StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

Barry Ritholtz Takes Down Art Laffer

08 Jun 2010
Posted by Bruce Bartlett

Why Barry Ritholtz is a national treasure. This morning's dissection of Laffer's op-ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal is a work of art.

Addendum: Even arch-supply-sider Brian Wesbury thinks Laffer is wrong. See here.

I used to read Ritholtz more

I used to read Ritholtz more than I do know. As the recession unfolded he constantly harped that this was the 1970s all over again and we were headed for recession coupled with inflation. He didn't get it that the financial crisis was taking us back to 1929 and a deflationary recession. He gets credit for being half right. As they say, generals are always fighting the last war.


80% of money managers underperform because they read the WSJ OpEd page? A National treasure?

More like..." confuses causation with correlation, ignores market history, makes spurious argument, and simply make up crap as he goes along."

Bartlett You are worse than a


You are worse than a spurned women.

I took Ritholz down in his "comments" section for a stupid article he posted. It was easy... he's clueless. No wonder you think he's a national treasure.

Why don't you go get Craig Paul Roberts and have a picnic at Jude Wanniski's tomb? It would be nice to see all the conservative "never have been's" all in one spot.

BTW, real men don't hide behind moderators.

Having read both pieces, I

Having read both pieces, I really don't think Ritholx "took down" Laffer at all. Consider the following quote from Ritholz's blog:


“Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—hold the bulk of their wealth in the nontaxed form of unrealized capital gains?”


"What unmitigated and embarrassing nonsense."

Ritholz goes on to say that it is not true because they gave most of their wealth away to charity. Actually, the statement is very true regardless of how much wealth they gave away. And, they gave it away in a tax-free manner! You can argue about the implications of that fact, but fact it is. Statements like those make me wonder just how smart Ritholz is.

Also, Laffer made a very perceptive and accurate observation in his article about the relationship between current earnings and scheduled tax increases. This was really the main point of the article. He argued that current earnings are being overstated as companies accelerate those earnings to avoid future higher tax rates. He's very right about that and I don't think anyone else, Ritholz and Bartlett included, has made this connection. Anyone who has worked inside a company's tax department or a major advisory firm knows this is going on now.

Another point: this blog is getting very high on vitriole. That's not an appropriate substitute for good argument and analysis.

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