Home » News » Gary and Aldona Robbins Scholarship Established for Economic Education

Gary and Aldona Robbins Scholarship Established for Economic Education

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The Gary and Aldona Robbins Scholarship at TFAS was established in 2024 to honor the work of a husband and wife who together made outstanding contributions to the field of economic policy.

Upon Aldona’s passing in May, TFAS regent and friend of Aldona, Catherine Barr Windels, donated a generous lead gift of $50,000 to establish the Gary and Aldona Robbins Endowed Scholarship Fund. In honor of her late friend, Windels created the fund to continue the Robbinses’ tradition of developing economic education and equipping future leaders with the skills necessary to build sound economic policy.

It is a pleasure to help honor their personal and professional partnership by helping establish this scholarship.” – Catherine Barr Windels

“I was privileged to work closely with Gary and Aldona over many years, and to see the tremendous positive impact of their approach to economic analysis on the policy debate,” Windels said. “I also benefitted from their warm and generous friendship. It is a pleasure to help honor their personal and professional partnership by helping establish this scholarship.”

About the Robbins Family

Gary Robbins served as a senior tax economist and analyst at the Department of the Treasury in the 1970s and 1980s, where he created the tax model used to forecast the budget effects of proposed tax changes. There he began work on a database for a hoped-for model that could accurately predict the economic effects of tax changes and the resulting impact on revenue and the budget, called dynamic scoring. The task was widely regarded by most of the tax policy community as too difficult for use in policy analysis.

Aldona Robbins, who passed away on May 25, 2024, was an economist at the Department of Labor and later the Senior Economist in the Office of Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury. Her Treasury work in the fields of Social Security and Medicare led to significant improvements in the clarity and content of the annual reports of the Trustees of the Social Security Trust Funds, which can serve as a guide toward a permanent solution to the program’s ever-recurring financial instability. She wrote a pamphlet entitled “The ABCs of Social Security: Basic Questions and Answers About the Retirement Program” to explain the program to the layman.

After leaving Treasury to found Fiscal Associates, the Robbinses developed a full-blown dynamic scoring, tax policy simulation model. It successfully incorporated the pioneering work on the theory of capital formation by Harvard economist Dale Jorgenson. The model demonstrated the feasibility of dynamic scoring and confounded the skeptics. This model has grown to become the outstanding analytical tool of the Tax Foundation. Its success has spurred other researchers to take the dynamic plunge, and it has altered the way that Congress and fiscal policy analysts assess the cost and efficacy of tax changes. This has made a great contribution to the formulation of pro-growth tax policies.

Continue The Robbinses’ Legacy

To make a gift in memory of Aldona to the Gary and Aldona Robbins Scholarship Fund, please visit TFAS.org/support, select “I wish to designate this gift” and type the Gary and Aldona Robbins Scholarship in the designation field.

The Fund for American Studies remembers Gary and the Robbins family during this difficult time. TFAS is proud to help continue Aldona’s legacy of championing economic reasoning.

Gifts totaling $225,000 are needed to fully endow the Robbins Scholarship Fund on a permanent basis and ensure that promising young leaders will attend programs each year.

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