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Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

If Gary Cohn could change one thing in the tax bill, it would be to have closed the carried interest loophole, he told Mike Allen at an Axios event on Wednesday. Cohn believes it is fundamentally unfair, and adds that President Trump agrees with him. "We probably tried 25 times... The President asked just this past Monday if we could still get rid of it."

As for why the loophole wasn't closed, Cohn was more cagey. He blamed Congress but, when pressed, would only cite unidentified GOP House members from blue states.

Other highlights from Cohn's Axios interview:

  1. Cohn said the Reagan [update] tax cuts were followed by other countries also lowering their rates, thus reducing their effectiveness. "This would be a failure if we don't capitalize on our competitive opportunity and let the rest of the world catch up to us."
  2. Cohn does not believe tax reform is baked into the stock market. As proof, he claims that a basket of high-tax stocks aren't outperforming a basket of low-tax stocks. Instead, he believes the boom is tied to strong economic growth and that there is plenty of room for more public equities expansion.
  3. "We're going to get the investment. We're going to get money repatriated... and you're going to have to judge us by what happens."
  4. "I don't know" why the tax bill is so unpopular.
  5. Trump cared most about cutting the corporate rate.
  6. Cohn claims that 90% of individuals will be able to file their taxes via postcard, which is a very heady prediction.
  7. Infrastructure comes next, and Cohn insists that the federal government has the required $200 billion.
  8. He will not support an infrastructure bank.
  9. He doesn't hold any Bitcoin, and doesn't plan to buy any.
  10. Cohn thinks tech companies are getting too much flak, in response to my comment that Silicon Valley has become the new Wall Street. Cohn: "Wall Street probably didn't deserve it either. Your world needs a bad guy, a face to shame. Tech companies have been huge catalysts of economic growth... and have created products you and I can't live without."

Go deeper

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
47 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

President Biden in Kearny, N.J., on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by proclaiming the broad contours of the proposal, which he immediately began selling in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.