Being the President/CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis certainly has some awesome benefits — like what happened yesterday. I was able to spend two very personal hours with former President Reagan’s economic adviser, Dr. Art Laffer, the author of the simple, napkin-based, Laffer Curve. Now, all those liberal progressive detractors needs to be aware, Dr. Laffer will readily admit he voted for Bill Clinton for president, twice.
And here on these pages we’ve shared the perspective that between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, I’d gladly take the former. At least Bill Clinton proved he wasn’t rigid leftist ideologue and worked with the GOP majority in Congress for our economic prosperity.
One thing about Bill Clinton, he’d do anything that made him look good (well, except for THAT…)
But back to the time I spent with Dr. Laffer. He articulated economic principles to induce growth, which we certainly don’t have at this time. Those principles were: a low rate flat tax that broadens the tax base, along with government spending discipline, regulatory reform, and sound monetary policy.
This isn’t rocket surgery folks. Two percent GDP growth should not be deemed the “new normal.” And who’d know better than the economic adviser who enabled this economy to fire on all cylinders at nearly 8 percent GDP growth?
And therein lies one of Dr. Laffer’s primary concerns: our GDP relative to American adults (16 years and older) is the lowest over the past 65 years. Furthermore, there has been a very sharp decline in our GDP since 2000. Laffer states, there is no recovery. As well, he confided in our small group that when you look at total employment as a share of the adult population there has been a dramatic decline with only some 59.5 percent full adult population employment.
The annual loss of workers is causing a $3.5 to $4 trillion loss in our GDP. Dr. Laffer estimates the annual adult employment loss to be close to 13 million.
Then why is the unemployment rate declining you ask? Because as he stated — and we’veshared here — Americans are departing the workforce and not being counted. As Laffer said, the best cure for welfare is delivered by economic growth that creates jobs and full employment. As I have articulated it has to be about individual economic empowerment, not enslavement.
Dr. Laffer predicts it’s going to be a tough 2016 – we’ve already seen that in January. He concedes that he expects capital to shift to 2017 and 2018 as the promise of better economic policies loom. Certainly not the social utopia promised by Bernie Sanders, and a continuation of the Obama economic policies sound the death alarm for our economy. As Dr. Laffer expressed, you cannot tax an economy into prosperity. As well, a poor man cannot spend himself into wealth. I believe it was the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln who said, “you can’t make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor.”
So we identified the problems and the principles that work — what are the specific solutions? Here is Dr. Art Laffer’s list:
– A 90-day tax amnesty at the federal, state, and local levels which means a one-time, 90-day period for folks to pay their delinquent with no penalty or retribution
– A 90-day tax holiday, all federal level taxes, followed by the implementation of a new tax code
– Sell federal lands
– Sell off all federally-controlled oil above the strategic oil reserves
– Privatize government agencies and services, including the post office and prisons
– Institute merit pay for politicians — this was his favorite policy solution
– Clean up the books of obsolete and irrelevant laws, regulations, and scrub the federal registry
– Remove the autonomy of the Federal Reserve; it should not have unelected professors making monetary policy
– Develop urban economic enterprise zones to spur on economic growth in the urban centers
– Institute merit pay for teachers and promote the development of more charter schools and support school choice
– Institute a federal right to work law — heck, if the SCOTUS can redefine marriage this seems easy
– Institute tort reform for our medical system to reduce the instances of fraudulent lawsuits
– Uphold Shay’s Amendment to ensure that all laws passed by Congress apply equally
I sure wish more Americans would read this…or else we’ll find an avowed socialist as our president (we already have a closet one). You can follow Dr. Laffer’s work at his policy center and I implore you to share his work, principles, and insights. And wouldn’t it be nice if we had debates that focused on the aforementioned policy recommendations?
By the way, Dr. Laffer did tell us about an important announcement in a week…but I ain’t tellin’!