Mnuchin Can’t Guarantee That Middle Class Won’t Pay More In Taxes (VIDEO)

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn hold a press briefing to outline President Trump's tax reform during a White House press briefing Tax Reform Proposal press conference... Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn hold a press briefing to outline President Trump's tax reform during a White House press briefing Tax Reform Proposal press conference, Washington DC, USA - 26 Apr 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images) MORE LESS

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday could not guarantee that middle class families would not pay more under the White House’s detail-free tax proposal.

Mnuchin evaded the question multiple times in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“This is about middle-income tax cuts,” Mnuchin said, asked how the proposal he announced Wednesday with National Economic Director Gary Cohn would affect a family of four earning $60,000 a year.

“And although we’re not releasing the specific numbers, this is about creating economic effects and tax cuts for the middle class.”

“But don’t the details matter?” Stephanopoulos asked. “Why can’t you say how this is going to affect a middle class family?”

“The issue is that we are working with the House and the Senate, and our objective is to turn this into a bill that will pass, and the President will sign,” Mnuchin said.

“Can you guarantee that no one in the middle class is going to pay more?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“That’s our objective, absolutely,” Mnuchin said.

“Is it a guarantee?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“I can’t make any guarantees until this thing is done and on the President’s desk, but I can tell you that’s our number one objective in this,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin similarly evaded Stephanopoulos’ questions about upper income taxes. The host asked repeatedly about the alternative minimum tax, without which Trump would have saved tens of millions of dollars in 2005, the most recent year for which some of his tax returns were made public. Trump has proposed repealing the alternative minimum tax.

“Let me just say this isn’t about President Trump’s tax returns; this is about the American public’s tax returns,” Mnuchin said.

The interview recalled the roll-out of the plan Wednesday — just in time for Trump’s 100th day in office, on April 29 — in which Mnuchin and Cohn handed out a one page outline of the tax plan to reporters, but offered virtually no information otherwise.

Pressed repeatedly about Trump’s tax returns, Mnuchin refused to pursue the topic. Eventually, though, he assured Stephanopoulos that the White House was meeting with some important stakeholders in the effort to reform individual and corporate taxes.

“We’ve met with hundreds and hundreds of business executives who have had input into this,” he said.

Watch the exchange below via ABC:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: