Cohn ‘Can’t Guarantee Anything’ On Potential Middle Class Tax Hike

Alex Brandon/AP

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser and former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn refused to confirm Thursday that middle class families wouldn’t see a tax hike under the President’s plan.

Trump has toured the country in recent weeks boosting a tax proposal that is sparse on details.

On Wednesday, Republicans proposed some specifics: decreasing the number of tax brackets to three, with a possible fourth bracket for high earners; cutting the top income tax rate; cutting the corporate tax rate; eliminating the estate tax; eliminating the alternative minimum tax; eliminating most itemized deductions, including the federal deduction for state and local taxes; and increasing the child tax credit, though by an undetermined amount.

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Thursday, top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said the tax plan was “purely aimed at middle class families,” but stopped short of guaranteeing they wouldn’t see a tax hike.

“If I’m hearing you correctly, you can’t guarantee that no middle class family will get a tax increase,” Stephanopoulos asked Cohn. “There will be middle class families who get a tax increase under your plan, correct?”

“George, there’s an exception to every rule,” Cohn said.

“So that’s a yes,” Stephanopoulos pressed.

“Look, I can’t guarantee anything,” Cohn dodged again. “You could always find a unique family somewhere.”

Instead, he said, the goal of the plan was to “create a economic stimulus package by using taxes to drive the economy of the United States.”

Stephanopoulos pointed to USA Today’s front page, which blared “Trump could reap millions in tax plan,” specifically through the lowering of the top income tax rate, the elimination of the alternative minimum tax, the lowering of the pass through tax, and, for the Trump family, the elimination of the estate tax. The President has said “it’s not good for me, believe me.”

Cohn responded that “you have to look at the plan in its entirely” and noted that Congress could add the fourth, higher tax bracket “to make sure that middle class Americans get a tax cut.”

“Can you guarantee that President Trump won’t get a tax cut under this plan?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“We are very confident that Americans are getting a great deal,” Cohn said. “We have also said that wealthy Americans are not getting a tax cut.”

Pressed again, Cohn said: “The wealthy are not getting a tax cut under our plan.”

Watch below via ABC News:

Comments
Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Managing Editor:
News Editor:
Asistant Editor:
Editor at Large:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Political Correspondent:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Front Page Editor:
Social Media Editor:
Prime Editor:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Designer: