Jude Wanniski, 69, Journalist Who Coined the Term 'Supply-Side Economics,' Dies





Jude Wanniski, a journalist, consultant and, most of all, a fierce and unconventional partisan who marshaled intellect and salesmanship to promote big tax cuts as the best cure for an ailing economy, a theory embraced and executed by President Reagan, died yesterday in Morristown, N.J. He was 69. The cause was a heart attack.

Mr. Wanniski coined the phrase "supply-side economics" to describe his idea that a reduction in personal tax rates would stimulate productive investment, the production side of the economy and spur economic growth. He immodestly called this idea, which he formulated in the early 1970's, "a general theory of the world political economy."

Others viewed it as traditional Republican "trickle down" economics, meaning that the benefits accruing to wealthier taxpayers would filter throughout the economy. But, indisputably, the idea that tax cuts are almost always a good idea became a tenet of Republican, and many Democratic, campaigns.

Since 1978, Mr. Wanniski had been president of Polyconomics, where he and his analysts advised corporations, investment banks and others. He has also been involved in political campaigns like that of Steve Forbes in 1996 for the Republican presidential nomination, which highlighted another novel economic idea: a single tax rate for everyone.

How far Mr. Wanniski may have wandered from the traditional bounds of the Republican Party was suggested by his endorsement of Senator John F. Kerry in the 2004 presidential race. He called President Bush "an imperialist."




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