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'Laffer Curve' Creator Back in the Tax Game

Image: 'Laffer Curve' Creator Back in the Tax Game Dr. Arthur Laffer, Economist and professor at University of Southern California, with "Laffer Curve" on blackboard, Feb. 23, 1981.

By Lisa Barron   |   Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 03:14 PM

Four decades after economist Arthur Laffer drew his now-famous "Laffer curve" on the back of a napkin to show how tax cuts would create an economic boom, he is back in the limelight.

In the past couple of years, Laffer, whose curve inspired Reaganomics, has advised about a dozen GOP governors looking for ways to cut tax rates in their states, Politico reports.

"Laffer is certainly experiencing a renaissance in his popularity," Jonathan Williams of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council told the publication. "He's just as effective today as he was 30 years ago."

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Texas Governor Rick Perry is one of Laffer's biggest fans attributing his state's economic success to Laffer's formula. Speaking at the launch of the Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics in Austin in 2011, Perry said, "By sticking to the principles Dr. Laffer has advocated, like low taxes. Texas has become a beacon for employers fleeing the job-crushing atmosphere that has taken hold in other states."

Laffer also helped Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback push through his tax reform plans, joining the governor in several public appearances touting the positive impact of lower taxes.

Other Laffer devotees reportedly include Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming, and Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina.

Laffer explained his theories to Politico in Nashville recently, saying, "If you raise taxes ... some people may actually leave your state. Some people ... leave the labor force and stay home. Others may choose to not employ people, so unemployment rates go higher."

Critics still decry his theories, though, on websites such as Economist's View, saying they don't hold up in practice.

But Laffer continues to have the ear of leading GOP politicians. "Art Laffer is one of the most influential economists in the business," Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's former chief economist, told Politico.

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"If you ask a lot of people how relevant he is today, they'd say: 'He's an '80s story.' They're wrong," he said.

Related Stories:

Governors Burns Surpluses on Tax Cuts Before Re-Election Bids
Art Laffer: 'Whole Economy is Shrinking'

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