FBN Exclusive: Treasury Secretary Lew Calls Out Congress Over Taxes

By Politics

Jack Lew on the political obstacles to tax reform

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on regulations and the challenges to tax reform.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is calling out Congress over taxes. During an exclusive interview with the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, he blamed Congress and a challenging political climate for not letting the Obama administration pass tax reform.

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“I think that there was more of a consensus around ideas than there was about getting something done,” Lew said. “I think there were some in Congress who were just as happy not to have a big accomplishment on something like a business tax cut during this administration.”

In Lew’s opinion,  it would be beneficial to get rid of loopholes and deductions and lower tax rates.

“[What] we can't do is spend a lot of money having a tax cut that loses revenue because that's just going to shift the burden somewhere else,” he said.

He also discussed the impact of cutting regulations.

“The idea that you cut regulations and you unleash enormous growth in the economy…  I don’t think it’s supported by the analysis that I’ve seen of most of the regulatory proposals,” he said.

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He added reversing regulations would come at a cost.

“If you create a greater risk of financial instability -- that has a cost,” he said.  “If you create a greater risk, in terms of the health of children, because of the air they breathe, or workers losing productive days because they had health problems, or their kids had health problems, we’ve seen that the cost-benefit of these things is net positive.”

When asked about President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary,  Steve Mnuchin, Lew said he looked forward to getting to know him better and said he believed Mnuchin will take over an “enormously strong” department.

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