Moore's conservative credentials are impeccable: A former member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, he's currently chief economist at the Heritage Foundation and a familiar face on Fox News and CNBC. So when his piece asserted that "over the last five years," the no-income-tax states of Texas and Florida gained jobs while the high-tax states of New York and California lost jobs, the editors waved it through.
Moore punctuated his statistical victory over Brownback's critics with the ironic refrain "Oops."
It turns out Moore's statistics were dead wrong. He later explained that he was citing figures from 2007-2012, not the last five years. But--oops again--he got those figures wrong too. His errors were discovered by Yael T. Abouhalkah, a Star columnist, who took the simple step of cross-checking them against the source, the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Star has run a detailed correction. The Heritage Foundation, which also published a version of Moore's piece, also has run a correction, though not so detailed--it removed the erroneous paragraph and appended a note stating the piece has been "updated to correct an earlier version."
Let's see what happened.
Moore's goal was to strike back at economist Paul Krugman, who described the Kansas experiment as the handiwork of "charlatans and cranks" (among them, Arthur Laffer). Moore argued that Brownback's tax cuts just need time to work. His key paragraph was this one:
"No-income-tax Texas gained 1 million jobs over the last five years, California, with its 13 percent tax rate, managed to lose jobs. Oops. Florida gained hundreds of thousands of jobs while New York lost jobs. Oops."