The Best of a Weak Bunch

Focus: GLOBAL

Steve Forbes Image Steve Forbes Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media

While the US has plenty of its own problems, it still looks the strongest right now, says Steve Forbes, who handicaps several countries and regions.

Steve, today we have quite a debacle in Washington, just recently with what’s going on with Benghazi and now this IRS business. What can you share with us on those?

Well, the IRS scandal just shows again why we need a flat tax...get rid of this horrific code and greatly simplify things.

When you have an extremely low rate, status doesn’t matter much anymore. Everyone understands what the rules of the game are. On this one, when you have an immensely complicated code and it’s up to bureaucrats to decide who gets the tax exemption and who doesn’t, it just is ripe for abuse.

Now since the Nixon administration, all this stuff has been illegal, but it still keeps cropping up. The question is will we find out who gave the orders for this to happen? I think the revelation came not as a result of higher-ups saying "We'd better come clean on this." I think it was really mid-level people, sub-agency people saying, in effect, let’s get it out there, because this is a time bomb. So there are going to be interesting hearings on that one, and investigations.

On Benghazi, same thing. It’s outrageous that they tried to pretend this wasn’t a terrorist attack and then cover it up. So there’s going to be a lot of accountability...but this is what happens when you have big government. When you have small government, you may get wrongdoing, but it just does not have the repercussions that these things have.

So what do we have...now we have civil war in the former Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc, and suddenly Obama is cozying up to the British.

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