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NEW PUSH TO SIMPLIFY MASSIVE FEDERAL TAX CODE AS PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP PREPARES TO TAKE OFFICE
Steve Forbes: No, they're not. That's why Trump has to move hard and fast not with a bill that does trimming here and there. He has to go big. Back in 1986 they took out a lot of tax shelters realizing if you touch one you have to take them all out so they have to think big and recognize you need a working more profitable and investing more profitable and remove the barriers, the economy improves. Trump knows that if the economy doesn't improve, nothing else is going to matter so go for the big tax cut and appeal to the American people the way Ronald Reagan appealed to the American people. That's the only way you can get it done.
Austan Goolsbee: It can be and as you know I’ve been a long time proponent of big simplification. The problem is two-fold. The first is what Ronald Reagan did in 1986 they paid for it and they actually sat down and tried to get the loop hopes holes and things out of the tax code. So far Donald trump is proposing more loopholes and second they're not going to be able to pay for it. They're going to end up making it a giant tax cut that will blow up the deficit more. I'm not optimistic.
Rich Karlgaard : Steve is right. Trump has to go big and fast and early and I think he has to speak to the American people directly, particularly these two groups, small business owners and people -- the middle and upper middle class because they pay more than their fair share. Poor people don't pay much at all. Large corporations like apple are able to get their corporate rates down below 10 percent. Hedge fund managers pay corporate taxes. He has to the people right now shouldering the burden more than anybody else.
John Tamny: Yeah, tax simplification would be great but it's not going to happen. Politicians giving up not only all their power in office but their earnings power once they leave office. I would love to see it happen. It won't.
Elizabeth MacDonald: The plans are in there too. I'm with Steve and rich do it big, bold and fast. That's what Kennedy did. Drain it of lobbyists because the tax code is the 21st century pork barrel. He said it is demoralizing to the American people. Keep money in your pockets so you can grow business and jobs and the economy. By the mid '60s the unemployment rate was cut in half and the economy was booming and revenues came pouring in.
Sabrina Schaeffer: It makes criminals out of otherwise good citizens. I think that Donald Trump and the Republican Congress need to sale this through the lens of fairness, an equal opportunity for all. When government is taking our money when you are a small business, you may not have the same opportunity as others around you. This is going to be a very steep uphill climb. I just received an email this past week from a lobbying association criticizing Paul Ryan for saying draining the swamp. They said these ear marks allow us to have federalism at its best. I'm thinking that is a very interesting frame.
REPORT: PRESIDENT OBAMA CONSIDERING LAST-MINUTE MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Sabrina Schaeffer: I don't think any businesses are going to do anything between now and January. There's way too much uncertainty. There's an administration going out and a new one coming in. It would be crazy for businesses to change course right now. I think there's a lot of -- there are a lot of people both Republicans and Democrats urging the President-elect Trump to be cautious in his actions in Iran and i think that's something the country is going to stand behind.
Astan Goolsbee: Look, I’m not will biggest fan of the Iranian regime. I know that if you look at several of the most outspoken critics of the deal when it was signed, the Israeli security establishment, Saudi Arabia, some of the leading Republicans, a lot of those groups are telling Donald Trump don't just rip up the deal. Please go slowly and be more judicious about it. Don't keep threatening to throw it out because there are aspects of it that are working.
Steve Forbes: It was never put to the Senate as a treaty. He we had to get two-thirds vote to stop it and that's unconstitutional. The Iranians have been violating the agreement. They said they would put back their missile program. They're going full board with that. The next time they touch one of our sailors or ships we should go full in. In terms of sanctions they want access to our market and the international banking system, we have a lot of leverage, time to start using.
John Tamny: I look at these deals with countries and they strike me as full employment acts for foreign policy types. If Iran is such a bad regime why would we expect them to abide by any kind of deal. We enter these deals and give legitimacy to bad people and achieve nothing in terms of safety. Don't rip up a deal and doesn't enter into them in the first place.
Elizabeth MacDonald: They were stranded and our guys went and rescued them. Where were those Iranian ships harassing our boats to save their own men. We gave them a case of water and new battery for that boat. This is an unconstitutional deal. The Obama administration did a run around Congress. I hear what john is saying, however this is a really bad regime with nuclear tipped missiles possibly on the way. I think Donald Trump needs to come in and really -- he will take a look at this and hopefully step in.
Rich Karlgaard: That is always everywhere true. Steve is right. We have a lot of leverage here, but i think where you want to fight a battle over taxes in the public, you take the case to the public and you fight it in the press, this is a case where you want to do the opposite. You want to be quietly strong, you want to work the back channels and you back it up with action.
NEW FOCUS ON WAYS PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP AND CONGRESS CAN CUT THE FEDERAL BUDGET
Steve Forbes: You can dismantle the housing apartment, HUD you could do that in six months. That would be a huge savings. The weather service and commerce department, privatize that. How about these labs in the energy department, privatize those. Procurement in the defense department needs updating.
Elizabeth MacDonald : Also I love how Washington is always telling wall street about mergers and companies about mergers. How about they merge their multitude training programs, multitude of economic development programs, they could collapse those and stop government union workers from home on union things.
Sabrina Schaeffer: I would start by not engaging in a $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan. We should rein in entitlements. There's a lot of support among women for that issue. We should repeal and replace Obamacare.
Rich Karlgaard: May I be a contrarian here and say Trump's got to emphasize growth first. The first three priorities are growth, growth and growth. I would like for areas to cut are parts of the federal government that are impediments to growth so you get two for one.
John Tamny: If it's about growth, government has no resource other than what it's taken from us first. Government spending is the tax so greatly reduce spending across the board and look at what's unconstitutional and slash it and you will get growth.
Austan Goolsbee: Look, discretionary is the lowest level in a half century. What you should do if you care about debt is cancel your $5 trillion unpaid for tax cut.
Elizabeth MacDonald: (VFINX)
Rich Karlgaard : (NVDA)