hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. up first, the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in the history of our country. that's a quote. that's how president trump's treasury secretary describes the proposals he'll unveil later this hour. steve mnuchin and the national economic director gary cohen will be in the white house briefing room shortly to outline the president's tax cut goals. we'll bring that to you live. the proposals call for cutting the business tax rate to 15%. it would provide relief for middle income taxpayers. it would simplify the tax code
by reducing the number of brackets from seven to three. earlier today, secretary can the mnuchin was asked how the administration will pay for this plan. >> the president and i and others in the administration fundamentally think we can get to 3% sustained economic growth. that's very achievable. tax reform is critical to it.p. regulatory reform is critical to it. we've been working very hard on the president's executive orders and we are focused on creating economic growth. >> and you've said that growth would pay for the plan? >> absolutely. >> for the record, many economists doubt whether growth alone will pay for these tax proposals. the white house tax plan is just one of the stories we're following right now. president trump lashes out at another federal judge, this time over so-called sanctuary cities and the trump administration faces the fallout over concerns that former national security adviser michael flynn may have broken the law. let's bring in our senior white
house correspondent jeff zeleny, money correspondent christina an lesh shi and pamela brown. jeff, fill us in on the latest judge to incur the president's wrath and the ruling the judge issued. >> wolf, there there were very strong words br from the president. he's been signing executive orders now particularly this week as he heads into his final 100 days, his first 100 days. he received a setback last evening on the sanctuary city executive order that he signs just five days after taking office. that was an executive order to essentially penalize city who's shield illegal immigrants undocumented immigrants you know from immigration laws. but the president reacted very harshly to that ruling last evening. as we've seen him do time and time again going against the judge in particular. this was a judge who's from the state of california from the
u.s. district court there. but this president going aggressively after him and vowing to take this all the way to the supreme court where he said he would win. but wolf, what it is, it's another example of the limits of presidential power. presidential authority here. the president has now gotten three examples of that, all on his immigration agenda. >> and as you know, the white house last night put out a scathing statement in response to this federal judge's ruling. among other things, it said this. once again, a single district judge has ignored federal immigration law to set a new immigration policy for the entire country. this case is yet one more example of overreach by a single unelected district judge. today's ruling undermines faith in our legal system and raises serious questions about circuit shopping. here's what the president said just a little while ago. >> were you surprised by the ninth circuit ruling? >> i'm never surprised by the ninth circuit.
as i said, we'll see them in the supreme court. >> see them in the supreme court he said. jeff, this has become a pattern. the president attacking a federal judge over a ruling he disagrees with. but what does it say about his respect for the judiciary? >> we have seen this time and time again. the president has always used sharp words back when his travel ban was blocked a couple different times. he used very harsh words against the judge in particular there. it's not that you can't raise objections but the personal nature of doing this, he called -- he didn't call him out by name necessarily but he stopped just short of that. so it does, of course, send a chill throughout judges elsewhere. one of the president's biggest accomplishments, his nominee to the supreme court actually said efszs he was troubled by this at the time. that was the president's ruling on the travel ban that he spoke
so aggressively and sharply, some would say so disrespectfully against a federal judge. president is speaking to the base, to the fact that a lot of his supporters do not like all this legislating from the bench there. that's who he's talking to. the bigger question is, will he be successful in challenging this. that remains an open question. that travel ban still blocked, wolf. >> it certainly is. another legal setback for the president. pamela, the leaders, republican and democratic leaders of the house oversight committee, they've now suggested that the president's former national security adviser michael flynn may have broken the law by not disclosing financial payments he received from russian interests and turkish interests. this is clearly another potential setback for the trump administration. >> absolutely. it seems like it's a cloud that won't go away for the white house. and as you heard there from a top republican in the house oversight committee saying
yesterday, jason chaffetz saying it is likely michael flynn, president trump's former national security adviser broke the law. this is after he looked at some classified documents. he said he saw no proof he asked for permission from the state department or the pentagon to receive the payments from these foreign governments from turkey and russia. and they claim that he didn't disclose these payments. more than half a million dollars for lobbying activities for turkey that went to michael flynn's firm and $45,000 from russia for a speaking engagement at rttv which is considered by the u.s. government a propaganda arm for putin and russia. and so you heard both jason chaffetz and congressman cummings come out and say this could be a felony punishable up to five years in jail. now, the white house clearly trying to distance itself from this saying look, we were asked to turn over documents. we don't have the documents they need. this happened before he became
the national security adviser but it's worth noting mike pence, the vice president oversaw the transition. there is some onus on the transition to be able to vet the people coming into the white house and one final note from michael flynn's lawyer, he weighed into this and said look, he followed the rules when it came to the russia payment. he said he asked for permission from dia, the agency that he worked for and that he kept them apprised of what was going on before and after the trip. the lawyer saying he complied with the law in that case at least. >> there's another big issue developing this hour. we'll hear from the treasury secretary, the head of the national economic council. they'll outline at least some broad plans for major tax cuts. >> i like what you said which is broad plans because what we're hearing is we're not going to have the level of specifics to determine whether or not president trump is making good on his campaign promise to help the middle class. here's what we know in broad strokes. president trump wants to simplify thetach code to take seven brackets down to three
brackets. he wants to will the alternative minimum tax. that is a tax that's meant to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes but it has increasingly punished the middle class. he wants to eliminate most itemized deductions. all of that is very broad strokes. we need more details. and it's very much consistent with what we've heard on the campaign trail. and at that time when i was reporting on it, what i heard was broadly speaking, this will help the very wealthy, the top 1%. that's the conclusion that many economists came to at the time. and right now, that's all we have to really go off of. now, what is clear is that his plan is a boon for corporate america. we're talking about massive tax cuts that will cost $4 trillion over a ten-year period. that is, that's why wall street has been so excited about this
plan. but again, it's unclear whether or not this will actually benefit the middle class. >> it's broad plans and we're going to have live coverage of the details coming up we believe an the bottom of the hour here on cnn. we'll have live coverage of these tax plans about to be introduced, significant moment indeed. guys, thanks very much. pamela and christinea. the president has to tell his tax cut plans to congress. that could be a tough sell. hakeem jeffries of new york is joining us from capitol hill. thanks force joining us. >> you're on the budget committee. that's your reaction to what you've heard so far about the president's tax proposals, his recommendations to cut taxes? >> well, this tax proposal as far as we can understand from the details presented so far, is really just a gift to corporate america and will not have anything meaningful to help improve the conditions of working families, middle class
folks and those aspiring to be part of the middle class here in america. that's problematic. >> you've suggested there should be no tax reform at all until the president releases his income tax returns. doesn't look like he's going to do that anytime soon. so far what does that mean? let's say he does come in with some major tax reform,tach cuts for the middle class or lower income taxpayers for that matter. you wouldn't support that if he didn't release his tax returns? >> i think a reasonable first step, wolf, is for the president to do what every other president since gerri ford has done and disclose his tax forms for review by the american people so we can determine what conflicts of interest may potentially exist, how his proposed plan may benefit him as opposed to benefiting the people of the united states of america. this shouldn't be a controversial issue. most americans, democrats, republicans, people on the left and people on the right, believe that this president should disclose his tax returns generally as a matter of transparency. but when you are trying to
propose one of the bigges tax reforms in the history of the country, they say it may be the biggest, it seems reasonable that he first disclose his tax reforms for review by the american people. >> don't hold your breath for the release of those income tax returns as you know, he's basically said the election is over. he's not going to do it. the deadline meanwhile friday night deadline is fast approaching on a spending bill 0 keep the government running. the administration says the president would be willing to sign a bill that didn't include startup money to get the border wall with mexico going. from your perspective, does that clear the way for an agreement? do you believe the president actually went ahead and blinked? >> he certainly blinked. it doesn't clear the way. it's a step in the right direction because the president understood that there was no support. uniform democratic opposition to spending a dime of taxpayer money for a wall that he claimed would be paid for by mexico and will not do anything to improve
our border security. republicans particularly along the border states weren't interested in paying for that border call wall either. we've got to make sure we fully fund the subsidies for affordable care act to make sure 7 million people don't lose access to health care coverage and a whole host of other things that need to be addressed. >> we're just getting word on the house freedom caucus, conservative republicans in the house of representatives, they've now taken what's described as an official position supporting an amendment on health care reform repealing and replacing the affordable care act, obamacare. it means that many of them, most of them would vote yes in favor of the legislation, the draft anticipate as described here would allow states to seek waivers to weaken several obamacare insurance res including the ban on carriers charging more based on a person's health background. it looks like they're getting
closer to ha magic number. they need 216 in the house right now given some of the vacancies to get that passed. how does it look to you? >> the first version of the affordable care act was going to kick 24 million people off of their insurance. it was going to increase costs, increase premiums, increase deductibles and impose age tax that would hurt people between the age of 60 and 64. trumpcare seems to be tripling down on the most egregrious of the first version by enabing states to deny the protection of people with preemptiesing conditions. that would be inhumane and the likelihood is the more freedom caucus members that you add, the number of moderate who are republicans and others will drop off and still not get to the 216 number. >> i want to get your reaction to the latest criticism from the white house at this federal district court judge who has now
blocked the attorney general, the justice department's recommendations that federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities like san francisco or los angeles or new york city, that federal funding grants be blocked unless they cooperate with the justice department and the department of homeland security on providing information on any of the undocumented immigrants that might be picked up in these cities. what's your reaction to this? >> well, donald trump has challenged the legitimacy of the independent press challenged the legitimacy of the national security apparatus, challenged the legitimacy of federal judge after federal judge not recognizing we have a separate and coequal branch of government. the independence judiciary is important to democracy. with respect to this particular decision it was a clear-cut decision anchored in the united states constitution that the president doesn't have the power to threaten or withhold funding in order to accomplish a public policy objective. that has to happen through the legislative process.
i'm hopeful we can deal with the issue generally of improving border security without demonizing cities like new york city that regularly send $25 billion more to the federal government than we get back if return. >> but do you think that cities like new york, los angeles, san francisco, others, there are dozens of other so-called sanctuary cities have a responsibility to pay attention to federal law? >> we certainly have a responsibility to act consistent with federal law when it's humane. but also to do the right thing on behalf of the constituents that people in the city of new york, los angeles, san francisco, are charged to protecting. and by penalizing and forcing cities like new york to enforce draconian aspects of the law in way that would undocumented flaem families not felons is not consistent with protecting the safety and well-being of the people of new york and these other places. i'm pleased that the federal court so far has declared what
trump is trying to do through his executive order is unconstitutional and is wrong. >> we'll see what the courts decide when it moves up. the president as you heard him say earlier, he'll see these federal district court judges at the supreme court. hakeem jeffries of new york, thanks for joining us. >> thanks so much. coming up, the u.s. military says there's no activity at north korea's nuclear testing site. news could be part of today's rare classified white house briefing on north korea with the full senate. wyoming senator john ba ross so will be there later this afternoon at the white house together with maybe 99 other u.s. senators. right now he's here in our studio. we'll get a preview with him. take a look at live pictures from the white house briefing room. the top members of the president's economic team will lay out details what they call the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. iwhat they call
the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. fwhat they call the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. what they call the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. oif what they call the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. fif what they call the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. f what they call the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. what they call the biggest tax cut proposals in american history. stay with us. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. parker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and.
it's day 97 of the trump presidency. live pictures coming from inside the white house briefing room. in minutes, you'll see the treasury secretary and the national economic director gary cohen briefing reporters and all of us in fact, on the details of the president's new tax plan. they'll also take questions. we'll have live coverage of that. the full u.s. senate will be over at the white house for a security briefing on north korea. it's an unusual place for the meeting especially since the president hasn't officially confirmed he'll be there. he will drop by the white house
says but national security advisers will be briefing the members of the senate on a classified basis. the president will make an appearance we are now told. the briefing cops as pieces of a controversial u.s. missile defense system are being rolled into place in south korea with word that it should be operational in the coming days. meanwhile, the u.s. defense official now says the military has observed what's described as significant activity at a north korean nuclear testing site. the country flexed its military muscle this week saying it conducted its largest ever artillery drill with kim jong-un watching. let's discuss north korea more with republican senator john barroso of wyoming, a member of the foreign relations committee. thanks very much for joining us. i know it's a classified session. national security advisers will be briefing. the president will make an appearance. what's the urgency of doing this at the white house?
usually these briefings are held in the senate. >> it shows how conscious defensal what's happening in north korea in terms of escalation. it's been called the land of lousy options. we have to do something. we have seen this incredible advance in north korea's capacity as well as their belligerence. what they say or not say is not as important as what they can do or not do. they're getting to a point with improved weapons we know they have and improved capacity to deliver that weaponry is something we just cannot continue with this strategic patience of the last eight years which is why we're where we are right now. >> you were just in china. is the chinese government helping the united states deal with this nuclear crisis? >> i think for peaceful resolution, it's important they do. >> are they? >> i met with the number two, three, and four leaders in china specifically on this issue. the president of china had just
gotten back from his visit to mar-a-lago with president trump. they seemed very optimistic and encouraged by that meeting between the two presidents. i believe they'll be more engaged. they say they have limited control over the dictator in north korea but they have more than we do. 85% of the economy of north 3 korea is connected in terms of trade with china. so i think it's important that they take a more active role. there will is more they can do and they need to do it. >> a lot of analysts have suggested, i wonder if you agree with this theory, a lot of the u.s. military maneuvers right now along the korean peninsula sendsing that aircraft carrier strike force there, a nuclear powered subman with dozens of tomahawk cruise missiles the exercises with japan and south korea, military exercise, more designed to influence china than to deal with north korea. for that matter to convince china this is a crisis you guys got to help out. >> i think it's doing it. they watch globe.
when they see what the united states was able to do in syria with the pinpoint accuracy of the 59 directed missiles into that air base, when they see the mother of all bombs that was done in afghanistan, they see we have a global capacity that they might not have realized we had before. >> you're talking about the chinese or north koreans? >> both. and they know now we have a commitment to use it. so we want to work in a collaborative way with china. they have the influence through their trade relationships with north korea. but it's not in china's best interests for north korea to have the nuclear weaponry that close to that long bodder. >> you know the downside and been to the region. >> many times. >> the korean peninsula. you've been along the dmz. if the u.s. were to launch some sort of tomahawk cruise missile strike or a mother of all battles bomb against north korea, they have an enormous conventional -- they have nuclear. s too but a conventional capability along the
demilitarized zone that could hit 30 miles south, 25 million people who live in the capital of seoul. that's something the afghani opposition doesn't have or the syrian regime of assad doesn't have. the u.s. launches a military strike, it would be a disaster in the entire regioning. > which is why a peaceful solution what's necessary. china needs to be eng engaged in that. i'm very encouraged by what president trump and president xi have done working together. we're showing there is u.s. strength and u.s. commitment and capacity to use that strength if necessary. with a new president in the white house. as we take a look at this peaceful solution with china engaged and obviously, more sanctions but for sanctions to be effective, china has to be involved, as well and enforcement of those will additionally help. >> on this news we're getting, the house freedom caucus, apparently most of those members getting ready to vote in favor of an amendment that the
president presumably likes. let's say it gets the 216 votes on the floor of the house. you know the u.s. senate. there are a bunch of moderate republicans who aren't necessarily going to go along with it. what happens in the senate? >> it would come to the senate. there would be an open amendment process. people would bring up anticipates to vote. i am committed as a physician to long-term solutions for health care of the american people. and it's not just good enough to me to repeal obamacare. there were reasons when i was practicing medicine i thought we needed to do health care reform. we have to get to a better system that was in place even before obamacare was passed. you have that commitment from all the members of the senate to provide health care that is much more affordable under obamacare, as you know, the costs have skyrocketed. the choices have gone down. in my home state of wyoming, there's only one insurance carrier selling on the exchanges. it's not a marketplace. it's a monopoly. people deserve better.
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take a look at live pictures coming in from the white house. only moments away from the big reveal of the trump tax proposals by the treasury secretary steve mnuchin and the national economic director gary cohen. secretary mnuchin gave a bit of a preview earlier this morning. >> this is going to be the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country. and we are committed to seeing this through. >> a few details but a promise of the biggest tax cut in theivity of the united states. however, major questions remain including how will it all be paid for. let's bring in our panel. maya macguineas from the committee on a responsible federal budget and nia mallika henderson is with us also dana bash and gloria borger. you were there on a panel this
morning here in washington with the treasury secretary. what was your major take away, maya. >> so the treasury secretary laid out as much as he could without giving away any of the details of the plan. my major take away and i think about things from the budgetary and fiscal perspective, the focus of the plan is not to be revenue neutral which is what we've been hearing from congress as they've been talking about reform for months and months now. this was a big pivot to we are going to havetach reform that's going to grow the economy so much, that's how we're going to pay for it. that that is a tax cuts more than tax reform. i would say the country is in great need of tax reform. but we have record levels of debt right now and so big tax cuts will exacerbate that problem and the secretary of treasury did not focus at all on how we would bring the debt down at the same time. >> because gloria, if they want to reduce the corporate tax rate from currently 35% down to 15%
and in fact, bring down all business tax rates to only 15%, that's a huge tax cut but the question is, where is that money going to come from. >> they may increase the standard deduction families can take. they may give people a break on the perm side as well as the corporate side. it blows a big hole in the deficit so the question that has to be asked of republicans is, are you going to go along with this. because you believe as you were saying that a rising tide is going to lift all boats and you grow your way out of the huge deficit problem. there are lots of republicans who don't believe that's the way to go. >> you know what's so interesting is i remember being on capitol hill when the last republican president came into office. abpushed successfully pushed a very, very large tax cut without offsets. and the argument that they made was a very classic republican argument which is supplyside trickle down dynamics, however you want to argue it which is we
don't need tax cuts because they will pay for themselves. what happened, this what president clinton did in office before him balancing the budget, that all went out the window and the deficits and debts we have now. so that leads us to today and the question about whether or not republicans now are going to say should we try it again or did we learn our lesson and that just didn't work and it does seem in talking to republicans at this point, that for the most part, those on capitol hill say it doesn't work. we do need offsets and we learned a lesson. >> they were talking earlier about offsets to pay for a huge tax cut in terms of the repealing and replacing obamacare. they thought they would save a lot of money that way. this border adjustment tax the speaker wanted seems to be going nowhere. that would have raised men to pay for the tax cuts. there are no serious offsets being considered. >> you mention the border adjustment tax. the problem was if you were
putting a tax on imports that would trickle down and hit the pocketbooks of ordinary americans buying things from stores like target or walmart or whatever. so that ended up being a no go for this president even though it's something that house leadership wanted. i think one of the things that we're seeing here is a lot of action. i mean, the president closing in on his first 100 days wants to have these headlines about this biggest tax cut in american history. so in that way, i think he's going to be successful. i talked to some republicans who are in touch with the white house. sort of this idea of optimism and cheerleader for the economy. that's what he's doing there. but in terms of the reality of this, it's not a play. it's basically cliff notes for a plan. it doesn't look like this is something they can russ fer oca muster. republicans are always about bringing down the debt and deficit. >> you got the impression, and
you were with the treasure secretary today, what the president said in recent weeks first repealing and replacing obamacare, then we can deal with tax reform or tax cuts. is that still the strategy? >> i think that still holds true. the reason is because they need reconciliation to move both of those issues. meaning you don't need as many votes in the senate to pass it. they want to get health care done, then move to tax reform. that doesn't mean they can't be working on tax reform. they can be developing the details. >> they're about to be introduced by the press secretary. >> i had to use it. obviously, today we're here to talk about the president's effort to provide tax relief to both our corporations that will help grow jobs and to middle americans. two people here to explain it, director of our national economic council gary cohen will walk through why we're doing what we are doing and the personal side of the tax.
then steve mnuchin will walk through the business and corporate side of what the president is doing to bring jobs back to this country to make our businesses more competitive and help our economy grow. at the end, they'll be glad to take questions on this. you are being provided a one-pager right now that provides the top level aspects of the plan. and then both the director and the secretary will go into further detail and take your questions. without any further ado, kra director gary cohen. >> thank you, sean. and good afternoon to everyone. thank you for being here. this is quite a historic day for us and one that we've been looking forward to for a long time and one we're very excited about. we have a once in a generation opportunity to do something really big. president trump has made tax reform a priority. and we have a republican congress that wants to get it done. and this is something that quite honestly, i hope the democrats
would support too because it's good for the american people. the president is going to seize this opportunity by leading the most significant tax reform legislation since 1986. and one of the biggest tax cuts in the american history. we have been working on had for a long time. we've had great meetings. we had a great meeting last night with the leadership of the shouse and senate and agreed on many of the important principles of tax reform. we look forward to working together with the house and senate closely in the weeks ahead. president has focused on three things since his campaign. job creation, economic growth, and helping the low and middle income families left behind by this economy. he understands there are a lot of people in this country that feel like they work hard and just cannot get ahead. they are sick of turning their paychecks over to washington and having no idea of how those dollars are spent.
they are frustrated by tax code that is so complicated they can't even do their own taxes. that's why tax reform is such a big priority to this president. he cares about making the economy work better for all-american people. here is a little history. when president kennedy cut taxes in the early 1960, the top rate on personal income was over 90% and there was rampant tax avoidance. and then 20 years later, president reagan took rates down to 2% for individuals. since then, rates have been creeping back up and more loopholes and special interest tax breaks made their way back into the tax code disadvantaging average americans. and then on the business side, when president reagan left office in 1988, the corporate tax rate was 34%. and it hasn't changed much since. for the last 25 years, other countries have been aggressively cutting theirtach rates and
moving to a territorial system in order to attract business. and the u.s. has done none of that. in 2017, we are still stuck with a 1988 corporate tax. that's why we are now one of the least competitive countries in the developed world when it comes to corporate tax. so tax reform is long overdue. we are going to cut taxes for businesses to make them competitive and we're going to cut taxes for the american people especially low and middle income families. today, i'm going to outline the principles we have put in place for personal tax reform. and then i'm going to hand it over to secretary mnuchin to talk about the business side. first, here are a few sticks for you on the individual side. in 1935, we had a one-page tax form consisting of 34 lines with two pages of instructions. today, the basic 1040 form has
79 lines and 211 pages of instructions. instead of a single form, the irs now has 199 tax forms on the individual side of our tax code. taxpayers spend nearly 7 billion hours complying with these tax codes every year. and nearly 90% of taxpayers need some help in filing their taxes. we are going to cut taxes and simplify the tax code by taking the current seven tax brackets we have today and reducing them to only three brackets. a 10% bracket, a 25% bracket, and a 35% bracket. we're going to double the standard deduction. so that a married couple won't pay any taxes on the first $24,000 of income they earn. so in essence, we are creating a zero tax rate, yes, a zero tax
rate for the first $24,000 that a couple earns. the larger standard deduction also leads to simplify indication because far fewer taxpayers will need to itemize which means their tax form can go back to that one simple page that i talked about earlier. families in this country will also benefit from tax relief to help them with child and dependent care expenses. we are going to repeal the alternative minimum tax. the amt creates significant complications and burdens which require taxpayers to do their taxes twice to see which is higher. that makes no sense and we should have one simple tax code. as we all know, job creation and economic growth is the top priority of the administration. nothing drives economic growth like capital investment. therefore, we are going to return the top capital gains tax rate and dividend rate to 20%
repealing the harmful 3.8% obamacare tax on dividends and capital gains. that tax has been a direct hit on investment income and small business owners. we're going to repeal the death tax. the threat of being hit by the death tax leads small business owners and farmers in this country to waste countless hours and resources on complicated estate planning to make sure their children weren't hit with a huge tax when had he die. no one wants to see their children have to sell the family business to pay an unfair tax. we are going to eliminate most of the tax breaks that are mainly benefits to high income individuals. home ownership, charitable giving and retirement savings will be protected but other tax benefits will be eliminated. this isn't going to be easy. doing big things never is. we will be attacked from the left and we will be attacked from the right but one thing is
certain. i would never ever bet against this president. he will get this done for the american people. with that, i'm going to turn it over to skts mnuchin to go through the business tax plan and we'll both come back and take questions. >> thank you, gary. so as gary said, we've been working on plan for a very considerable period of time. and our objective is to make u.s. businesses the most competitive in the world. right now, we have a 35% corporate rate on worldwide income and deferral. it is perhaps the most complicated and uncompetitive business rate in the world. not a surprise that companies leave trillions of dollars offshore. under the trump plan, we will have a massive tax cut for businesses and massive tax reform and simplify indication.
as the president said during the campaign, we will lower the business rate to 15%. we will make it a territorial system. we will have a one-time tax on overseas profits which will bring back trillions of dollars that are offshore to be invested here in the united states to purchase capital and to create jobs. the president is determined to unleash economic growth for businesses. this is not just about large corporations. small and medium sized businesses will be eligible for the business rate, as well. as gary said, we have had very productive meetings with the house and senate working weekly to get this done. we will continue to do that. we are determined to move this as fast as we can and get this done this year. i would also just comment that we will hold listening sessions.
one thing this president has done very well is listen. we've had hundreds of business leaders here from all different types of areas. manufactur manufacturers, retail, airlines, community banks, big banks. we are listening and we have been taking feedback. finally, i would just add, the president's objective is creating economic growth. and as we've said before, we believe we can get back to 3% or higher gdp that is sustainable in this country. the overall economic plan consists of massive tax cuts and tax reform. regulatory relief and renegotiating trade deals. with that, we will unlock the economic growth that's been held back for too long in this country. with that, we'd be both happy to take a few questions. in the back. >> reporter: thank you, mr. secretary. when you talk about the individual tax rates, you're
also talking about eliminating some of those tax breaks. are you talking about eliminating tax deductions and which ones are you talking about eliminating and which ones are you talking about keeping? >> we are going to eliminate on the personal side all tax deductions other than mortgage interest and charitable deductions. we think that will be sweeping reform. >> adam? >> thank you. when you talk about lowering the dividends and capital gains taxes, how does that mesh with what you said this morning about protecting the middle class from the very, very wealthy who might be able to take advantage of, i don't know a better word than loophole but that would give them a lower tax rate. >> what we've said is that the business rate is going to be available for small and medium sized businesses as well as corporations. however, we will make sure that there are rules in place so that wealthy people can't create pass throughs and use that as a mechanism to avoid paying the tax rate that they should be on
the personal side. and i would just say on the dividend rates, we believe that restoring the 20% capital gains rate is the critical to investment in this country. >> mr. secretary? >> a question about your pass throughs. the initial plan that the president as a candidate outlined also included freelance or contract workers in that 15%. what's your rate on repatriation of funds overseas and gary cohn, what about the marriage penalty. >> first i'd comment on the rate of repatriation. we're working with the house and senate on that. i will say it will be a very competitive rate that will bring back trillions of dollars. as it relates to the definition of contractors and things along those lines, those will be the details we'll work with congress on as we turn this into a bill that will get signed by the president. >> reporter: so as the secretary said, we are working very diligently with the house and the senate on coming up with
final details of the bill. you're going into very repatriation. >> very important ones. >> we agree. very important. our basic premise here is to i am pli fi tsimplify and make it. we want to make the system very fair. that's one of the things on our list that we will work on, just as secretary mnuchin said. we will get back to you with definitive answers on all of these details. >> on the 10, 25 and 35 rates, do you have income brackets proposed? >> again, we are in constant dialogue with the house and the senate. as the secretary said, we're holding a bunch of listening groups right now. we have outlines. we have a broad brush view of where they're going to be. we're running an enormous amount of data on the proposals right now. we will be back to you with very firm details. we're very confident to where
they're going to be. we just wanted to get out and give you a broad brush overview of where we are. the president very much believes in taking input, as the secretary said. we have a lot of discussions going on with different groups. >> you said deductions, does that mean state and local being deducted? >> yes. >> what about health care? >> mr. cohn or mr. mnuchin, is this your first attempt with this to start pulling back on obamacare? and also, what do you say to your fellow republicans who say that this tax reform package is more about corporations rather than cutting the deficits? >> this tax reform package is about growing the economy, creating jobs. it's about the economy. you know, as i started, you know, president trump comes in
every day and talks to the two of us about economic growth, economic prosperity and jobs and what are we doing to stimulate economic growth. that's how we're looking at this plan. the 3.8% tax on capital gains, dividends and interest, the president looks at that very seriously as being a tax on capital being spent to stimulate economic growth. people putting investment capital to work and people being taxed on their personal businesses. so we're trying to get rid of that to have capital go back into the economy to create more jobs. >> is it more business than obamacare? >> it's business. it's to stimulate business investment. >> so on the -- first of all, does it pay for itself? is this plan revenue neutral? and secondly, what in here is nonnegotiable? when this goes over to congress, congress comes back with a 20% corporate tax rate, will the president refuse to sign that?
>> okay. let me just first say, the core principles of this, we've been meeting with the house and senate and they agree 100%. the core businesses make business rates competitive, bring back trillions of dollars to create jobs, simplify personal taxes, create a tax cut. those core principles are nonnegotiable and that's something that we all feel strongly about. as it relates to, will it pay for itself, again, i think as we've seed, we're working on lots of details. as to this, we have over 100 people in the treasury that have been working on tax and scoring different scenarios. this will pay for itself with growth and with reduced reduction of different deductions and closing loopholes. >> if it turns out that the estimates -- if it turns out that it won't provide growth, is
the president comfortable with that? will he sign something? >> let me just say, when we look at the deficit and the deficit has gone from 10 to $20 trillion in the last administration, that is a problem and the president is concerned about that. this plan is going to lower the debt to gdp. the economic plan under trump will grow the economy and will create massive amounts of revenues, trillions of dollars in additional revenues. let's go in the back. >> if you don't replace some of the revenue with a border a adjustment tax, how will you make up for the reduction in the corporate tax cut? >> again, today we're putting out the core principles which includes rates. we're working very closely with the house and the senate to turn
this into a bill that can be passed and the president can sign and there's lots and lots of details that are going into how that will pay for itself. >> the territorial tax system, is that a border adjustment tax? what is it? >> a territorial tax system means u.s. companies will pay income on income related to the u.s. so it's territorial u.s. companies will not be subject to worldwide income, which has made them uncompetitive. >> is there a reason to be concerned that perhaps the republicans might not go along with this just like they didn't go along with the obamacare replacement? >> again, i think there's a lot of desire from everybody to pass tax reform. as gary said, we're at a historic moment and republicans and democrats want to create jobs and want to help the american people and, as i said, the core principles of this, we
have agreement on and we will work forward on the details. let's go in the back. >> thank you, mr. secretary. quick question. you bring up the estate tax. this is an issue that's been going on for decades. and it used to be they were always talking about phasing out the death tax over a period of years. groups suches a the senior association said they wouldn't accept it and wanted an immediate killing of the death tax. is that what this is going to be or is it going to be a phaseout measure again? >> right now our initial proposal is to immediately phase out when this proposal become he's affective to phase it out immediately. >> when you say phase -- >> with the implementation of the new tax, the death tax would
disappear. >> this is obviously a statement of core principles. it's just one page. obviously tax reform would be much more complicated. when will we see the details and the actual plan? >> we're moving as quickly as we can. so we are working with the house and senate on all the details and this is -- everybody has an agreement. we are going to move this as fast as we can and when we have an agreement, we will release the details and go through -- >> my second question is, will the president release his tax returns so that -- >> the president has no intention. the president has released plenty of information and i think it's given more financial disclosure than anybody else and the population has plenty of information. thank you. right there. right there. excuse me. other people -- other people have a right to ask questions. >> will it affect him personally? >> my question is to you, mr. secretary, or mr. cohn.
you mentioned middle class tax cuts. middle class families watching this tonight on the news, a family of four, median income of $60,000, what does it mean for them? >> it's going to be a tax cut. >> how much? >> it's going to be a tax cut. look, you're asking the same question that was asked over here. we will let you know the details at the appropriate moment. we're in robust discussions with the house and senate leadership. they are progressing quickly. >> we're going to take two more. right back there in the fourth row. >> mr. mnuchin, exactly a year ago then candidate trump was asked if he believes in raising taxes on the wealthy and he said, i do, i do, including myself. so my question is, why isn't he doing that and will the president pay more or less taxes as a result of this plan? >> i can't comment on the president's tax situation since i don't have access to that,
okay? but i would comment that our objective, okay, is the reduction in taxes will be offset by significant reduction of deductions and other items so that the effective tax rate, okay, is what we're focused on. i'm going to take one more question right here. yes? >> according to our estimations, by his 2005 returns that are out there, it would save him 5.3 million in federal income taxes. so your response to those critics who say a lot of what you've presented here today could save the president or benefit his own businesses. >> again, let me comment again. what this is about is creating jobs and creating economic growth. and that's what massive tax cuts and massive tax reform in simplifying the system is what we're going to do. it's another example of a third complicated set of rule.
anyway, thank you, everybody. appreciate you guys being here. all right. we'll take it. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. you've been watching a special white house briefing there. president trump's top economic advisers unveiling his tax outline that will lead to, quote/unquote, the biggest tax cut in the history of this country. those words from steve mnuchin himself. the secretary of treasury there debuting the tax draft as the president is closing in on 100 days in office. so let's walk through what exactly we heard and taugs about a talk about all of this. jeff zeleny was there in the briefing. okay. hang on. gloria borger, i'll begin with you here. we'll get jeff to walk through the headlines of the simplifications of the taxes, going down from seven