Trump's Treasury Pick: There Will Be ‘No Absolute Tax Cut For The Upper Class’

Evan Vucci

Steve Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s newly-minted pick for treasury secretary, said Wednesday that any upper-income tax cuts enacted by Trump would be offset by eliminating tax deductions.

“Any reductions we have in upper income taxes would be offset by less deductions so there would be no absolute tax cut for the upper class,” Mnuchin said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Mnuchin argued it was “not the case at all” that most of Trump’s proposed tax cuts would benefit the upper class.

“There will be a big tax cut for the middle class, but any tax cuts we have for the upper class would be offset by less deductions that pay for it," he said.

Asked about tax-deductible mortgage interest and charitable donations, Mnuchin said charity would still be deductible, and “we’ll cap mortgage interest, but we’ll allow some deductibility.”

“There will be other deductions that are absolutely limited,” he said.

Though a tax plan posted on Trump’s campaign website does mention reducing deductions and simplifying the tax code, it doesn’t appear to support Mnuchin’s claim that eliminating deductions would completely offset Trump’s tax cut for the rich.

An December 2015 analysis of Trump’s proposals by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center noted of Trump’s plan, “documentation states that the proposal would reduce or eliminate ‘other loopholes for the very rich and special interests’ but does not specify which loopholes or how they would be reduced or eliminated.”

Earlier in the interview, Mnuchin said that the Trump administration would aim to lower corporate taxes to 15 percent.

Speaking to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower Wednesday morning, Mnuchin said “we're going to have the most significant middle income tax cut since Reagan," according to a transition pool report.

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