Laffer Curve Napkin


In 1974 economist Art Laffer sketched a new direction for the Republican Party on this napkin. Displeased with President Gerald Ford’s decision to raise taxes to control inflation, four men got together at a Washington, DC restaurant to think about alternatives. Laffer was joined by journalist Jude Wanniski and politicians Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. Laffer argued that lowering taxes would increase economic activity. Wanniski popularized the theory, and politicians Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney carried it out.

The cloth napkin was taken as a souvenir by Jude Wanniski. The napkin reads “If you tax a product less results/If you subsidize a product more results./We've been taxing work, output and income and subsidizing non-work, leisure and un-/employment./The consequences are obvious!” with an image of the laffer curve in the middle. The bottom of the napkin reads To Don Rumsfeld/at our Two Continents/Rendezvous/ 9/13/74/Art B. Laffer"

Date Made: 1974-09-14

Place Made: United States: District of Columbia, Washington

See more items in: Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing, Industry & Manufacturing, American Enterprise

Exhibition: American Enterprise

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Publication: Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America

Credit Line: Gift of Patricia Koyce Wanniski

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2013.0041.01Catalog Number: 2013.0041.01Accession Number: 2013.0041

Object Name: napkin

Physical Description: white (overall color)Measurements: overall: 15 in x 15 in x 1/8 in; 38.1 cm x 38.1 cm x .3175 cm


Record Id: nmah_1439217

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