Administration

Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer

President Trump on Wednesday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer, praising him for his influence on economic policy dating back to the Reagan administration.

"Few people in history have revolutionized economic thought and policy like Dr. Art Laffer," Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony.

A few of Trump's Cabinet members and economic advisers attended the event. Laffer's six children were also in the room as the former Reagan aide received the nation's highest civilian honor.

Laffer largely focused his remarks on others, acknowledging his co-workers in past administrations, business partners and his family.

"Good economic policy is a team effort, and goodness knows my fellow teammates are the best ever," he said.

Trump praised Laffer for helping to bring supply-side economics into the mainstream during the Reagan administration, calling it a "very important thing."

"Today our nation is stronger, our people more prosperous and the world a much better place because of the brilliance and boldness of Dr. Arthur Laffer," Trump said.

Laffer established what is known as the "Laffer Curve," which posited that increases in tax rates will eventually cause government revenue to decrease at a certain point.

The model has been cited to argue for the benefits of tax cuts, though critics of supply-side economics argue that it has contributed to economic inequality.

Trump has similarly championed lower tax rates and deregulation as part of his own agenda, and touted his own administration's economic accomplishments during Wednesday's ceremony.

Laffer co-wrote a book published last year titled "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy." His co-author was Stephen Moore, who earlier this year was nominated to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors but withdrew amid bipartisan opposition from senators.

Moore, who also attended Wednesday's ceremony, suggested in an interview with Fox Business Network earlier this month that Trump should consider Laffer as the next chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Current CEA Chairman Kevin Hassett is leaving the position.

Laffer has previously broken with Trump over the president's use of tariffs, arguing a trade war would be problematic for the U.S. economy.

The Medal of Freedom is awarded by the president to citizens who make an "especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, or world peace, or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

Trump has awarded the honor to golfer Tiger Woods, Elvis Presley, former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Babe Ruth, among others.

The president tweeted on June 2 that he would be awarding the Medal of Freedom to NBA legend Jerry West. No date for the ceremony has been announced.

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