Kevin Hassett throws down gauntlet in tax reform battle, slams think tank

By Congress FOXBusiness

FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2012, file photo, Kevin Hassett, senior fellow and director of Economic Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), gestures as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump has chosen Hassett to be ... chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. It's a critical role for analyzing the performance of the economy and impact of policy changes. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett lashed out at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) on Thursday for writing an analysis of the Republican tax plan that “imagined numbers” as he delivered a keynote speech as a guest of the center itself.

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Hassett criticized the analysis of the think tank, which warned that the Republican plan will blow a $2.4 trillion hole into the federal budget and the wealthiest people in the United States would receive more than half the benefits from the extensive tax cuts, saying it was “scientifically indefensible,” “inaccurate” and “fiction.”

“This plan is pro-growth. On the individual side it is pro-work. When you get more of an economic input like work, you get more economic output – and you get more economic growth,” Hassett said.

“And on the corporate side, companies will no longer be incentivized to offshore, and what they save in taxes should help raise corporate investment and wages,” he added while also defending his critiques by touting the nine-page tax plan’s ability to ignite economic growth and the possibility of bringing jobs back to the United States from overseas.

Hassett particularly took issue with the point that the framework
would negatively impact the budget.

“The reconciliation instructions in the Senate that are under debate have made room for $1.5 trillion in statically scored revenue cost...I frankly justdon't understand what the purpose of a document is that shows a score for one number when there is agreement that the bill has to score to something else.,” Hassett said during the conclusion of his remarks.

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Congressional Republicans have also criticized the report with leaders such as Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chair of the House Ways and Means committee, calling the TPC’s analysis “misleading, unfounded, and biased."

"Their analysis was a work of fiction that Stephen King would've been proud of," Brady told Fox News Radio on Tuesday.

The GOP tax reform plan introduced cutting the corporate rate from 35% to 20%. The framework will also include cutting back the rate for “pass through” businesses from 39.6% to 25% and the top individual rate will also see a cut from 39.6% to 35%.

On the individual side, taxpayers will also see their income brackets simplified from seven to three, with the rates being compressed to 12%, 25% and 35%, as well as a doubling of their standard deduction.

In his role Hassett has a direct pipeline to President Trump offering advice on economic policy. Prior CEA Chairs include Fed Chair Janet Yellen and former Federal Reserve chairs Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan.

 

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