Forbes at CPAC 2016
Malcolm Stevenson Forbes Jr.
July 18, 1947
Morristown, New Jersey, U.S.
|Education||Princeton University (BA)|
|Net worth||$430 million (2017)|
|Spouse(s)||Sabina Beekman (m. 1971)|
|This article is part of a series on|
the United States
Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes Jr. (//; born July 18, 1947) is an American publishing executive. Forbes was a candidate in the 1996 and 2000 Republican Presidential primaries. Forbes is the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes, a business magazine. Forbes is the son of longtime Forbes publisher Malcolm Forbes, and the grandson of that publication's founder, B.C. Forbes. He is an adviser at the Forbes School of Business & Technology.
Forbes attended the Far Hills Country Day School with Christine Todd Whitman. He graduated cum laude from Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts in 1966, and from Princeton University, New Jersey, in 1970. While at Princeton, Forbes founded his first magazine, Business Today, with two other students. Business Today is currently the largest student-run magazine in the world. Forbes is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi and Tau Kappa Epsilon. He holds honorary degrees from several universities, including New York Institute of Technology and Lehigh University.
Forbes helped craft Christine Todd Whitman's plan for a 30% cut in New Jersey's income tax over three years, and this plan proved to be a major factor in her victory over incumbent Governor James Florio.
Forbes entered the Republican primaries for President of the United States in 1996 and 2000, primarily running on a campaign to establish a flat income tax. Forbes also supported the ideas of re-introducing 4½% mortgages and term limits in 1996; however, dropped both in 2000 (as they were minor planks in his overall platform).
When Forbes ran for President in 1996 and 2000, he sold some of his Forbes, Inc. voting shares to other family members to help finance his run. Forbes did not come close to securing the Republican nomination, despite winning the Arizona and Delaware primaries in 1996, and getting some significant shares of the vote in other primaries. Forbes's awkward campaigning style was considered to be a major factor in his defeat. Time Magazine called his stumping a "comedy-club impression of what would happen if some mad scientist decided to construct a dork robot." For his 2000 presidential campaign, he raised $86,000,000 in campaign contributions, of which $37,000,000 were self-donated.
After dropping out early in the 2000 primary season, Forbes returned to heading the magazine and company. During the 1996 campaign, insiders at Fortune alleged that stories about Forbes's advertisers became favorably biased toward them.
Major issues Forbes has supported include free trade, health savings accounts, and allowing people to opt out 75% of Social Security payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts (PRAs). Forbes supports traditional Republican Party policies such as downsizing government agencies to balance the budget, tough crime laws and support for the death penalty, and school vouchers. Forbes opposes gun control and most government regulation of the environment, as well as drug legalization and same-sex marriage, in spite of his father being gay. In terms of foreign policy, he called for a "US not UN foreign policy" (which is composed of anti-International Monetary Fund sentiments, pro-Israeli sentiment, opposition to Most Favored Nation status for the People's Republic of China, and anti-UN sentiment.)
Forbes’s flat tax plan has changed slightly. In 1996, Forbes supported a flat tax of 17% on all personal and corporate earned income (unearned income such as capital gains, pensions, inheritance, and savings would be exempt.) However, Forbes supported keeping the first $33,000 of income exempt. In 2000, Forbes maintained the same plan; however, instead of each person receiving an exemption of $33,000, it more closely resembled the Armey Plan (Forbes's version called for a $13,000 per adult and $5,000 per dependent deduction). Forbes is very wealthy, with a net worth in 1996 of $430 million. In response to this criticism, Forbes promised in his 2000 campaign to exempt himself from the benefits of the flat tax, although he did support the repeal of the 16th Amendment in a debate with Alan Keyes the previous year.
In his 2000 campaign, Forbes professed his support for social conservatism along with his supply-side economics. Despite holding opposite positions in 1996, for the 2000 campaign, Forbes announced he was adamantly opposed to abortion and supported prayer in public schools. The previous year Forbes had issued a statement saying he would no longer donate money to Princeton University due to its hiring of philosopher Peter Singer, who views personhood as being limited to 'sentient' beings and therefore considers some disabled people and all infants to lack this status. Steve Forbes was one of the signers of the Statement of Principles of Project for the New American Century (PNAC) on June 3, 1997.
In December 2006, Forbes joined the Board of Directors of the advocacy organization FreedomWorks. Forbes is also on the board of directors of the National Taxpayers' Union. Forbes is also a member of the board of trustees of The Heritage Foundation, an influential Washington, D.C.-based public policy research institute. Forbes is a frequent panelist on the television program Forbes on Fox, which also features members of the Forbes magazine staff, and is shown Saturday mornings on Fox News Channel at 11:00 am EST.
On March 28, 2007, Forbes joined Rudy Giuliani's campaign for the 2008 Presidential election, serving as a National Co-Chair and Senior Policy Advisor. Later in the 2008 presidential campaign, Forbes served as John McCain's Economic Adviser on Taxes, Energy and the Budget during McCain's bid for the 2008 Presidential election.
In March 2013 Forbes participated in a NPR broadcast Intelligence Squared debate with James Grant, Frederic Mishkin and John R. Taylor Jr. concerning the motion "Does America Need A Strong Dollar Policy?".
In July 2018, Forbes received the First Class Order of Merit from Liberland, a free-market micronation project on the Danube River in Europe for his lifetime contributions to the ideas of liberty.
Publisher Steve Forbes in 1947 (age 72)
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