This is a momentous week in the history of free market economics. 39 years ago today, President Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act at his beloved Santa Barbara ranch, Rancho del Cielo. This act, which was the largest tax cut in U.S. history at the time, helped lift the America economy out of the stagflation of the 1970s and spurred the economic boom of the 1980s.
Today, Young America’s Foundation preserves President Reagan’s ranch as a historical site where we host conferences for high school and college students. There, students can learn about President Reagan’s life and legacy. They even get to see right where he sat when he signed the historic tax cut into law! However, that is not YAF’s only connection to the Economic Recovery Tax Act.
The thinking behind the act, the recognition that lower taxes spur economic growth, was promoted by longtime YAF ally, Dr. Arthur Laffer. As it turns out, Dr. Laffer’s birthday is fittingly the day after the tax cut anniversary, and all of YAF wishes him a very happy birthday!
Dr. Laffer has regularly spoken at YAF’s student conferences and also on college campuses around the country as part of YAF’s campus lecture program. Dr. Laffer’s ability to clearly explain how government’s over-taxation and over-regulation harm economic growth and prosperity has made him a favorite amongst YAF students.
The importance of Dr. Laffer’s work to advance free market ideas became even more evident last fall. When YAF sponsored Dr. Laffer to speak at Binghamton University in New York, the lecture got shut down by Leftist protestors. The protestors disrupted the event by yelling and shouting and not letting Dr. Laffer speak. YAF has filed a lawsuit on First and Fourteenth Amendment violations against those responsible for preventing Dr. Laffer from exercising his Constitutional right to free speech.
We are grateful for the work that Dr. Laffer has done promoting freedom and free enterprise and for his continued partnership with YAF. We are looking forward to continuing to defend the free market together and hosting back him on campuses soon. Happy birthday, Dr. Laffer, and here’s to many, many more!