POLITICS

Mnuchin hints Trump's Congress speech to include tax reform, budget won't have entitlement cuts

Steven Mnuchin provides insight about Trump administration policies on 'Sunday Morning Futures'

 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says President Trump will discuss his tax-reform plan in this week’s speech before Congress and that the president’s upcoming budget won’t include cuts to such entitlement programs as Social Security and Medicare.

“We are not touching those now,” Mnuchin told Fox News’ "Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo. “So don't expect to see that as part of this budget.”

Trump on Tuesday evening will give his first speech before a joint session of Congress. He purportedly will submit his fiscal 2018 budget to Congress by mid-March.

Mnuchin also said Sunday that the administration’s top economic priorities are corporate and individual tax reform, with a special emphasis on simplifying the tax process for Americans with fewer brackets, simpler taxes and creating a “middle-income" tax cut.

“That's really the focus, on personal taxes,” he said.

Mnuchin said the emphasis on the business side will be on making U.S. companies more competitive.

“We need to create a level playing field,” he said. “U.S. companies … just haven't had that opportunity."

Mnuchin said he has only begun to study the House Republicans’ so-called “border tax adjustment plan,” which would impose a 20 percent tax on exports to raise $1 trillion in revenue over the roughly next 10 years to offset lower corporate tax rates.

He suggested Trump has mixed reviews on the plan and said the administration wants to work with the House and Senate on a “combined plan.”

Amid concerns about Trump wanting to end or renegotiate international trade deals, Mnuchin said the president will not be getting into “trade wars” with other countries.  

This story is based in part on wire service reports.