Crowley’s Strategy: Repeat the Lie

I remain reluctant to relinquish the innocence that leads to my being surprised that such people as Pat Crowley exist outside of Charles Dickens novels and the bureaucracies of totalitarian madhouse societies.
Last April, I informed readers of the Providence Journal opinion pages that, “according to tax returns filed in 2005 and 2006 (based on income from 2004 and 2005), Rhode Island lost, on a net basis, 8,296 taxpayers, with an aggregate adjusted gross income totaling $485 million, over those two years (IRS migration data).” The statement derived from some research that I’d posted here in February, and on which I later expanded here and here.
One recent evening, somebody working with the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce emailed me to inquire after my source, which I provided, and subsequently forwarded to me an “E-Brief” conveying the data (PDF). RI Representative David Segal (D., Providence, East Providence) got wind of the release and posted about it on RI Future.
Then Crowley got in the game, teasing a post in which he would get to the bottom of the Chamber’s claim. Wrote Pat: “Needless to say, this has made the policy wonk in me very excited. Why? A number is verifiable. Or at least it should be.” In the comments, Tom Sgouros chipped in to correctly identify the data source (IRS migration) and to concede, at least, that “there’s no doubt that it’s troubling information.”
When Pat finally put the post up, it was incorrect in its core accusation:

In order to make their claim, the Chamber needs to make a leap of faith – that the migrants were only in one direction and that they were all taxpayers. This is pure speculation: for example, with higher education being one of our major industries, a graduating class is going to have a lot of comings and going; and the Chamber only accounts for the goings.

And went on to cite trends in the number of IRS tax filers in Rhode Island. Unable to keep my fingers out of the fishbowl any longer, I explained that “tax years 2005 and 2006 saw migration TO Rhode Island of 43,774, with an aggregate AGI of $2,037,577,000, but migration FROM Rhode Island of 52,070, with an aggregate AGI of $2,522,327,000.” (I also explained why the filer data wasn’t directly applicable.) It was a quick I-should-already-be-in-bed comment, and I pretty much copied and pasted from the Excel file that I built from the IRS data last year. If only for rhetorical reasons, I should have been more explicit that the data is based on counties, not states, so both the inflow and outflow numbers include people who moved within Rhode Island, because Tom Sgouros correctly specified:

For 05-06, the IRS data I have says that 17,395 2006 returns were from people who moved from here to elsewhere, and that 12,968 people moved from elsewhere to here.

I should note, here, that the Chamber of Commerce’s language is insufficiently specific that the data accounts for two years of migration. Adding the second year to Tom’s number, we get the following for net losses of taxpayers and AGIs over the two years:

Justin’s taxpayers Tom’s taxpayers
Inflow 43,774 26,128
Outflow 52,070 34,424
Net outflow 8,296 8,296

Unless you’re employed by the National Education Association of Rhode Island, you’ll likely notice that the two totals are exactly the same, because the in-state migrants cancel themselves out. The same is true for AGI.
But rather than admit the obvious and attempt, as Sgouros did, to move the debate onto ground that is actually, well, debatable, Crowley dug in, saying that I’ve been “caught in a lie” and “exposed” and updating the post to accuse the Projo of fraud for a related editorial. Exposed I’ve been: of a desire to review numbers with those who dispute my conclusions and to clarify where we’re looking at different things.
Given his slight change of status when he became the owner of RI Future, I’d been attempting some level of interblog comity, but it’s so clear that Pat is of the do anything/say anything school of propaganda that it’s difficult not to suggest that anybody who aligns themselves with him thereby damages their own credibility.

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13 years ago

Good job ripping him a new one… since it appears his old one has been working overtime. Who would have thought we’d miss Matt? lol
I’ve often noticed that Pat has a tendency to accuse others of doing exactly what he often does, including his oft-used “repeat the lie” accusation — though rarely if ever, actually backing up his accusations with objective analysis. He starts off with an assumption, and finds only that information which supports it, and then excludes exculpatory information that doesn’t fit in with his world view. It’s a typical Alinskyite propaganda tactic from a very atypical person.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

Bet NEARI has Crowley on salary.
Even they probably can’t bear the thought of him being hourly and having to rely on his time sheets for an accurate accounting of actual hours worked!

Pat Crowley
13 years ago

you have been exposed. You’re flawed research claiming that the States “tax the rich” policy has driven out taxpayers is not true.
The backtracking you are now engaged in shows you know you have been found out.

Justin Katz
13 years ago

You’re a piece of work, Crowley. Those who generally support you should be offended that you apparently believe them to be too stupid to comprehend simple arguments based directly on numbers.

13 years ago

Crowley lies, and businesses and citizens who can, fly. (out of the state of RI) Having kids in their 20’s and 30’s, I can assure you that their friends have left the state, and they are not far behind. I have a 20 something that manages a restaurant, and was thinking of opening one here; not anymore.

13 years ago

This is all just a sideshow for Crowley. When he goes to bed at night, he doesn’t lie awake worrying about the accuracy of your numbers, Justin. No, he lies awake wondering about how much longer it will be before the rank and file teachers in his union, now that they are aware of how they got into the mess they face today, rise up and toss out their entire union “leadership.”
Teachers realize they’ve been had, and as a result their reputation as professionals has been trashed, along with their pensions. Sooner or later, they’re going to stop buying Crowley’s line, and fire the coaching staff, as it were.
Teachers can read your data, Justin, and follow your analysis. And that must scare Crowley to no end.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
13 years ago

Crowley’s just another hack union agitator.
He’s of the same ilk that in the 1970’s was inciting steelworkers and autoworkers to stand up to the man, and after the “rank and file” sheeple listened to him, and their companies went into bankruptcy reorganization or dissolution, and their plant eventually shut down, and the sheeple went on to exciting careers as burger flippers and Wal-Mart greeters – while the champion of the proletariat went on to his next union assignment.

13 years ago

“you have been exposed.”
If anyone is an expert exposing themselves, it’s Pat Crowley.
He seems to be implying that you’re (and I’m at least using the contraction “you’re” correctly) trying to pull the wool over on us — again, as he’s trying to do the same.
I don’t know if he seriously believes what he says — and I try not to expend too much energy caring — or if he’s just trying to be an agitator. It seems quite obvious that even when confronted with the facts, he’ll stick to his prior argument regardless.
He’s a gnat. You swat gnats, you don’t try to debate them. You tried.

Robert Balliot
13 years ago

The flaws you attribute to Patrick are not flaws at all. They are merely symptoms of the ongoing we vs them tactic that sustains so many labor insiders on both sides.

Without unfair management, there is no reason for unions to exist. It is certainly in the personal interest of labor employees to either identify actual unfair practices or create the appearance.

Without unions, there is no reason for labor attorneys to exist. It is in the personal interest of the labor attorneys to extend conflict and generate billable hours.

They are symbiotic. Not unlike Ralph and Sam:

Andy D
Andy D
13 years ago

Pat, you disgust me. you are the best example of liberal hypocracy i have seen in a long time. you prey on your readers and obviously think of them as inferior to you and your liberal super-brain.
Truth of the matter is that you are nothing shy of a man screaming through a megaphone.. the village idiot.
I would love to catch you out in public preaching the same lib propaganda and filth you circulate everyday. . but i guess id have to see you at a union meeting..
learn to count, learn to debate and then try to keep up with Justin

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