Some Recent History About Nick Hanauer

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Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer is leading the effort to give us universal background checks for gun sales in Washington.

Hanauer says, ""We want to keep guns out of the hands of people that are dangerous criminals or insane." That's fine. We all want that. But there is no reason to think universal background checks will do that. The data shows that only a tiny, tiny percentage of guns purchased through legal means but without background checks are purchased by people who cannot legally own them, and the black market for guns dwarfs this so-called "grey market."

That didn't stop him from saying that anyone who disagrees with him -- that is, people who can read the data -- are "irresponsible."

This isn't the first time that Hanauer has ignored the data to push his agenda, and lied about it. Last year, Hanauer -- in a widely viewed talk at TED -- showed a graph that supposedly demonstrated that as wealthy people get lower tax rates, unemployment increases. It shows the two data points in 1995 and and 2009, and then a bunch of data points in between, and sure enough, unemployment was consistently up while wealthy tax rates consistently fell.

The problem is that the data in between 1995 and 2009 were completely made up. The numbers were wholly fabricated. You can see the fake data and real data side-by-side, and tell that actually, tax rates and unemployment were on similar trajectories for most of those years: they fell together until about 2000, increased together during that recession, fell together during the recovery (although tax rates started falling sooner), and then rose together during the next recession (although unemployment rose much faster).

I didn't even remember this was the same guy when I heard Hanauer on TV the other night, lying about how the universal background checks would keep guns out of the hands of bad people, and defaming people as irresponsible if they disagreed with him. But now that I remembered he's the same guy who told such a baldfaced lie about effective tax rates vs unemployment to millions of people, well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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