Bill Steigerwald interviews Arthur Laffer, the The Father of Supply-Side Economics, in “Is this a great world or what?” Pittsburg TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Saturday, (February 5, 2005).

Laffer on Bush’s economics:


I’m really shocked by it. …I was not a fan of his father’s. I voted for Clinton twice. I really thought Bush (the elder) and Bob Dole were tax collectors for the welfare state. The reason I voted for Bush W. was more Al Gore than it was Bush. And now I am just totally a fan. This guy is just incredibly good at economics…[however]…the steel tariffs (were) terrible. They’re embarrassing.


On Laffer’s politics:

I’m pro-growth. I’m Democrat when Democrats are into pro-growth, and I’m Republican when they are….I like low, flat-rate taxes. I like sound money. I like free trade. And I like minimal regulation for serving social purposes…


On the most important economic principle for voters:

If you tax people who work and you pay people who don’t work, do not be surprised if you find a lot of people choosing not to work.


Laffer on the American public (or at least half of it):

…I’m really impressed with the public. The electorate really sees through all this crap. They understand free trade. They understand low, flat-rate taxes. They understand sound money. The electorate is really cool. I’m superbly impressed by democracy — and I’m not natively that way inclined, just so you know.


On America’s economic progress over the past two decades:

OK, let’s take a look at what happened to marginal tax rates. The highest rate has gone from what — 70 percent — down to what, 35 percent? What’s happened to inflation? What’s happened to regulation restrictions? What’s happened to America and the world? What’s happened to the stock market? What’s happened to everything you and I believe in? Do you remember what unemployment rates looked like back in 1979? Do you remember what the prime was when Ronald Reagan came into office on Jan. 20, 1981? It was 21 percent.
…I cannot believe how wonderful it is. When (Nobel Prize-winning economist) Bob Mundell and I sat there at the University of Chicago in 1967, ’68 and ’69, we dreamt of a world. That world is now. Can you imagine a world with no inflation? …
…If you looked at (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi and you looked at (Senate Minority Leader) Harry Reid Wednesday night, they looked really, really uncomfortable. They were running everything in 1979. They had the president, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the Fed chairman. They had every damn position in the world. They had everything — the states, the houses, the governors. It was a Fabian redistributionist nightmare. Now it’s really beautiful. I’m an old man, and old men are supposed to be curmudgeons and hate the modern day and love the ancient. But the truth of the matter is, we’ve won.

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