Mnuchin: Repealing estate tax will help 'rich people'

Mnuchin: Repealing estate tax will help 'rich people'
© Greg Nash

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPhase-four virus relief hits a wall On The Money: Senate aims to quickly approve more small-business aid | Dems seek conditions on new funds for small-business loans | Pelosi says next round of relief will top T House GOP leaders back effort to boost small-business loans MORE on Friday acknowledged that the Trump administration's proposal to repeal the estate tax would help rich people. 

“Obviously, the estate tax, I will concede, disproportionately helps rich people,” Mnuchin said at the Institute for International Finance conference on Friday, referring to the administration's proposed move to repeal the tax. 

The New York Times reported his comments.

The estate tax is a tax on large inheritances. It is also known as the "death tax."

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Mnuchin's comments come after Trump touted his tax reform plan, which includes the repeal of the estate tax, at a speech to truck drivers in Harrisburg, Pa., on Wednesday. Trump has maintained that his plan will benefit middle class workers.

“It’s a middle class bill. That’s what we’re thinking of. That’s what I want,” Trump said in Pennsylvania.

“When your trucks are moving, America is growing,” the president said.

He went on to say his “huge” tax plan would help “remove barriers that slow you [truckers] down.”

Along with repealing the estate tax, Trump says his tax reform plan would lower taxes for individuals and reduce the top rate for pass-through businesses taxed through the individual system. 

Trump's speech drew criticism from late-night comedian Stephen Colbert, who made fun of his suggestion that a repeal of the estate tax would benefit the middle class on Thursday. 

"So who are these 'elite truckers' who are so concerned about millionaires' estates?" Colbert said on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," before introducing his own version of an elite trucker. 

"Finally we have a leader that understands what average truckers care about: passing our multi-millionaire estates on to our privileged offspring," the trucker said.