Mnuchin: Plan is for no tax cut for the rich
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday said that policymakers do not plan for wealthy people to see a tax cut, one day after President Trump said that the rich “will not be gaining at all” from his tax plan.
“What I can assure you is, if the top rate does come down, it will be offset by [the elimination of] deductions, so that there’s not a tax cut for the rich,” Mnuchin said at an event hosted by Politico.
Trump on Wednesday told a bipartisan group of lawmakers that the focus of his tax overhaul efforts is the middle class. When asked if the rich would see higher taxes, he said he thought the wealthy “will be pretty much where they are,” but that “if they have to go higher, they’ll go higher.”
On Thursday, Trump clarified that he doesn’t think he’ll have to increase tax rates for the wealthy but said that “the wealthy Americans are not my priority.”
The president’s comments have garnered considerable attention, since Republicans typically want to lower tax rates across the board. A tax plan the White House released in April would lower the top individual rate for individuals from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, and analysts have suggested that Trump’s tax proposals would largely benefit the wealthy.
Mnuchin said there would especially be no tax cut for high earners “in the high cost states.” The administration intends to eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes, which particularly benefits people in higher tax states such as New York and California.
“We’ve got to get the federal government out of the business of subsidizing the states,” he said. “That’s the right thing to do.”
Mnuchin is a member of a group of administration officials and GOP congressional leaders, known as the “Big Six,” that is planning to release a tax framework the week of Sept. 25.
The Treasury secretary said he expects the framework document to include a specific corporate tax rate and a stance on whether businesses can deduct their interest. However, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) earlier in the day said the document probably won’t include specific rates.