Economist and ardent carbon tax advocate Art Laffer will receive the the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award a citizen can get, President Donald Trump announced last week. “If you’re going to handle global warming, you can do it in such a way that actually does not hurt the economy,” Laffer, once a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, says in Change What We Tax, which also happens to feature our own Bob Inglis. “A carbon tax would be less damaging dollar for dollar than a progressive income tax.”
“Art Laffer is a conservative who’s agnostic on climate change. I’m a conservative who believes it’s real,” Inglis said. “Both of us see opportunity in changing what we tax. For Art, it’s about his lifelong quest to reduce marginal tax rates. For me, it’s thatplus the opportunity to fix a market distortion that prevents the free enterprise system from delivering the fuels of the future.”
Our favorite anecdote that Bob likes to share: “Art Laffer, Reagan’s economics adviser, is a neighbor of Al Gore in Nashville, Tennessee. I know that Art went over to Al’s house and they talked it through and came to the conclusion that a revenue-neutral, border-adjustable carbon tax works for both of them. For very different reasons! Art because he desperately wants to untax income and put a tax on anything else. “CO2 will do,” he says. And Al, because he desperately wants to reduce emissions. I tell many conservative audiences that Al Gore and Art Laffer agree! Isn’t it possible, therefore, that we could bring America together and lead the world to a solution? Because it really does work for both progressives and conservatives, as long as we’re focused on solving the problem.”
“As my former colleague, Milton Friedman, put it,” Laffer has said. “One man and the truth is a majority. That’s my economics. I’ve been wrong in my life many times unfortunately, but I don’t think I’m wrong on this one. I do think a carbon tax is a more efficient tax than is a progressive income tax. That I really do believe. “
Sounds right to us! The EcoRight offers congratulations to Art Laffer.