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Special Event

Steve Forbes Backs President-elect Bush's Tax-Cut Proposals

Aired January 3, 2001 - 3:32 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Joie Chen in the CNN newsroom.

At this hour: late developments in the Bush transition. Right now, we want to talk about the economic developments for Mr. Bush. He's meeting with some advisers today. One of them is Steve Forbes, who is talking now.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

STEVE FORBES, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... proposal. He knows it's the right thing to do. I think he is going to rally the American people. And, ultimately, Washington does respond to pressures from the public. So I think you are going to see a very different environment 60-90 days from now. And you're going to see a lot more done than the pundits think possible today.

QUESTION: Did you discuss at all changing the tax credit, perhaps, for example, (OFF-MIKE) or are you all pretty much happy with it as it is?

FORBES: No, it was a general discussion on the need for major tax reduction, such as that the president outlined. And, again, if you just remember, a few weeks ago, what he outlined was dismissed by most pundits, by most economists, as unneeded, unnecessary. I think, very clearly, the meeting that we had today underscored the necessity of it. And the sooner that we get it -- the sooner we get it, the better. So the specifics: Yes, there will be tactics. There will pushing and shoving and all of that, just as you saw with the Reagan cuts of the '80s.

But, at the end of the day, I think you are going to see the president's package emerge. You're going to see a major reduction in tax rates. And I think it is going to be healthy, long-term, for the economy. If you want these surpluses to develop in the future, you have to have a vigorous economy. The American people are overtaxed. And this is a small, good step in reducing that burden.

CHEN: Steve Forbes, speaking with reporters in Austin, Texas, one of those meeting with the president-elect, George W. Bush, as he plots out his transition and talks to economic advisers -- of course, Mr. Forbes' presence reinforcing Mr. Bush's expressed interest in lowering the nation's taxes.

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