Trump’s Tax Pitchmen Taking Heat

Trump’s Tax Pitchmen Taking Heat

Jim Bourg

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and chief White House economic adviser Gary Cohn ”are endangering their reputations in their attempts to sell a tax cut,” columnist David Leonhardt writes in The New York Times. He goes on to slam “blatantly false” claims the two have made about how the wealthy won’t benefit from the plan and how the plan won’t balloon the deficit. “It is not too late for Cohn and Mnuchin to take a different approach. Doing so still won’t win over many people to their tax plan (including me). But they can make a free-market case for lower taxes that is based on something other than lies,” Leonhardt writes.

But those criticisms are downright tame when compared to the condemnation expressed by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers in a Washington Post op-ed this morning. Summers calls the Trump tax plan “an atrocity” before slamming the claims made by Mnuchin, Cohn and Council of Economic Advisers Chair Kevin Hassett as “some combination of ignorant, disingenuous and dishonest.”

More Summers: “I have strong disagreements on tax policy with Republican economists such as Greg Mankiw, Glenn Hubbard and Martin Feldstein and with Treasury alumni such as Nick Brady, John Snow and Hank Paulson. Nothing I have ever heard or read from them seems absurd or dishonest in the way that almost everything coming out of this administration does.”