Tax bump not planned, Mnuchin says
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.