Editorials

Kansas knows Arthur Laffer’s supply-side voodoo economics unworthy of Medal of Freedom

Brownback says he’s ‘heartened’ by Trump tax plan

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday he had not read the actual proposal but was pleased with President Donald Trump's tax plan.
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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday he had not read the actual proposal but was pleased with President Donald Trump's tax plan.

The White House announced Friday that President Donald Trump will award Arthur Laffer, “the father of supply-side economics,” the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor a commander in chief can bestow.

Laffer’s name is well known in the Sunflower State because it was all over former Gov. Sam Brownback’s doomed “Kansas experiment.” Laffer made $75,000 for his 2012 advice, which he delivered with fellow supply-sider Stephen Moore — he who withdrew his name last month from consideration for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors amid intense and deserved criticism.

It’s beyond ironic that news of Laffer’s accolade came in the same week that the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service delivered a sobering new analysis of the GOP’s 2017 federal tax bill. That massive cut was largely good for the wealthy, enabling big business to make a record-breaking $1 trillion in stock buybacks. But the report also showed that “ordinary workers had very little growth in wage rates,” with 2018 end-of-year bonuses coming out to a whopping $28 per worker.

Time after time, history proves George H.W. Bush right. “Voodoo economics” won’t deliver Trump’s promised economic “rocket fuel” any more than they did Brownback’s “shot of adrenaline.” Recognizing Laffer’s scheme cheapens the prestigious presidential award.

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