Steve Forbes: Not tax reform, tax cuts

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Steve Forbes, the man who built a financial and media empire, was the luncheon speaker Tuesday at Ashford University’s Distinguished Speakers Forum held at Torrey Pines Lodge.

His top was the economy and taxes, which he has commented on as a presidential candidate, twice and many times since on national TV programs.

Prior to the luncheon, KUSI’s Steve Bosh sat down with him to talk about the tax issue with an emphasis on how the Republicans are handling the current debate on tax reform.

President Trump wants the biggest tax cut in history, but the Democrats won’t give on anything and the president is having trouble with members of his own party.

For example, ideological demands from Senator Rand Paul, and procedural demands from Senator John McCain are threats that could unravel the president’s tax agenda.

Steve Forbes sees the Republicans as sending the wrong message.

"It’s too late to overhaul the code, that will have to wait another day. They should be looking and focusing only on reducing the burden on people, and reducing the burden on businesses," Forbes said.

Forbes said the country needs an immediate tax cut made retroactive to the beginning of this year to give people and business more money and to get the economy moving.

"From experience, a booming economy is the only way you get more revenue, the only way you can balance the budget. We should have learned that from the 80’s and 90’s, but sometimes these people are slow learners or non-learners," Forbes said.

Forbes said Republicans always seem to get hung up on how to proceed instead of just doing it.

"They get caught up in minutiae, and they also get caught up in the process in Washington. They’ve made the process the enemy of progress," he said.

And he said they worship the false god called the Congressional Budget Office, which forecasts or purports to tell what’s going to happen 10 years down the road and nobody really knows what’s going to happen.

"They always assume tax cuts don’t help the economy so the Republicans always come up short in terms of future revernues and tax cuts," Forbes said.

Despite all of these problems, Forbes predicts the Republicans will get a tax bill. It’s in their self interest. The voters want change, which is why Trump was elected.

"The reason they’ll get a tax bill is they know they’ll have an election next year. They know if they don’t have something to show for it, many of them are gonna have to pursue new opportunities, and not many of them want to be Uber drivers," Forbes said.

Fifty-two Republican senators are enough votes to get this done without Democrat support. But six senators are not on board as of today and the president can’t afford to lose more than two. 

Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 on a big tax cut and again in 1984 when he won 49 states running against a Democrat who wanted to raise taxes. 

Categories: Local San Diego News