Tag Archive for 'Steve Forbes'

Tax reform: the hot topic in 2012?

As April 15th approaches, every small business owner is all too keenly aware of the symbolism of this day. Regardless of when you actually file and pay your taxes - many small businesses file extensions or are incorporated, in which case the due date is actually the Ides of March - April 15 has become a metaphor for the government’s hand being in your pocket.

Most agree that the current system is way too complicated. Unfortunately, our Rube Goldberg-like tax code, with it’s thousands of moving parts, is too handy for politicians to monkey around with to suit their political agenda. Consequently, generations of business owners have had to deal annually with any number of new provisions, changes, updates, repeals, sunsets, delayed renewals and court rulings ad nauseum, as they attempt to develop an operating budget, pricing, etc., for each new year.

We wanted to know what you thought about the current system and two of the alternative systems that have been debated over the past 15 years. So we asked this question: “As you prepare for National Income Tax Day, do you think it’s time for tax reform?”

The first option was, “The current system is okay with me,” which was selected by a whopping three percent. The next choice was the flat tax, which was chosen by 69% of our respondents (Steve Forbes, call your office). And finally, those who said a value-added tax system would be best, but only if the current income tax system was repealed, came in at a little less than one-third of our sample.

Based on the results of our poll, it looks like tax reform could be a hot topic in the 2012 elections.

On The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with Barbara Weltman, tax attorney, columnist, author of J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes, and publisher of Big Ideas for Small Business®, a free monthly online newsletter, about small business tax tips for 2010 and 2011. Take a few minutes to click on one of the links below and let us know what you think of the current tax code and how you think it should be changed.

Listen or Download: New tax planning tips for 2010 and 2011

Listen or Download: Small business tax and filing obligations

Steve Forbes reports on current economic conditions

After all these years - since 1997 and thousands of live interviews - I still love doing my talk show every weekday. But there are some days that are the best, including the three or four times a year when Steve Forbes joins me on my show. I have a great deal of respect for Steve’s knowledge, wisdom, experience and world-view, but I especially appreciate the fact that, as Confucius encouraged, Steve is in reality what he appears to be.

Not long ago, I had such a visit with Steve on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, and he talked about the economy, the progress of the recovery, politics and public policy.  Steve is a pathological optimist when it comes to the American spirit and his faith in Main Street small business owners, like you.  But he has a healthy skepticism about the leadership ability of the political class.

Steve has been a member of my Brain Trust for a long time, but he makes his living as President/CEO of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes. His new book is, How Capitalism will Save Us.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to what this world-class leader has to say. And if you have any thoughts you want to leave, I’ll make sure they get to Steve. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Steve Forbes passes the “Confucius test”

One of my favorite thoughts comes from the 4th century B.C. wisdom of Confucius who, legend has it, said, “The shortest and surest way to live with honor is to be in reality what you appear to be.”

In our popular culture, we have a tendency to deify those who have achieved some level of fame, based solely on the fact that they are on television, or the movies or some other big stage. Never mind that we know nothing about their character. If they’re a movie star, sports figure, rock star or just on TV a lot, we put them on a pedestal.

As I have met and gotten to know certain individuals who have achieved some combination of notoriety, fame, wealth and power, it’s been an interesting exercise to put them to what I call “the Confucius test”: Are they really what they appear to be? As you can imagine, the results of this exercise has delivered mixed results, which is why whenever some famous person passes the Confucius test, I like to report those results. My report this day is on Steve Forbes.

I’ve known Steve for over 10 years and have observed him in a number of settings where he has passed the Confucius test. Regardless of the circumstances, Steve Forbes is in reality what he appears to be. We all know him as a successful, global businessman and political influencer. He is clearly a highly intelligent and knowledgeable person. But he is also in private the affable and approachable person he appears to be when you see him on television, hear him on radio or read his words. This is not hearsay; it’s my personal experience.

Over the years, Steve has been a regular guest on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. His continued appearances, I would like to think, are due to our friendship. But I also know he feels a strong connection with small business owners and has a stronger desire to maintain and serve his relationship with the small business community. Confucius would have liked Steve Forbes.

Recently, Steve (forbes.com)was on my show again discussing, among other things, his latest book, which he co-authored with John Prevas. Power Ambition Glory compares historical and present-day leaders and provides numerous valuable lessons on leadership for small business owners, regardless of the size or age of their operation. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear what Steve has to say. And, of course, be sure to leave your own thoughts.

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