Tax bump not planned, Mnuchin says

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON — Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin said Sun­day that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion isn’t con­sid­er­ing a tax in­crease on wealth­ier Amer­i­cans, knock­ing down a re­port that White House ad­viser Steve Ban­non had floated the idea as a way to pay for tax cuts for mid­dle-in­come tax­pay­ers.

“I have never heard Steve men­tion that,” Mnuchin said.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion is aim­ing to re­lease its full tax plan by Septem­ber and have Congress ap­prove it by the end of the year, Mnuchin said on ABC’s This Week. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has is­sued a one-page sum­mary of broad prin­ci­ples for changes to the tax code, but few de­tails.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion says it wants to re­duce the top in­come tax bracket from 39.6 per­cent to 35 per­cent, elim­i­nate most de­duc­tions and lower tax rates for the mid­dle class. Ban­non’s idea would boost the top rate above 40 per­cent for peo­ple who earn nearly $420,000 a year or more, ac­cord­ing to a July 2 re­port on the web­site Ax­ios.

The GOP con­gres­sional lead­er­ship and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion have strug­gled with how to off­set the cost of tax cuts.

Mnuchin said the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plan would pay for it­self, as­sum­ing that tax cuts stim­u­late eco­nomic growth enough to pro­duce $2 tril­lion in in­creased rev­enue over the next 10 years. Yet con­gres­sional bud­get score­keep­ers may not agree that tax cuts would pro­duce such growth.

Mnuchin said ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials are meet­ing with House and Sen­ate lead­er­ship “ev­ery week” about craft­ing a tax pro­posal.

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