August 18, 2019
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Treasury Secretary Mnuchin dismisses idea of 40 percent top tax rate for the rich

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, June 9, 2017.

The White House is “absolutely committed” to getting its tax overhaul proposal through Congress by the end of the year — and that plan won’t include a 40 percent tax rate for the richest Americans, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday.

“Our plan is to have a full-blown release of the plan in the beginning of September, with being able to vote and getting this passed before the end of the year,” Mnuchin said on ABC’s “This Week.”

The “objective” of the proposal is still that no one in the middle class will have a tax increase, Mnuchin said. “We’re finalizing the details of the plan, so there’s certain issues that are still on the table.”

Mnuchin said there’s no consideration being given to a plan reported by the website Axios last week that the top personal tax rate should be 40 percent or more. The idea was being pushed by Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, Axios said.

“I have never heard Steve mention that,” Mnuchin said. “It’s very clear, kind of, we have a proposal out there that the administration has put out, with a top rate of 35 percent where we reduce and eliminate almost every single deduction.”

He added that the administration is aware of the concerns in high-tax states, where taxpayers could have no tax reductions as well as fewer deductions.

“We’ve heard a lot of feedback from New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, and I think we want to be sensitive to those states and those economies as we shape the plan,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin said administration officials are meeting with House and Senate leadership “every week” about crafting its proposal. “We probably met with 300 or 400 different business leaders, outsiders, think tanks,” he added.

Mnuchin spoke after returning from the Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. He dodged a question about whether President Donald Trump had accepted President Vladimir Putin’s denial of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“Why would President Trump broadcast exactly what he said in the meeting?” Mnuchin said, adding that Trump is focused on “strategically negotiating” with Putin.


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