Steve Mnuchin on Tax Reform



Implemented Trump's "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"

As Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Mnuchin is responsible for the U.S. Treasury, whose mission is to maintain a strong economy, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities.

Secretary Mnuchin has played a pivotal role in advancing the Administration's economic agenda, including the passage and implementation of its key legislative achievement, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He also leads the Treasury Department's regulatory reform efforts. Secretary Mnuchin is chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and is a member of the National Security Council. He is responsible for using economic tools to combat terrorist financing and other threats to the United States and our allies.

Prior to his confirmation, Secretary Mnuchin was Finance Chairman for Donald J. Trump for President and traveled extensively with the President. He also served as a Senior Economic Advisor to the President in developing his economic agenda.

Source: Treasury.gov official website for Trump Cabinet biographies , Dec 31, 2018

Bypassing congress to cut taxes on capital gains possible

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina this month that his department was studying whether it could use its regulatory powers to allow Americans to account for inflation in determining capital gains tax liabilities. The Treasury Department could change the definition of "cost" for calculating capital gains, allowing taxpayers to adjust the initial value of an asset, such as a home or a share of stock, for inflation when it sells. "If it can't get done through a legislation process, we will look at what tools at Treasury we have to do it on our own and we'll consider that," Mr. Mnuchin said, emphasizing that he had not concluded whether the Treasury Department had the authority to act alone. "We are studying that internally, and we are also studying the economic costs and the impact on growth."
Source: A.Rappeport & J.Tankersley in N. Y. Times on Trump Cabinet , Jun 3, 2018

Extra $400M for IRS budget, IT, services, & staff

Following a Trump administration budget request that would cut IRS cybersecurity enhancement funding nearly in half and cut thousands of jobs from taxpayer services, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin urged House lawmakers to give the agency an extra funding boost to help implement the president's new tax reform law.

Testifying before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Mnuchin stressed the importance of giving the IRS nearly $400 million annually for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to help implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Since 2010, Congress has cut the IRS budget by nearly $1 billion, and more than 17,000 employees have left the agency. In President Donald Trump's fiscal 2019 budget request, the IRS would see another $100 million decrease in its overall funding.

About $291 million would be spent updating the IRS' IT systems. Another $75 million would go to taxpayer services, a department the Trump administration seeks to shrink by 8.7% and 4,000 employees in FY 2019.

Source: Federal News Radio on 2018 Trump Administration , Mar 6, 2018

Mathematically impossible to avoid tax cuts on wealthy

Faced with economic analyses showing the White House plan to cut corporate and personal income taxes provides big gains for wealthy Americans, Mnuchin called that result unavoidable. "The top 20 percent of the people pay 95 percent of the taxes," the Treasury secretary said. "The top 10 percent of the people pay 81 percent of the taxes."

"So when you're cutting taxes across the board, it's very hard not to give tax cuts to the wealthy with tax cuts to the middle class," he concluded.

Source: CNBC's John Harwood on 2017 Trump Cabinet , Oct 18, 2017

No net tax cut for the highest earners

Mnuchin's first main challenge will be to get Trump's fiscal policy straight. During the campaign Trump proposed tax cuts that would, according to the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think-tank, give the top 1% of earners a tax cut worth, on average, 12%-20% of their incomes. But Mnuchin told CNBC that there would be no net tax cut for the highest earners.
Source: The Economist newsmagazine coverage of 2016 Trump transition , Dec 3, 2016

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