Part 2 of Heritage Foundation 12/1 Chicago event: Forbes keynotes Heritage Foundation luncheon

December 5, 2011

Part 2:   “Steve Forbes Keynote Luncheon Speaker at The Heritage Foundation Chicago event on 12/1”

The Heritage Foundation featured Steve Forbes as its keynote luncheon speaker at an event held in Chicago and hosted by The Heritage Foundation for Heritage Foundation members and friends on Thursday, December 1st at the Ritz-Carlton in Chicago.

Steve Forbes is Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, where his editorials appear in each issue under the heading, “Fact and Comment.”  As a widely respected economic prognosticator, Mr. Forbes is the only writer to have been a four-time winner of the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award, formerly given by the U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.

In 1996 and 2000 Forbes campaigned vigorously for the Republican nomination for the Presidency.  His latest books include: “How Capitalism Will Save Us:  Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today’s Economy,” co-authored by Elizabeth Ammes, and “Power Ambition Glory:  The Stunning Parallels between Great Leaders of the Ancient world and Today,” co-authored by John Prevas.  Forbes is also the author of “Flat Tax Revolution:  Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS.”

Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D., President of The Heritage Foundation, served as the Master of Cermonies for the luncheon event.   Dr. Feulner informed those present that The Heritage Foundtion is now 714,000 members strong.

Also noted by Feulner was the passing of Tom Roeser, a staunch supporter of The Heritage Foundation since its last hosted event in Chicago.

Dr. Feulner then displayed an on-stage gift that was to be presented to Steve Forbes (a copy of the petition Steve Forbes had filed with the state of Illinois in order to qualify for placement on its ballot), as a reminder to Forbes’ of his Illinos bid for the presidency back in 2000.

Michael Keiser, founder of The Heritage Foundation, introduced Steve Forbes.  Keiser also heads a separate organization, Heritage Action (, which is separate from The Heritage Foundation.  It’s goal is to hold Congress accountable to conservative principles.  Do check out the site and join up.

Before introducing Steve Forbes, Michael Keiser related these facts about this country:  1) 48.5 million live in households receiving government benefits.  2) 46 million receive food stamps.  3) The richest 20% pay 80% of the income tax; 1% earn 16% of all income but pay 34% of all federal income tax.

In speaking about Steve Forbes, Michael Keiser highly praised Forbes ability to analyze and placed Steve Forbes in the same category as Milton Friedman.

Forbes didn’t disappoint the many who had come to hear him speak and to share his financial expertise and knowledge.

Just why does the 2012 election cycle represent a critical juncture in this nation’s history?   According to Steve Forbes, individuals must be elected who understand how to get this nation out of the mess it is presently in and who understand the proper role of government.  It is not as the manager of this nation’s economy!  Instead, liberty must be foremost with a minimum of government interference.

Forbes spoke of a defacto takeover of health care and banking institutions.

Regarding health care, getting rid of general practitioners is highly desirable as they are more difficult to control.

In banking, the Dodd-Frank bill is crushing small community banks with its thousands of pages of rules and regulations.  Banks must hire hundreds of individuals just for compliance, ensuring that there will be fewer loan officers on board to serve the public.

Energy is facing a similar situation.  Government agencies are controlling what businesses and individuals can and cannot do.  This is creating statism and socialism which goes against American tradition.

According to Steve Forbes, putting the right person in control can make a big difference.  Forbes spoke of Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey as being able to make health care and pension changes despite having a Democrat Senate and House.  In New York State Democrat governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, is actually cutting spending.

In a bit of cynical humor, Forbes suggested that by taking the word “Greece” and translating it into English, you would end up with Illinois and California.

In describing the political system as dysfunctional, Forbes then pronounced that in some ways the system is working despite its unreliable nature.  In the 2010 elections many new legislators were elected, resulting in a Republican takeover of the House. This didn’t mean that a different agenda would be enacted immediately. It will take several election cycles to effect the changes that are envisioned as necessary, but what is now happening is traditionally alien to the American people.

Forbes, in talking about monetary policy, called it a boring subject that causes eyes to cloud over.  Blame for today’s crisis was laid at the feet of the Federal Reserve.  Forbes compared the action of the Federal Reserve to fueling an automobile.  It feds don’t create enough money (cars will run out of gas and stop); if the fed creates too much money (car engines will flood).  The housing bubble was caused by the Federal Reserve printing too much money.

Forbes went on to remind those gathered that the fed doesn’t create money.   It is created by individuals in the market place.

A question was posed by Steve Forbes about what would happen if a clock were treated in the same way as a dollar, with the number of hours fluctuating from day-to-day as does the value of the U.S. dollar?   The question didn’t require an answer.

The current sovereign debt crisis, according to Forbes, is one that could upend the world.  In Europe the banking industry is on life support with money being withdrawn from banks, especially in southern Europe.

America remains in better shape than Europe because she has multiple sources of capital.  Europe has only the bank.  The recent infusion of monies will only bring a brief reprieve, a short term fix.  European banks must be ready to blow out their balance sheets with financial resources, understanding that the fix is only a temporary one.  This responsible action must be combined with measures that will start to rebuild the European economy.

Tax reform to Steve Forbes is in the form of a flat tax.  The dollar needs to be elevated to the status that it once held.  Deregulation must take place, especially in the health care industry.

And why is health care an impending disaster?  Because it is not being financed in keeping with the free market system.  Nationwide competition is necessary to create free enterprise, which would, in turn, create more and better health care.

A question and answer period followed, in which cards were submitted with questions directed to teve Forbes.

1.  What about Occupy Wall Street?  Answer:  The occupiers should instead be in front of the Federal Reserve, the Senate and the White House, as these institutions are the originators of this nation’s financial problems.  According to Forbes, the occupiers represent the 1% who don’t get what America is all about.

2.  The agenda for the next president to turn this nation around?  Answer:  Link the dollar to gold; have the House pass legislation to repeal Obamacare with the legislation ready to go when the newly elected president is sworn into office; work toward a stable dollar; do serious work on a new tax code; and reign in spending.

If all of the above are done and the market is allowed to work, the American people will be surprised at how quickly this nation will reverse its downward course and begin steady progress toward recovery.

3.  What about the energy situation?  Answer:  Through fracking gas is being discovered in the most amazing place.  If we allow our natural resources to be developed, this nation could become an exporter of energy.  If would also relieve some troubling political situations, i.e., Russia.

4.  Should American Airlines receive a bailout?  Answer:  American Airlines is the last of the the American legacy airlines.  American Airlines should declare bankruptcy, for in  reorganizing it will become stronger for having done so.  This is the way things should happen.  Instead of receiving government bailouts, GM and Chrysler should have followed the same route.

5.  In regard to changing demographics?  Answer:  Steve Forbes doesn’t see a problem with assimilation whether immigrants are legal or illegal.   Every ethnic group that came in large numbers in past eras were always greeted with skepticism, yet all were able to melt into the fabric of this nation.

Closing remarks were made by The Heritage Foundation President, Edwin J. Feulner.  Clarified was why the last Republican debate was hosted by Wolf Blitzer of CNN instead of Fox News.  According to Dr. Feulner, Wolf Blitzer came to The Heritage Foundation to make the request.  In so far as Fox has already hosted a Republican presidential debate, Feulner suggested that reaching out to CNN made more sense politically as we already have Fox.   A total of 43 million viewers watched the CNN debate and its two pre-taped TV showings that followed.

President Feulner lastly thanked  all who had participated in The Heritage Foundation Chicago event and further urged members and guests to spread the work of The Heritage Foundation here in Illinois as many are likewise doing across this nation.  Tom Roeser was cited as a great Chicago friend of The Heritage Foundation who passed away since the last sponsored Heritage Foundation event in Chicago.


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