Is Laffer’s Creed as Popular as Ever With the GOP?

Washington Post: “As the 2016 GOP primary season takes off, Laffer is more in demand than ever before, with Republican candidates embracing tax-cut-for-the-rich policies even as they bemoan economic inequality.”

“For the first time in a generation, however, Laffer’s ‘supply-side’ strategies are not going without question on the right. Some conservatives believe that America’s struggling middle class needs more targeted policies today than simply broad tax cuts, and that Republicans won’t win back the White House without offering that relief. And mainstream economists, in surveys and interviews, have expressed deep doubt about whether his view of economics is correct.”

“Michael Strain, an influential economist at the American Enterprise Institute, said Laffer’s formula needs an update for Republicans to win. ‘I would argue that conditions are substantially different today than they were in 1978,’ he said.”

“Laffer rejects the ideas of candidates such as Rubio who push for targeted tax relief for families or the middle class, saying those deductions ‘don’t make sense in the tax code.’”

“But then in the next breath he praises Rubio, recalls how long it took Reagan to come around, and expresses confidence that the eventual nominee will follow his advice. ‘We’ll see who slugs it out’ in the primaries, Laffer said. ‘But no one’s voting for a redistributionist again. It’s over.’”

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