It’s good politics AND it’s good economics

Here’s the strategy:

Arthur Laffer has a simple theory of politics. It’s about as simple as his theory of economics. . . . The economic theory says that the lowest, simplest tax code will produce the most growth. The political theory goes like this: Politicians crave love from voters. So if you want to get a politician to do what you think is right, give him a plan he can easily sell, and make sure that plan will deliver a lot of crowd-pleasing economic growth.

George Bush Snr sat in the White House for eight years and didn’t learn a thing. Nor did the voters. Even here, we had a government that brought us lower taxes and ongoing prosperity so we rewarded them by bringing in the other side. There is, of course, more to the theory than we see at the final upper stage. And it is even possible he is right about what might happen next, assuming someone can be induced to actually take those crucial first steps.

His economic calculations have led him to believe that the U.S. economy is primed, after a decade of slow growth and middle-class income stagnation, to grow rapidly – it just needs a big tax reform bill that would lower rates and eliminate most deductions. . . .

This is Laffer’s unshakeable belief: that once voters elect a supply-side acolyte to the White House, massive growth will follow. That growth will please voters. Voters will reward the president’s party. And Republicans, he predicts, will go on to enjoy a generation-long lock on Washington – until, he says, voters forget the power of supply-side economics, and the cycle begins again.

I need hardly point out that the Reagan Revolution was based on Laffer’s complete appreciation of Say’s Law.

Art Laffer and Say’s Law

laffer - us govt spending fall

There is an article by Arthur Laffer at The Spectator that you can find here here. And I only mention it because I want to point out that Laffer had himself tried to resurrect Say’s Law back in the 1980s. If you look at the original supply side revolution which is coincident with the Reagan Revolution, the literature is filled with Say’s Law, and even amongst the comments at the Spectator article, there is this:

Rubbish. Say’s Law (the formal name for the views in this article) has been refuted. I hope Krugman sees this article.

Me too. I hope he does see it. And I hope he does try to buy into this. He would for a change be taking on someone his own size in the heavyweight division. The cuts to public spending are the only way into resurrecting growth. Who knows, the sequester may yet make Obama an economic hero by having the American economy turned around on his watch. Not his doing but there you are.

And if you would like to see a bit more on Arthur Laffer and Say’s Law, this is the place to look. Jude Wanniski was the third in the triumvirate in the supply side revolution, along with the Great George Gilder.