Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin offered a feeble explanation on Fox News for CEOs saying they would not boost wages if Republicans cut their taxes.
Mnuchin appeared Friday morning on “America’s Newsroom” to sell the GOP tax plan approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, and he stumbled right out of the gate.
Host Bill Hemmer asked the secretary why only 16 percent of Americans believed the measure would lower their taxes, and Mnuchin had no comment.
“I can’t comment on that, because I’m not sure exactly who they polled and how they calculated that,” Mnuchin said. “I can tell you virtually everybody in the middle class will get a tax cut, and will get a significant tax cut.”
Republicans have argued the corporate tax cuts would spur higher wages, but no CEOs at a recent event raised their hands to signal they would pay their workers more if their taxes were reduced.
“Must have been a tired crowd there,” Mnuchin said. “I’ve met with hundreds and hundreds of business executives, big and small businesses, everybody is excited about this, especially the expensing provision.”
Mnuchin admitted under tough questioning from Hemmer that some Americans would see their taxes raised, but he insisted that would happen only to those who make more than $1 million and live in-high tax states.
“What we’re doing is getting rid of the state and local tax deduction, which is a loophole for high-tax states,” Mnuchin said. “That’s the reason why New York, California and others have taxes as high as they are because the federal government is subsidizing those taxes, and for most Americans, the vast number of Americans, that don’t have high-tax states it is not fair that they are subsidizing a few states. So, again, the people’s taxes who are going to go up in high-tax states.”
He argued that those tax hikes would be offset by new jobs and better pay, which was at least partially debunked by Hemmer earlier in the interview.
“There is a lot of benefit to the New York economy of lowering the corporate rate to 20 percent,” Mnuchin said. “That’s a huge boom for the financial services industry. They can hire more people, they can pay more people and create more jobs. They can be competitive. So there are offsets in this that will absolutely help the high-tax states, as well.”