President Donald Trump will present Arthur B. Laffer with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The presentation will take place on June 19.
Dr. Laffer is called the “Father of Supply-Side Economics” and is one of the most influential economists in American history, the White House said in a press release.
Laffer is renowned for his economic theory, the “Laffer Curve,” which establishes the strong incentive effects of lower tax rates that spur investment, production, jobs, wages, economic growth and tax compliance, the White House said.
Laffer was the first chief economist of the Office of Management and Budget and a top economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan. Among other accomplishments during his career, he served as a consultant to the Department of the Treasury and Department of Defense. Laffer’s public service and contributions to economic policy have helped spur prosperity for the nation, the White House said.
Laffer is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, who lives in Nashville, Politico said.
He moved with his business, Laffer Associates, from San Diego to Nashville in 2003, the Nashville Post said. The economist said he made the move because Tennessee does not have an income tax. His company provides international investment advisory services to institutions and management of institutional accounts.
Politico explained the premise of the Laffer Curve:
Laffer explained his controversial theories to POLITICO a few weeks ago in Nashville: “If you raise taxes, … some people may actually leave your state. Some people … leave the labor force and stay home. Others may choose to not employ people, so unemployment rates go higher.”
In addition to working in the Reagan Administration, Laffer also served as a senior economic advisor to Trump, The Tennessee Star said.
The economist was a critic of former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s $9 billion mass transit plan as well as former Gov. Bill Haslam’s gas tax, The Star said.
He has become the co-author of a line of children’s books titled “Let’s Chat” exploring economics and democracy.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the White House website says. It is the nation’s highest civilian honor and is awarded by the President “to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Tiger Woods was the most recent recipient, receiving the honor on May 6.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.