Steve Forbes: Economy In 'Cardiac Arrest'

Former Republican presidential candidate and noted flat-taxer Steve Forbes appeared on CNBC moments ago with a grave diagnosis for the U.S. economy, likening it to a flatlining coronary patient.

"Right now there is fear in the marketplace," said Forbes, also editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine. "Not since 1933 have we been as close to the abyss as we are now."

Forbes said taxpayers who oppose the $700 billion Wall Street rescue bill rejected by the House today "don't understand" that if some form of relief is not approved, "millions of jobs will be lost."

CNBC reporter Maria Bartiromo, possibly speaking as a taxpayer and not a journalist, asked Forbes: "How do we communicate to members of Congress that this is not a bailout?"

Forbes suggested that President Bush and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson take to television to explain the crisis to the American people, using "charts."

Forbes noted that the stock market lost $1 trillion in value today, well more than the proposed $700 billion rescue plan.

-- Frank Ahrens

September 29, 2008; 7:34 PM ET  | Category:  business
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Yeah we the dumb little people won't get it unless they use "charts" to explain to us! Let's see 700 billions divides into 400 billionaires works out to be about 1.75 billions per billionaire. Which is a lot more more than the 1.3 billion cut off point of the list.

So what it will mean is next year we have to let mere hundredmillionaires on the list and that's just plain anti capitalistic.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 8:59 PM

ok dummy. Hope you don't need a loan anytime in the next decade.

Posted by: riiight | September 29, 2008 9:12 PM

Yeah riiight scare me with a loan I can't get a decade from now. Explain to me with a CHART! Use colors too! You know, red for danger. Yellow for caution. And greed for greed.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 9:17 PM

This bill is not about "Wall Street",orexecutive comp. It's about unburdening a stuck financial system so that working,functional companies have access to capital that they need. Without functioning credit markets, small businesses will fail first, then large ones as they are unable to roll over their loans. Just as Caterpillar - they had a ton of difficulty doing so earlier this month, and are profitable.

Also, do you know how many times the government has done this? And how many times they have lost taxpayer money? The RTC turned a profit, and American taxpayers made money on a similar bill in 1999 to provide aid to Mexico.

Greed, blah blah blah. So shortsighted and predictable. Tell me, does this crisis impact you in any way?

Posted by: ok genius | September 29, 2008 9:28 PM

unburdening a stuck financial system? you want to buy some land in Anbar province? in a market where trillions moves around daily and you say 700 billions spread over how many months will unstuck it?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 9:36 PM

That's the problem, which you fail to understand. The stock market and credit market are two totally different things. Oh man...

Posted by: ugh | September 29, 2008 9:37 PM

oh the credit market! the reason we are in the mess we are in is because of "the credit market" running amok for years. now it is stuck? let it be stuck for a while. it will do the system some good.

the reason the credit market is stuck is because the credit makers are afraid the credit receivers are no good, i.e. unable to pay it back. not because there is no money in the market.

tell me where will the govt get the 700 billions to bail out the market? borrow from "the market" or where?

tell me also what will happen when the credit market for US bonds gets stuck? the Chinese already fret about it yes? who will bail out the bailer then?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 29, 2008 9:49 PM

Does this crisis affect me? Yes, I love it. I have a paid off house, paid off cars, a pension, and balanced mutual funds. I drive old cars, have one modest house, and always paid my bills on time. The hell with Wall Street and Greenwich. Let them choke. But the pathetic reality is that they are worried about retiring at 50 instead of 34, whereas most Americans are trying to feed their families.

"Credit" is debt. And American taxpayers should revolt about buying bad debt.

This crisis was made by the same folks begging for dough. The hell with them.

Posted by: Revolt | September 29, 2008 10:43 PM

Yeah, Steve, let's get Ross Perot out there with some charts. Try to explain this.

I would trust Warren Buffet. He drives a used car, has the same old house, and is buying the duffuses out who made this mess.

Me too.

Posted by: Great Washington Ideas Again | September 29, 2008 10:46 PM

Those who oppose the "bailout", or "rescue plan", or whatever they choose to call it, because they don't like it, remind me of someone who's been diagnosed with prostate cancer but doesn't want to have it treated because he doesn't want to take his pants off. He'd rather get his teeth fixed so he looks nice. Dumb...just plain dumb.

Posted by: Falls Church | September 30, 2008 8:03 AM

Forbes: "Not since 1933 have WE been as close to the abyss as WE are now."

What do you mean WE, Stevie?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 30, 2008 9:48 AM

You can keep putting caulk on the holes in your leaking roof or you can put on a new roof. But why waste the money on the roof when the foundation is so close to crumbling?

Collapse of the housing market is inevitable. All this plan will do is prolong it so it happens under someone else.

The poor do not need the rich to maintain their lifestyle. It is the other way around my friends.

Posted by: poorhokie | September 30, 2008 9:53 AM

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