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Donald Trump & Co.

Mnuchin Evolves: Never Meant His Comments to be Taken Literally or Seriously

October 19, 2017

Bess Levin, who authors the Levin Report for Vanity Fair, writes that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin can’t conceive of a world in which the wealthy wouldn’t get a huge tax break. Yet, that has not always been Mr. Mnuchin’s tagline when it comes to tax reform.


Like many in the Trump administration - including our esteemed resident president - his views have evolved as he has groaned grown with the job. According to Ms. Levin:


Back in November, then Treasury Secretary nominee Steve Mnuchin appeared on CNBC and made a bold statement: under Donald Trump’s tax plan, “there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class.” 


In May, Mnuchin began the slow-but-steady process of walking back his transition-period claim, saying that while the president’s objective was to “make a middle-income tax cut,” he could not actually promise that this would occur, “since the results will be a combined effort of the administration and the House and Senate.”


Four months later, Mnuchin told CNN that the claim he made during his congressional hearing “was never a promise . . . never a pledge.”


That claim came after the Big Six unveiled a tax plan that would: (i) bring the top tax rate down to 35%; (ii) eliminate the inheritance tax (which only affects estates worth more than $5.5Mn for an individual and $11Mn for a couple); (iii) slash the corporate tax rate to 20%, the savings from which studies show would largely go to “those at the top”; and, (iv) drop the rate on “pass-through companies” to 25%.


Like many things that come out of the Trump administration, Mnuchin’s comments were apparently never meant to be taken literally or seriously.


Oh, and in case you missed this point, ... left out of Mnuchin’s analysis was the fact that Team Trump doesn’t actually have to cut taxes across the board, but apparently that concept is so inconceivable that it has never crossed the Treasury secretary’s mind.