Conservative economist Arthur Laffer on Wednesday endorsed U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-6) for Tennessee governor and announced that he will serve as her economic adviser.
Laffer, who was a close adviser to former President Ronald Reagan, lives in Nashville and earlier this year voiced criticism of the gas tax hike passed this spring by the state legislature.
Laffer also was an economic adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
“Diane Black knows exactly how to keep Tennessee’s economy growing rapidly by ensuring that Tennessee keeps tax rates low while paying its bills and protecting its taxpayers,” Laffer said in a news release. “I moved from California to Tennessee eleven years ago for these very reasons, and I couldn’t be happier with my adopted home state. There’s no one more qualified and prepared to lead Tennessee into a new era of prosperity than Diane Black.”
In the 1980s, Laffer became known as the father of supply-side economics because of his influence in a movement to cut taxes. That time period saw great economic expansion in the U.S.
“Art Laffer has the greatest fiscal policy track record of the last 40 years,” said Black. “I am honored to have his endorsement and look forward to working with him to put conservative economic principles to work in Tennessee. My team will focus on bringing jobs, low taxes and prosperity to every corner of Tennessee.”
Laffer is also known for his involvement in promoting California’s Proposition 13, an initiative that drastically cut property taxes in the state in 1978. It was one of his earliest successes in influencing public policy.
In Nashville, he serves as founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research and consulting firm.
Laffer received a B.A. in economics from Yale University in 1963, and later an MBA and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. He has served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, University of Southern California and Pepperdine University.
Other Republican candidates in the 2018 gubernatorial race include Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, Williamson County businessman Bill Lee, state House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and former state Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), who recently resigned from the legislature to focus on her gubernatorial campaign. Democratic candidates are former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley).