Economist Art Laffer, Medal of Freedom winner, on why he won't join Trump team

A day after economist Steve Moore floated former Reagan Economist Art Laffer as a replacement for Trump’s top economist Kevin Hassett, Laffer told FOX Business “it just ain’t gonna happen.”

“The president has too much moxie than to make a mistake in picking someone like me to be chairman after Kevin Hassett, who is just phenomenal, he’s done the greatest job ever, and I don’t have any chance of doing as good a job as Kevin Hassett does,” he told Ashley Webster on “Varney & Co.” on Friday.

Laffer, best known for developing the Laffer curve, which shows the relationship between tax rates and the amount of tax revenue collected by governments, said “it just isn’t a job for me” and “I’m not good at it.”

“To really be honest, I took a job in government in 1970 -- I was George Shultz’ economist with Nixon’s presidency and I found out what I don’t do well -- I really don’t do those types of jobs well,” he explained. “You know my job really is to give you unvarnished, true my views of the world, from my perspective. And you know when you’re an employee of a person, you have to carry the water for the person you work for. And you know it’s just not in my nature to do that, Ashley, really it isn’t.”

In Laffer’s opinion, the position is too political.

“I watched all these other economists in there, and Kevin Hassett is a major exception, but I watched them all under Obama and under [George W. Bush] and you know they would rebut arguments they know to be true in order to curry favors with their political benefactors and I don’t want to ever do that,  I make enough mistakes on my own without having to follow other peoples rules,” he explained.


Laffer said he also turned down a job with President Reagan as well.

“Once you’re on the payroll you lose your independence,” he said.

President Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Laffer, the highest award that can be given to citizen, later this month.