Brad DeLong says,

A tariff is a revenue bill. And revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. (Although what “originate” means when procedure allows amendments in the nature of substitutes I do not know.) So it is Hawley-Smoot.

My linguist friends tell me usage is king.

  • In JSTOR, I find 317 instances of “Hawley-Smoot” and 525 instances of “Smoot-Hawley.”
  • In Google Books, I find 907 instances of “Hawley-Smoot” and 1063 of “Smoot-Hawley.” (Owing to a felicitous typo, I also find 96 instances of the much more awesome “Smooth-Hawley.”)

On the other hand, that’s lily-livered descriptivism. Also, DeLong says my book is “excellent.”

So I think DeLong, and my eighth-grade US History teacher, must be right.