July 3, 2017
The tensions between the Trump administration’s populist win and its more traditionally Republican establishment types have been well-documented in recent months.
And now, more than two months after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council chief Gary Cohn unveiled an outline of the administration’s tax-reform ambitions, another battle between the two wings appears to be brewing.
Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon is said to be pushing to raise the top tax rate on individuals, with Axios saying the former Breitbart CEO would like the top rate to have “a 4 in front of it” – currently, the highest income-tax bracket in the US is 39.6% for individuals earning more than $414,000 a year.
Some officials – code for Mnuchin, Cohn and the other members of the more traditionally corporatist (or rather Goldmanist) wing of the Trump administration – believe Bannon’s ideas are crazy. But Bannon believes raising taxes on the wealthy could help the administration boost its populist bona fides, an angle which Trump appears to be actively pursuing once again having recently failed with his more traditional fiscal reform push. But as tax reform is shaping up to be a must-win for the Trump administration, it would hardly be a surprise to see Bannon’s plan shelved in favor of across-the-board cuts that would help rally the Republican Party’s conservatives to support whatever reform package Trump ultimately presents.
Cohn and Mnuchin reportedly view tax reform as a top priority for the administration. However, as Axios notes, time to pass comprehensive reform is quickly running out.
- Lobbyists who have met with Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin say they’ve been struck by how impatient the two appear:
- Cohn has told associates that if tax reform doesn’t get done this year, it’s probably never going to…