In the field of psychiatry, pathological lying, compulsive lying, or pseudologia fantastica is a behavior of habitual lying that is defined as “falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime.” In some cases the individual may be be unaware that they are relating fantasies, but when they repeat the same lie as fact for thirty years despite empirical data disproving their assertion, it is safe to say they know they are lying.
Republicans and conservative economists continue claiming cutting taxes for the rich is key to full employment, wealth for the masses, government flush with money, and a robust economy. In fact, Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback and the Republican legislature were so confident that slashing safety nets, cutting education, and spending a budget surplus on tax cuts for the rich would produce an economic bonanza, they gave the wealthy well over a billion dollars in unfunded tax cuts that has the state’s economy starved of revenue. However, despite Republican warnings the state will be bankrupt in two years, more than 100 Kansas Republicans swearing to help replace Brownback with a Democrat for governor, and a credit agency downgrading Kansas credit, a noted conservative economist lied to support Brownback’s tax cuts as a job creating bonanza. Kansas is lagging behind the rest of the nation in creating jobs besides facing a revenue shortfall of massive proportions.
The Heritage Foundation’s senior economist, Stephen Moore, wrote a pro-Brownback op-ed attacking Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman because like every economist not in the employ of the Heritage Foundation and Fox News, Krugman does not support Republicans’ failed trickle-down scam. Moore was caught red-handed deliberately using incorrect statistics to convince readers that Brownback’s tax cuts create jobs. Moore lied and claimed states that do not give huge tax cuts to the rich are “getting clobbered by tax-cutting states” in the number of jobs created. The editorial board of The Kansas City Star caught Moore’s lies and published annotated corrections to his false assertions specifically stating that “the author misstated job growth rates for four states and the time covered.” In other words; Moore was lying to convince Kansas residents that Brownback’s “ruinous” and “dramatic tax-cutting failure” warrants giving him another four years to completely eviscerate the Kansas economy.
In another instance of conservatives projecting their malfeasance on Democrats, Moore accused “liberals” like Krugman of “cherry-picking a few events” to argue that major tax cuts like Brownback’s are failing miserably. Not only did Moore deliberately “cherry pick bad data to support his claims,” he cherry-picked a time frame when the entire nation was suffering from the Great Recession due, in part, to Bush-Republicans’ major tax cuts for the rich. One might think Moore is unaware he was lying about the benefits of continuing to give tax cuts to the rich, but after thirty years of trickle-down’s abject failure, he knew he was lying like he has done for years.
For example, Moore has consistently criticized the idea of raising the minimum wage he claims will result in a “big increase in unemployment.” Obviously Moore, a “noted conservative economist,” saw the recent statistics that the states he claimed lag “major tax-cutting Republican states” that raised their minimum wage, and taxes, are leading the nation in job creation as well a overall economic growth. One of the states Moore specifically cited, California, is experiencing the nation’s best job creation increase according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in spite of increasing the minimum wage and taxes on the rich. Moore also spent years claiming the Affordable Care Act would kill millions of American jobs, and yet the unemployment rate is falling and there has been 52 straight months of private sector job growth while millions of Americans have healthcare for the first time in their lives.
Stephen Moore, like the Heritage Foundation he represents, is not just a pathological liar, he is guilty of pseudologia fantastica. It is unlikely Kansas residents believe such fantastic lies about the raging success of Brownback’s tax cutting-spree because they see the devastation of the trickle down scam first hand. Certainly, a group of one-hundred-and-four current and former Kansas legislators understand that Brownback’s billion-plus dollar tax cuts for the rich are decimating Kansas.
The group, Republicans for Kansas Values, endorsed Brownback’s Democratic challenger and released a statement saying, “All of us standing here today know Kansas can do better. We can have better schools and a stronger economy. The values that unite us as Kansans are much bigger than the partisanship and experiment of Sam Brownback. Through hard work and cooperation, we can restore Kansas together.” The 104 Republicans cited Brownback’s failed trickle down tax plan, severe cuts to schools, and fiscally irresponsible budgeting as reasons for their historic decision and praised Paul Davis (D) for being a moderate with common sense leadership and “focus on proven solutions” such as “reinstating taxes and spending at their previous levels;” precisely what Stephen Moore lied and said is a recipe for disaster.
Obviously, there is no lie too fantastic, including citing false statistics, Republicans and their Heritage Foundation economists are willing to parrot ad nausem to perpetuate their thirty year failed economic theory that giving more tax cuts to the rich is the key to economic wonderland. Moore has always been a condescending liar and for the second time he has been caught lying. In February, CNN’s Carol Costello destroyed Moore’s conservative economic lies disparaging any consideration of raising the minimum wage, and correctly noted “that raising it would increase incomes and decrease poverty.”
One would think that of all the states Moore would choose to unleash a rash of lies about the benefits of giving major tax cuts to the rich, he would have picked anyplace except Kansas. But Republicans, and so-called “noted” conservative economists, are such pathological liars that they likely actually believe Kansas residents are unaware their state is drowning in debt, suffered a credit downgrade, lags the entire nation in job creation, and cannot afford $100,000 to keep a children’s homeless shelter open; all due to what Stephen Moore says is the reason Kansas is “clobbering states” that are succeeding because they did not give tax cuts to the rich.