdle has a question:

What happens to the cottage industry among Democratic-leaning armchair economists grinding out analyses proving that Democratic presidents are, like, totally awesome for the economy? Presuming that we’re stuck–as seem very likely–in at least a couple of years of really grinding low-to-no growth, Obama is going to destroy their figures. Are we in for a resurgence of belief in exogenous growth factors?

Question answered

Now, of course, it may be that the economy starts growing like gangbusters in the next year.  In which case I expect that Cactus and his merry band of madmen will continue with their arguments.  But if, as most people expect, growth continues to stall for the next few years,  it seems I can look forward to more explanations of why Democrats–and only Democrats–can be thrown out of the sample if they have low growth and betray The Faith; and why the economic results of Democratic presidential administrations–and only Democratic presidential administrations–are sensitive to exogenous starting conditions.

Response to Megan McArdle again

“Going back to 1952 at least, every Democrat, every single one, has increased the tax burden. Every single Republican lowered them.”-McArdle

I had some posts after that, perhaps time to revisit them, that showed that not only did the change in the tax burden correlate with growth, the change in the tax burden in the first two years of an administration’s term correlated with the growth rate in the final six years. And not in the direction McMegan likes to see. Sure, correlation does not imply causality, but it just so happens that Presidents under whom growth in years 2 – 8 was fastest also were the Presidents who found a way to go back in time to years 1 & 2 and raise the tax burden. Or something like that. Go figure.