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Gary Cohn
  White House Briefs on Tax Cuts Plan Hurricane Relief  CSPAN  September 28, 2017 9:35pm-9:52pm EDT

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men and women. those helping those in need. this is something that is going to require weeks and months worth of patience as we restore power, get food and water and return to normalcy. thank you for your time. i am proud of the puerto rican people. the governor has our full confidence and faith. thank you. more news coming out of the white house briefing. chief economic adviser gary cohen on thursday said he cannot guarantee taxes will not go up or some -- for some middle-class families, even though he said the white house is new tax proposal is purely aimed at middle-class families. let's take a look at what he had to say. thanks, sarah. i was going to make opening remarks. i think i want because you covered a few of them. a couple things i will say is the president has made his goals clear of what he wants to achieve here with tax reform and
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cutting taxes in the united states. you know where we are in the process. the group of six has been working really well together. we are now in the hands of congress. we want to go through a normal, regular process, both in the senate and house. we are working well with drafting committees. the communities will work and they are working well and quickly. we will try to drive tax reform as quickly as we can. you know the basic premise behind it. i will not take you through what we have talked about before. the question we get out, i will say it now, we have to make now on whereions we will end up with the brackets. i will tell you, based on our assumptions, a typical family earning $100,000 with two children that has been a standard the doctor -- standard the doctor, they can expect a tax cut of $1000. that is where we are headed.
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i think i will open it up to questions and see what is on your mind. isorter: the big criticisms to give it away to the rich. the one criticism that seems to be relevant for your own state, connecticut, california, other states, is eliminating state, there are certain people who will suffer double taxation. these are item misers. is it that a hard and fast redline with you are would you be willing to give it up? our plan is based on lowering rates and expanding the base. it is very simple if you think of what we are doing. you expand the base by getting rid of the loopholes. the loopholes that the wealthy taxpayers have used to pay tax on less of their income. we have designed a plan where you're going to pay a low rates, but you will pay it on more of your income. that is a basic core premise. we are committed to it. reporter: there are people in
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the middle income where this tax is supposed to be beneficial. they make it had by that. director cohn: 25% of american families today itemize. american families do not itemize. you are talking about itemizes coming you're talking about 25% of the population. we have many things we're doing in the tax plan to help out american families. we are lowering tax rates, going from seven rates to three rates. we are expanding the zero rate, up to $24,000 for that family. they will pay zero on. we are lowering the 50% rate down to 12%. the next rate will be 12%. we are doing things to help that family. we are expanding the parameters for childcare. we are going to move the upper bound to who is a global -- eligible for childcare.
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you have to look at the plan in its entirety. any one piece. look at the plan in its entirety. that is how we are looking at tax reform. reporter: follow-up on what john was asking, the standardized eduction versus itemize, there are people who think if you dissuade people from itemizing, you are going to suppress the real estate market. people will not be interested in buying homes because they will not need to use itemized did actions. >> we are protecting the mortgage interest deduction. favor of our in tax plan. the number one reason why people buy homes is a they are excited and optimistic about the economy. they have a job today, they feel confident they will have a job tomorrow. and their kids will get a job and their spouse has a job. they feel like there is upward wage pressure. they feel there is mobility in their jobs. they feel good about the economy.
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we have not been in that situation in america for the last decade to have to get america back to a place where people feel excited and exuberant about the economy. when they do that, they will spend money to they will buy homes. people do not buy homes because of the mortgage deduction. 75% of families do not use itemized inductions. -- deductions. reporter: [indiscernible] director cohn: we have spent an enormous amount of time on the anti-abuse laying, the last thing we want to see is wealthy individuals or wealthy groups are families move their tax rate down from the 35% rate to a 25% rate. we are spending time on that. house and senate are acutely aware of this issue. we have got going which on it. you will be seeing the language as we deliver more of the details. reporter: [indiscernible] director cohn: we are acutely aware of that.
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guys like myself should not be allowed to put their assets into a partnership and reduce our tax liability by 10%. reporter: two things about what you said this morning. you said you could not guarantee pay moreaxpayers would taxes under this plan. because of the details you were saying, that is a possibility. some calculations are lower income [indiscernible] is it a redline for you and the president that all middle-class taxpayers are under this plan? the president said yesterday this tax cut would not help him. he said it would be bad for him. based on what we know, the little we know about his i think he is saving $31 million [indiscernible] he is saving a lot not paying the estate tax, so how can you
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say this is not a plan to help him? director cohn: what the american people are concerned about is their financial position. their concern is when they go to work every week and they get their paycheck, how much do they get to keep? how much do they get to spend versus how much do they sent to the government? if we allow the family -- a family to keep another $1000 of their paycheck, what does that mean? they can take a family vacation. they can increase their lifestyle. that is what our tax plan is going to do. it is aimed to return more income back to hard-working americans. speaking of the president saying the tax plan would not benefit him, don't you think it would be a good idea for the president to prove that by releasing his taxes? director cohn: what we are trying to do is to increase the
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lifestyle of american citizens. our hard-working citizens who get up every weren't -- every morning and work as hard as any person in the world to keep more of their hard-earned income. that is what we are about. our tax plan is trying to get the economy to get the growth rate back to a normalized rate, above 3%. yes, we had a quarter of 3.1% gdp. people think we can get to 3.1% gdp for a while. can we go higher? what is 1% of gdp mean? it means $3 trillion. it pays for a tax cut. that is what we are trying to do. reporter: if you cannot guarantee that all middle-class see their taxes go up, does not contradict the promise of the plan to help middle-class americans? director cohn: our tax plan is aimed at making sure we give middle-class americans a tax cut. to giveoing middle-class americans a tax cut. that is what we are spending all of our time on doing.
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we have got lots of tools at our disposal to make sure we do that. as i said this morning, and i will say it again, i could read my statement from this morning, i liked it so much this morning and i would say it again. i cannot guarantee that. someone in ad me country that their taxes may not go down. remember, we have 50 states. we have counties, cities, long-term capital gains, short-term capital gains, all different types of structures. i guarantee you you could find someone in the country, one person whose taxes may not go down. reporter: can you walk us through the timeline of how you think the tax-writing committees will get through this? ont confidence do you have capital that they will get this done? why did you decide to stay at the white house in the wake of charlottesville? director cohn: i am very confident in the house and senate, that they are working as quickly as they can. if you look at chairman brady right now and what he is doing,
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they are working, they came in on sunday to start working on the tax plan. they work every day. chairman brady has said they will get through the tax plan as quickly as they can. we would hope that they get through the house in october. we would hope to be in the senate in november. we would hope to have a bill done by this year. why am i here? i am here for this reason. think about the opportunity i am involved in with president trump and being able to rewrite the tax code. something that has not been done for 31 years. the amount of impact we can have on the u.s. economy and u.s. citizens in changing the outlook of the united states, this is a one in -- once in a lifetime opportunity. does that mean when you're done with tax reform that you will no longer be at the white house? are manycohn: there
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more once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the white house. [laughter] reporter: on the child tax credit which we have heard ivanka trum are many more once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that the white house. p talk about, can you give us a description as to what that will look like? what is the goal here, will he be refundable? director cohn: i think we have said in our outline yesterday, the existing childcare credit is refundable and will stay refundable. the additional money that will be put into the credit will be nonrefundable. we want to encourage people to work. we want to have people have taxable income to take the credit again. the size of it, we are still working out. reporter: can you give us -- director cohn: we are continuing to work on that range. we on delivering a large middle income tax-cut to american workers, one that they deserve. the plan will add $2.2 trillion to the deficit. were they wrong? director cohn: we think they are wrong.
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we think they are run because the way -- because of the way they score. let's not argue that. that this taxeve plan will have a dramatic impact on economic growth. we know that 1% change in gdp led $3 trillion back. if they are right, we will only pay down $800 billion in the deficit. i will live with that. reporter: thank you. on the corporate side, your critics say on the repatriation of oversee assets, as history would show, companies do not always do so. they do share buybacks and other financial engineering. how can you guarantee that will not happen this time? director cohn: we have heard that you numerous times. if that is our worst-case scenario, the company's repatriate their money and use it for share buybacks and dividends, what happens?
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they buy back shares, they issue dividends. we get another 20% tax on capital gains, or dividends. and then the people who get that money back do what? they reinvested back in the economy in new investments, in new capital. we are putting enticing rules into the system that will entice people to invest capital for the next five years. we are giving people a five-year right off that they can instantly expect. if that happens, that is time -- that is fine. economic growth, wages, and prosperity. reporter: i would like you to get to answer this. this tax economic growth, wages, and prosperity. plan appears that it will benefit the president and his family. why not just be candid about that? director cohn: i told you, it will benefit the middle class. i think that is what american taxpayers care about what they take him. they care about what they have to spend. that is with a care bear -- care
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about. he is saying he will not benefit, yet it appears as though the way this is put it together, he actually will. people do care about that. director cohn: let me take you through the components that you are obsessed about. i am taking too long. you all talk about the debt tax. and that being a great benefit. the two biggest drivers for repeal of the death tax -- debt tax is the farm bureau. that is small businesses and farms. those are the organizations that spend the most time lobbying on tax.epeal of the debt debt tax has the biggest effect on them. small businesses and farms. wealthy americans do a lot of estate planning. they can use trust. they can use all types of things that are legal within the tax code to make sure they do not pay debt tax.
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on the amt, i'm not going to get into calculations on amt. in a broad brush level, when you do the amt, once you get rid of the deductions of the state and local taxes, that is the biggest ad back. amt becomes irrelevant once you get rid of the deduction of state and local taxes. all the things you are trying to pull at my you are not looking at the plan in its entirety. they do not make sense once we'd redo the plan. reporter: gary. just as a follow-up question on that, in the appearance of his group, you said that -- i cited you -- to you the worries of jim martin and the seniors association that you are going to drag out repeal of the debt tax, that it would not be immediate. you said at the time it was immediate. is that final? is it going to be an immediate
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reveal? at lane,cohn: an hour it is immediate. reporter: same with the alternate fact? director cohn: the only thing that phases out is the five-year expensing. speaking of businesses, let's negotiate. yesterday, senator schumer said democrats may be willing to work with some kind of small business tax release into whatever comes out of all this. where do you negotiate on that? what offered to you want to make to the democrats? opening offer our and final offer -- offer are on the table. we are happy to start at 25 or go lower. we are happy to start at 20 and go lower. there is our opening offer. with wants to counter something lower, we are very negotiable. thank you. announcer: