Tag Archives: Laffer

Economist Laffer and Tea Party Rose Togeher

The Tennessean has run a profile piece on Arthur Laffer, the Nashville-based economist who has achieved new fame by pushing tax cuts at the state level, He worked with legislators, for example, to push repeal of Tennessee’s inheritance and gift taxes this year.
An excerpt:
Laffer’s return as the tax-cutting politicians’ favorite economist closely corresponds to the tea party revolution that swept a wave of stridently fiscal conservative Republicans to power in statehouses nationwide in 2010.
Days after being elected, Florida Gov. Rick Scott named Laffer to a team of six economists who would help him devise his first budget. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback similarly hired Laffer to advise him as he worked to reduce that state’s income tax, a plan that Brownback signed into law last week.
Laffer also contributed papers and research for think tanks in Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Those papers have echoed his annual “Rich States, Poor States” report, which features the ALEC/Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.
The index ranks states based on 15 policy variables. States with low taxes and business costs, small public sectors, little debt and laws that make it harder for workers to unionize rank the highest.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallon, a Republican, wrote the foreword to the latest edition. Brownback calls the report “required reading for governors.”
But Carl Davis, a senior analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, says Laffer’s research is hokum.
“People just like the idea of tax cuts,” Davis said. “A lot of it is his saying things that people want to hear.”