Howard Lorber says presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to reduce tax rates for most Americans and simplify the tax code will jumpstart the economy.
“We all know why we need tax decreases and these will be the biggest tax decreases since the Reagan era. We need it to get the country going again. That’s pretty obvious,” the Vector Group and Douglas Elliman chair told CNBC Tuesday.
Lorber was speaking as one of the appointees to Trump’s economic policy team, which also includes real estate titans such as Vornado Realty Trust’s Steven Roth and Colony Capital founder Tom Barrack.
“With lower rates,” he said, “you have more spendable income. People are going to buy more houses and that spurs the economy into a much better growth pattern.”
Trump’s plan calls for the government to slash the number of different income tax brackets in half and lower rates to 12 percent, 25 percent and 33 percent for the wealthiest Americans. Critics say the move could add trillions to the U.S. deficit.
As for some of the controversy surrounding Trump’s choice of economics team — there are no women on the team, for instance — Lorber shrugged it off.
“I think he should always pick the best people,” he said. “That doesn’t imply that there aren’t women that are well qualified. One of the people he goes to for advice all the time is [his daughter] Ivanka. He doesn’t have a problem asking women for advice.”
He continued: “What he doesn’t want is politicians. He doesn’t want people who have been in Washington for years, whether they were economists, advisors to presidents. He wants people who have built businesses, who know what it’s like to struggle during hard times.”
The other members of Trump’s team include hedge fund manager John Paulson, banker and poker player Andy Beal, Federal Savings Bank CEO Stephen Calk, former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin, Cerberus Capital Management CEO Steve Feinberg, economic policy analyst Stephen Moore, oil and gas titan Harold Hamm, ex-Nucor Corporation executive Dan DiMicco and Bear Stearns’ David Malpass.
As for whether or not Trump will take the advise of those individuals, Lorber said there were no guarantees.
“I’ve always found that you can tell Donald anything — say anything to him — he’s going to listen. That doesn’t always mean he will agree and do it,” he said.