President Donald Trump and Congress should move quickly to pass a major tax cut, boosting a laggard economy, media executive Steve Forbes says.
“The faster they get some of these things moving, starting with a big tax cut, I think you’ll see the political environment, not overnight, start to become a little less toxic,” Forbes said in an interview.
Forbes, the chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, spoke with MassLive ahead of his talk at this week’s Springfield Public Forum event.
Forbes will kick off the Forum’s fall lecture series, which is free to the public with no tickets required, at Symphony Hall in downtown Springfield. His talk is set for this Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m.
His talk is titled “America’s Future in the Global Economy” and sponsored by MassMutual. Following Forbes’ speech there will be a question-and-answer session with the audience, and a VIP fundraising dinner, with tickets at $80 per person. Tickets can be reserved online on the Forum’s website.
Separately, his Forbes Under 30 summit is slated to take place this fall in Boston, running from Oct. 1 through Oct. 4.
Forbes is coming to Springfield as the city is seeing a growing entrepreneur-focused sector, through organizations like Valley Venture Mentors and TechSpring, Baystate Health’s digital health care lab.
Forbes, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000, told MassLive the US economy is showing some “pep and pick-up” but at lower numbers than expected.
President Trump has proposed a 15 percent corporate tax rate, down from 35 percent. “Republicans must start the Tax Reform/Tax Cut legislation ASAP,” Trump tweeted recently. “Don’t wait until the end of September. Needed now more than ever. Hurry!”
US lawmakers should also look to personal tax exemptions, Forbes argued. Doubling personal tax exemptions would give a family of four making $50,000 a year a $1,500 tax cut, according to Forbes.
President Trump is going to have to campaign for his tax plan in order to get public support, since the heat of public opinion is the main way to get through to Capitol Hill, Forbes said.
Forbes said he expects Congress will eventually pass a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which the Trump administration has said it plans to wind down while giving Congress a six-month window to act.
One of the reasons for a toxic political environment is economic stagnation and frustration with how top officials are attempting to handle the economy, Forbes said.
“The feeling that authorities don’t know what they’re doing leads to tumult in politics,” he said.
The economy is plugging along, like a “plow horse” than a NASCAR engine, he said.
“But we haven’t had the vim and vigor and new company creation that we normally have in this country,” Forbes said. “And over time that’s going to hurt us.”
The Springfield Public Forum is also hosting Jelani Cobb, a New Yorker staff writer, on Wednesday, Oct. 25, and Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman, on Wednesday, Nov. 15.
Ed Kubosiak, Jr., the editor-in-chief of MassLive, is the president of the Springfield Public Forum’s board of directors.
The Eagle Hill School in Hardwick is the Season Sponsor for the 2017 speaker series and MassLive is the premier media sponsor.
President Trump pushes plan to overhaul tax system, Rep. Neal says Dems ready to work on ‘real’ reform