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William E. Simon's contribution to tax policy


  • Susan Averett
  • Edward Gamber
  • Sheila Handy


This paper analyzes the role of William E. Simon in shaping tax policy during his tenure as Treasury Secretary from 1974 to 1977. Simon believed in supply-side economics. Therefore, the tax policy changes that occurred during his time as Secretary involved reductions in tax rates as well as simplification of rules. A far-reaching effect of the 1975 Tax Act was the introduction of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which retains popular support today. Although these changes did not immediately increase growth and curb inflation, Simon's attempts to reduce marginal tax rates in the 1970s resulted in two decades of legislation to reduce the influence of government on the economy, which resulted in budget surpluses in the 1990s. “He was an extraordinarily effective Treasury Secretary in a time of very difficult economic and political transition.” [Alan Greenspan, Tribute to William E. Simon, p. 22] Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Averett & Edward Gamber & Sheila Handy, 2003. "William E. Simon's contribution to tax policy," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 31(3), pages 233-241, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:233-241
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02298817

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary-Policy Rules and the Great Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 115-120, May.
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