- Yuri Gripas/Reuters
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sharply criticized Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in an interview released Wednesday. Schumer said Mnuchin’s claims about the Republican tax reform plan were “outlandish” and were said to “suck up to” President Donald Trump. Schumer also said Mnuchin’s claim that the stock market would tank without tax reform shows why the secretary “lost his credibility.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sharply criticized Steven Mnuchin in an interview released Wednesday, calling into question the Treasury secretary’s credibility for his claims about the Republican tax plan.
“I don’t know if the man is deliberately lying, but it seems so,” Schumer said in an interview on the Politico Money podcast. “His statements are outlandish and – I don’t know if I’m allowed to use this word, I think I am – suck up to Trump, flatter Trump.”
Schumer particularly pointed to statements from Mnuchin on the same podcast in which the Treasury Secretary insisted the forthcoming bill would not add to the deficit and would drive greater economic growth in the country.
“He says we’re going to get a trillion-dollar increase in the surplus by this huge tax cut, it’s absurd,” Schumer said. “He said, quote, ‘There will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class.’ Well, of course there is. This man cannot be believed.”
Mnuchin has argued the economic growth from the tax cuts would increase tax receipts and actually shrink the federal deficit, under a process known as dynamic scoring. Most analysis of the tax plan use static scoring, which doesn’t factor in potential economic growth. It shows that the current iteration of the plan would increase the federal deficit by $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion over 10 years.
Additionally, Mnuchin has said that the decrease tax rates for wealthier Americans would be at least somewhat offset by ending deductions favoring those individuals. But an analysis of the GOP tax framework from the Tax Policy Center showed that by 2027, 80% of the tax plan’s benefits would go toward the top 1%. The analysis said some middle-class families would see their tax bills increase.
Schumer said Mnuchin’s claims would have been taken very differently at his former job as a partner at Goldman Sachs.
“If he used these kinds of arguments at Goldman Sachs, they would’ve fired him,” Schumer said.
Politico’s Ben White also asked Schumer about Mnuchin’s claim that the stock market would tank if Republicans didn’t pass tax reform.
“It’s absurd, no one believes Steve Mnuchin. He’s lost his credibility because of statements like that,” Schumer responded. “Wall Street was doing great, was going up at a dramatic rate before the president even took office and it’s doing fine now because the economy is doing well, because corporate profits are way up.”
“We are surprised to hear the Minority Leader express these comments about the Secretary,” a spokesperson from the Treasury told Business Insider. “The Secretary is committed to delivering a major middle class tax cut, more competitive business taxes that create jobs and wage growth and a fairer tax system. This would be a good time for Senator Schumer to stop the obstruction and help hard working Americans get meaningful tax relief.”