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Forbes Talks Deregulation, Supports Trump at Fresno State
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 5 years ago on
March 26, 2019

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Steve Forbes believes Donald Trump is on the right economic track. But, sometimes, Forbes adds, the president gets in his own way.

The chairman of his eponymously named financial media empire talked to reporters before his lecture Monday evening at the Save Mart Center.

“If (California) made some changes in its regulations, its output would be setting records for the ages.” — Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes Media

The lecture was to be followed by a question-and-answer session facilitated by Dr. Robert M. Harper, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Fresno State.

Forbes, a presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in 1996 and 2000, continues to espouse his free-market economic views, shying away from most social topics.

He took continued swipes at overregulation, a taboo in Forbes world.

“If (California) made some changes in its regulations, its output would be setting records for the ages,” he said of the Valley’s agricultural economy.

Click on the video above for the answers to questions posed by GV Wire.

Forbes on Trump, Immigration, and Tariffs

— His thoughts on the Trump presidency

“I’ll be blunt. He’s sometimes is his own worst enemy, in the sense of stepping on his own stories. They’ve done some very good things. On deregulation, very unglamorous … regulation is a form of taxation. What they’ve done in a very systematic way of getting rid of unnecessary rules and regs, is remove a huge burden on business. One I’m mentioning (in my lecture) tonight is manufacturing.

— On the economy

“The economy is in pretty good shape. The first quarter is going to be a bit of a disappointment for a variety of reasons — uncertainty about trade, fallout from the government shutdown, and people wondering what lies ahead in terms of these trade agreements. Once those are resolved, and I think they will be resolved, the economy should do well in the second half of 2019, going into 2020.”

Forbes also praised Trump for going after the Federal Reserve, and called for comprehensive immigration reform.

— On Trump’s tariffs on China

“Tariff is another word for sales tax. So, when we put on tariffs, we are putting on sales taxes on products that American businesses and consumers buy. That leads to retaliation which hurts products we sell elsewhere. … A more productive approach would be going after specific companies, specific industries, specific banks that are carrying out the violations.”

— On Rep. Devin Nunes’ lawsuit against Twitter and some of its users

“One of the things when you get technological advances, you get a whole new law coming with it. I’m not sure (the lawsuit) is going to go very far, but you get a lot of these things. … I can understand his frustration. He’s been treated terribly. He, by golly, has done really courageous work trying to find out what happened in 2016. And, he’s paid a price for it. His family paid a price for it.”

Forbes List of the World’s Richest People

“People like lists because it gives them a snapshot, this case, of what’s happening in the global economy,” he said. “We want to know what is doing well. What area in the world is creating wealth? What businesses are coming up? What businesses are slowing down? What is amazing is how much that list changes each year.”

Forbes said that that the last of the Rockefellers is off the list after the passing of David Rockefeller.

Forbes visited Fresno State in conjunction with the President’s Lecture Series. His appearance was co-sponsored by The Fresno Bee, Valley PBS, KSEE24, and KMJ News Talk Radio.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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