Reagan Economist Endorses Income Tax Elimination Plan

By Hunter Estes
March 16, 2021

Famed economist Arthur Laffer endorsed HB1439, the Mississippi Tax Freedom Act, legislation introduced by Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn that seeks to eliminate the income tax.

Laffer’s work played a foundational role in defining the economic policies that led to tremendous growth under the Reagan administration in the 1980s. His preeminent and lasting work is known as the Laffer Curve. This theory notes that, through taxation, government gains revenue until, at a certain point, the taxation discourages growth to the point that the government actually takes in less revenue.

In 2019, Laffer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump for his accomplishments in and contributions to the study of economics.

In a press release sent out by Speaker Philip Gunn, Laffer stated:

“For decades, I’ve worked with state legislators to eliminate the tax that is the single greatest threat to state economic growth and prosperity—the income tax. My hat goes off to Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and his colleagues for their bold plan to make Mississippi more prosperous through income tax elimination and fiscal discipline. America is watching. Mississippi has a once in a generation opportunity to re-position itself for economic growth.”

“I am very pleased to have Dr. Laffer’s support for HB1439,” noted Speaker Gunn. “Dr. Laffer’s leadership was a key inspiration for President Reagan’s transformative tax cuts, which set off an unprecedented boom in the American economy. There is no bigger name in tax reform circles nationally than Dr. Laffer. His support demonstrates the strength of HB1439. It is a credit to the hard work of Chairman Trey Lamar, Speaker Pro Tem Jason White, and our House members. As Dr. Laffer said, this is a once in a generation opportunity. I urge Lt. Governor Hosemann and our Senate to work with the House to bring transformative tax reform to Mississippi this session.”

A recent study by Dr. Joshua R. Hendrickson and Dr. Ronald Mau, economists at the University of Mississippi, showcased that the proposal would likely increase gross domestic product in the state by at least $371 million. This growth is in addition to the personal savings that individual taxpayers would experience because of the plan.

Our Senior Vice President for Policy, Dr. Jameson Taylor, interviewed Hendrickson and Mau to discuss their findings. You can read the full interview here.

HB1439 now awaits consideration in the Senate.


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