How nervous would you be if you had to interview a billionaire?
I hadn't anticipated an immediate interview with Steve Forbes, the media mogul and former Republican presidential candidate. So when Michael Smeltzer, executive director of the Manufacturers' Association of South Central Pennsylvania, asked if I wanted several minutes with him, I cooked up a few questions quick and sat down to interview one of America's intriguing business, political and media figures.
My mind raced as I stared at my notebook and tried to think: What can I ask a billionaire that he hasn't already been asked by countless other reporters? But for the most part, I was fairly calm. I rarely get the kind of jitters I got when I was a cub reporter anymore.
I came up with several questions. Some he's probably heard a million times before. But I got the sense Forbes never tires of talking about the flat tax.
In the below audio of our interview, Forbes discusses natural gas's effects on manufacturing, transportation equipment manufacturing, the economy's slow growth and tax policy before I had to relinquish a little time to other reporters. Shucks, I didn't get to grill him on the merits of the $1 trillion coin.
What do you think of Forbes's responses?
Next week, check out some of Forbes's answers about defense manufacturing, sequestration and government procurement.
Jim T. Ryan covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, transportation and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter, @JimTRyanCPBJ.