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PGL and the 80’s

PGL at Econospeak adds to criticisms of current ‘Reaganolatry’:

Federal Tax Revenues During the 1980’s

Paul Krugman takes on another aspect with respect to the latest intellectual garbage from Stephen Moore by commenting on Moore’s claim that Federal tax revenues soared from 1980 to 1989:

I have a suspicion that the Post forced him to include the inflation-adjusted number, rather than let him get away with the gee-whiz nominal number, which is, um, inflated by the relatively high rate of inflation that prevailed even in the later Reagan years. In any case, however, Moore offers no context, leaving the impression that this was an extraordinary achievement. So I looked at real federal receipts over a longer period, shown above using a log scale so that the slope of the line represents the rate of growth. If you take the period Reagan was in the White House, 1981:1 to 1989:1, I get an increase of 14.3 percent; I’m not sure why Moore’s number is bigger, but never mind.

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Krugman and Moore

Paul Krugman points us to problems with economic writing by Moore:

Last summer the editorial page editor of the Kansas City Star declared that she won’t be running any more op-eds by Stephen Moore, chief economist of the Heritage Foundation. She had cause: Moore had published an article that purported to refute my debunking of claims about the miraculous effects of tax cuts, but all of his numbers were wrong — they didn’t cover the time period he claimed, there were further inexplicable errors of fact, and all of the errors, surprise, tilted the supposed results in the direction he wanted.

But while the Kansas City Star may have had enough of Moore, the door is always open at the Washington Post.

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TARP Bottom Line

Lifted from Robert Waldmann’s Stochastic Thoughts

TARP Bottom Line

TARP Books Closed (give or not give less than $ 1 billion).

According to Lew, the total profit for American taxpayers on TARP investments stands at $15.35 billion. The NYT report added, “Less than $1 billion in taxpayer funds remain scattered in about 35 community banks around the country, but with the sale on Thursday of the government’s last 54.9 million shares of Ally Financial … the Treasury declared the bailouts done.”

For some years now, I have been writing that estimates of the cost of TARP were probably over-estimates (I didn’t speculate whether it would actually be profitable). I told you so. It is true that TARP was small beans compared to the much huger Fed bailout efforts. Also TARP profits are tiny compared to the huge immense gigantic profits from the Fed’s efforts and the separate huge immense gigantic profits from the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddi Mac. In those cases, we are discussing extremely high profits which are, at the least, among  the highest profits ever reported in human history.

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