Apr 26, 2017

Steve Mnuchin previews "largest tax reform" plan

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that President's Trump tax reform plan will be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country," during an event hosted by The Hill on Wednesday. He also confirmed that the plan would include a 15 percent corporate tax rate.

Our thought bubble: Previous analyses estimated that the corporate tax cut (from 35 to 15 percent) would significantly increase the deficit. The administration has no real plan to pay for tax cuts beyond their belief that tax and regulatory reform will juice economic growth to 3 percent.

The details:

  • Mnuchin's comments suggested the administration doesn't support the "border adjustment" tax provision in its current form, which is one way they could pay for the 15 percent tax rate.
  • "We don't think it works in its current form and we're going to continue to have discussions with them about revisions," Mnuchin said.
  • The hike on import taxes, which would raise more than $1 trillion over 10 years, is the centerpiece of Paul Ryan's tax reform plan and the main way House Republican leadership plans to pay for massive tax cuts.
  • "The tax plan will pay for itself with economic growth," Mnuchin told reporters on Monday.
  • Mnuchin wants to make tax cuts permanent, but if they're not revenue neutral and can only be kept for 10 years (under budget rules) then that's better than nothing.
  • He's determined not to let the debt ceiling become a last-minute standoff crisis that would spook markets, but he wouldn't be drawn on congressional strategy to get it done.

Go deeper

Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health