Billionaire Steve Forbes is not at all happy about rumors that President Donald Trump might raise taxes on America’s wealthiest individuals.
During a CNBC interview on Monday, Forbes said Steve Bannon’s reported plan to raise the tax rate for high-income earners to over 40% was antithetical to what former President Ronald Reagan believed in terms of economic policy.
“That kind of populism Ronald Reagan would have choked on,” Forbes said on the CNBC show Squawk Box. “What people want is a vibrant economy. They don’t care if Bill Gates gets richer. They want to know: ‘Is my paycheck going up? Are my prospects improving?'”
According to recent reports, Bannon wants to raise taxes on high-income earners to help give Trump’s upcoming tax plan more populist heft so it isn’t just seen as a giveaway to the wealthy. Bannon reportedly wants tax hikes on the wealthy to help pay for tax cuts for businesses and middle-class taxpayers.
During the same interview, Forbes also said the GOP should concentrate simply on cutting taxes rather than enacting a broader overhaul aimed at simplifying the tax code, as the failed effort to repeal Obamacare had left the party too bloodied for another protracted political battle.
“They botched that,” he said of comprehensive tax reform. “Save the heavy lifting updating the code after next year’s election.”