Steven Mnuchin: Obamacare, Taxes Top Priorities, Stocks Surge
Trump rallied the markets and the hopes of the American people for a more prosperous future after delivering his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, where he outlined his agenda to cut taxes, repeal and replace Obamacare, increase military spending and use a trillion dollar infrastructure plan to spur economic growth.
However, the question that still remains is how the President intends to pay for everything.
During an interview with Neil Cavuto on the FOX Business Network, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said Trump is “absolutely” committed to delivering on all of his promises.
Funding for the trillion dollar infrastructure plan, Mnuchin said, will come from a “combination of a public and private partnership,” adding that “it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be $1 trillion off of the government’s balance sheet.”
As for boosting military spending by $54 billion a year, Mnuchin said the President will work with Congress to identify programs where cuts can be made to offset the added military investment.
“Let me just say, the budget’s process starts with the president and the administration. But, it goes through a congressional appropriations process. So, this is the startup. And, the administration is going to work with Congress on this,” Said Mnuchin. “And, we’re going to pay for that by cutting other things and not just ballooning the deficit. And, I think, that message is loud and clear.”
But overhauling Obamacare will come before tax cuts, and is the Administration's first priority.
“These are complicated issues and we’re working through these complex issues and we’re going to get it done," he said. "And, we’re working closely with Congress to get it done. I think that Obamacare will get done first and I think tax -- we’re working very closely with the House and the Senate and coming up with a combined plan.”
Mnuchin said the goal of Trump’s proposed tax cuts is to “pass reform by the August recess,” having it voted, done and “signed.” He added that it’s still “too early to tell” whether the cuts will be retroactive to the beginning of the year.
“On the first day that Obamacare and the Obamacare surcharges are going to be dealt with as part of the Obamacare legislation and not tax legislation,” said Mnuchin. “As part of tax legislation, our main objective is a middle income tax cut on the personal side and our objective is if we lower the top rates that we will offset that with reduced reductions...we are not taking away the charitable deduction and we are leaving the mortgage interest deduction as is.”
Mnunchin also addressed America’s $20 trillion dollar deficit. “The number one thing that the president focused on is economic growth. We need to create sustainable economic growth in this country and that means we need to get back to 3 percent or higher GDP. We can only grow our way out of this situation.”