Sunday, February 17, 2008

Interview with Arthur Laffer

We've been "treated" to condemnations & vitriol regarding supply side or "trickle down" economics for almost 30 years. The Tennessean has an interview with recent Nashville transplant Arthur Laffer, a giant in conservative supply side economics. A very interesting interview, especially from a political perspective - if one looks at the presidential candidates he's voted for over the years. I'll pull out a few quotes, but take the time to read the entire interview.

But I love bashing Republicans more than anyone, cause they can be just as dumb as stumps. I voted for Clinton twice. I voted for Jimmy Carter, not when he ran against Reagan, but when he ran against Ford I voted for him. I did Jerry Brown's flat tax. I've worked with Democrats as much as … with Republicans. I mean Reagan was my favorite, as you might imagine. But it's not a partisan issue.

If you look at the top 1 percent of income earners in 1981 (Reagan's first year in office) … those people paid 17.5 percent of all the income taxes in the United States. As the years, have gone on that number has climbed up. Today, that group pays 39.6 percent of all income taxes. The percentage has more than doubled.

The highest taxpayers paid a lot more when Kennedy cut those tax rates, dramatically; and the lowest groups paid a lot less. In the lowest groups, if you cut tax rates, you will collect less money.

Laffer has some "interesting" choices in the presidential arena, especially given his economic bent. He is, however, 100% correct on how economics work and the effect of tax rates on those of varying income levels.


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