Manchin: I hope to work with Trump on tax reform that works

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 19, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, well, the president has already put the pressure on ahead of this key budget vote tonight in the Senate. He's saying that he thinks the votes are there. Are they?

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin with us right now.

Senator, very good to have you. Thanks for coming.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, D-WEST VIRGINIA: Good to be with you, Neil.

CAVUTO: The president thinks that enough yea votes are there. What do you think?

MANCHIN: I think they have that.

I mean, I would wish, if we would have gone through the regular order, we could have all participated. But I still believe that the president -- and I definitely want to work with the president on getting a budget and getting a tax policy that works.

And he says that he's willing to work in a bipartisan way, and I hope we get to that point. I think we will.

CAVUTO: What you have heard so far, Senator, about the tax cuts, would you be a yes or a no vote?

MANCHIN: Well, right now, when talking -- about a month ago, I was in the White House with the president and his staff. And we had a really good conversation. It was about taxes.

And I told him, and he just basically started out the conversation saying, Joe, this is not going to be a tax cut for the rich. He says, we want to make sure that the people who are going to work every day, the people who are getting a paycheck that have their withholding taxes and all their taxes deducted, those are the people who can see a difference in their paycheck.

And I said, that's a great place to be, Mr. President.

But what I have seen come out so far, Neil, that hasn't been the case.

So, I think the president has yet to weigh in on this, in the way he's going to weigh in on it, bringing us all together. And I sure hope so. And I told him I will be there, because I think we need tax cuts.

I think that the corporate tax rate is too high. A 25 percent tax rate on corporation with territorial makes sense to me. Repatriation of money that is parked offshore coming back at 10 percent. We have got to work out capital gains. We have got to work out pass-throughs. And simplification is something everybody wants.

But, at the end of the day, we have to be considerate of the $20 trillion debt we have, Neil. And I think there's a way that we can say this is reasonable, we think dynamic growth will give us this much day in and day out for 10 years.

CAVUTO: But you don't believe that tax cuts for the rich -- and that's built in there right now, since everyone would get the cut -- is the way to go.

So one of the ideas being kicked around...

MANCHIN: Well, no.


CAVUTO: Just I want to explain, because one of the ideas being kicked around, sir, is a fourth rate, an additional rate above the 35 percent for the rich.

Are you for that? And if they did that, would that be good enough to give you -- make you a yes vote?

MANCHIN: Here's the thing, Neil. I'm flexible on that one.

They said reducing from 39.6 to 35. I'm flexible, if we broaden the tax base out and we have more money coming in that can take care of our needs that we have for our country, but also don't add to the debt.

And that means that 39.6, 35, you broaden this out and take away some of the credits and offsets, and it's a net gain, not a net negative. So, I'm open to looking at all of these things.

But we talk about the middle class. We're talking about people that basically get a check, and in that check, they have deductions, which is most of the people in America, 90 percent, that's where they are. They can see at the end of the day what they can take home.

We have other people that are investments. They have pass-throughs. It's passive income. It's not earned income. That's taxed differently. And they have different ways to offset that.

We want to make sure that we have a plan that works for everybody.

CAVUTO: All right, you know what is weird, though, Senator, if you think about it, that the top 10 percent pay 70 percent of the taxes.

MANCHIN: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: The top 5 percent almost half.

So they feel like, in this argument, that they're made out to be the boogey men and women, when they're carrying the freight. Right?

MANCHIN: Well, they're not -- I'm not making anybody the boogeyman or boogeywoman on this at all.

CAVUTO: But you didn't want to give them a tax cut.

MANCHIN: Well, I said, as long as we can broaden this out.

I think everybody should be paying. I think, from the low end all the way up, everybody should pay something to live in this wonderful country, if it's only a dollar, if it's $50 or $100. Pay something for this great country we have.

CAVUTO: So that everyone has skin in the game that way, right?

MANCHIN: Everybody. Everybody has ownership in this great country.

CAVUTO: Can you see in the end supporting this and other Democrats might in the Senate, or is that a leap at this point?

MANCHIN: No, no, no, no, Neil.

I'm telling you, there's -- I'm speaking of Democrats. And I'm very centrist. I'm very conservative on fiscal matters and looking at every way I can to make this work.

And I think that we can get many Democrats that will support something that doesn't add tons of debt or starting out -- you can't start out with what Kansas tried, and we already have proven that that didn't work. We have tax cuts, under the Bush tax cuts in 2002 and 3', that basically did not work as far as stimulating it.

I think I can explain it to you this way. In West Virginia, people are talking about in the national news 23000 -- hit 23000 in the Dow.

The majority of people in West Virginia don't participate in the Dow. That doesn't make any difference to them, 23000 or 2300. In their mind, they're still working. They're looking at their paycheck, what they can take home. That's what we're dealing with.

CAVUTO: Senator, thank you very much. Good seeing you again.

MANCHIN: It's always good to be with you, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: Senator Joe Manchin.


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