Arthur Laffer at OMB, 1970-72

This set of documents pertains to Arthur Laffer’s stint as chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget from 1970-72. His main notoriety from this position derived from the economic model he developed in 1970, and which confirmed the feasibility of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) goal of a “1065” $billion or $1.065 trillion gross national product for 1971. The model demonstrated that monetary policy changes have little but a brief immediate effect on the economy, spending changes barely any more.

The press went wild with the “1065” number, implying that only Laffer’s model justified it. Documentary evidence from the Nixon papers show that the CEA had come up with the 1065 number of its own in the summer of 1970 and furnished it to OMB months later—it was a given number that Laffer then checked in his model.

The Early Laffer Curve, 1974

This is a series of documents recently discovered in Arthur Laffer’s archive. The documents include perhaps the original rendering of the Laffer Curve—made prior to or just contemporaneous with the napkin sketch of circa late 1974.

This series of 32 documents is in the order in which it was discovered in the archive. The first page is of the Laffer curve, derived from the graph an equations above it. The subsequent pages include various extrapolations from this first page, the development of a model, lecture notes, and doodles.

Kansas and Tax Compliance

“Superman, Wyatt Earp, and Dorothy: The Story of Kansas” is Arthur Laffer’s assessment of the Kansas economy during and the governorship of Sam Brownback.

“The Economic Burden of Tax Code Complexity” is a 2010 study by Arthur Laffer, Wayne Winegarten, and businessman John Childs about the full costs of filing tax returns.

Assorted Letters and Documents