Steve Mnuchin Defends Tax Reform by Referencing Detailed Analysis Which … Does Not ExistPhoto by Spencer Platt/Getty Politics News Tax Reform
Steve Mnuchin, the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America, apparently has very little idea of what actually goes on in the Treasury of the United States of America.
The NYT reports that Mnuchin promised that over 100 people in the Treasury were working on analyses of the new Republican tax reform bill, and would generate a full, detailed, dynamic analysis of the entire bill shortly. With the final vote on the tax bill looming as early as tonight, there are several organizations rushing to put out a full analysis as soon as possible—but the Treasury doesn’t seem to be one of them.
While the Treasury has been investigating some small points of the bill, they seem to be basing their “analysis” primarily on who the tax bill would help. The NYT reports that one of the things Treasury workers are looking at is “how many family farms would benefit from the repeal of the estate tax.” Essentially, they’re being asked to provide analysis that paints the bill in a positive light, despite the fact that the overarching consequences of the reform could be catastrophic. Per The NYT:
The lack of any formal assessment of the bills’ economic effect from the administration comes as Republicans barrel ahead with a plan that is expected to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit at a time when the federal debt has already topped $20 trillion. Deficit hawks, including lawmakers like Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona, have been asking for analyses that show how the plan will avoid ballooning the deficit, which reached $666 billion, or 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, for fiscal 2017.
The news that there will be very little, if any, official analysis of the reform bill should put a stop to the more process-minded senators voting on it tonight. You innocent baby. You thought Republicans would have enough of a conscience to wait to vote on a huge reform bill until after independent authorities had reviewed it? What a silly idea.
After careful consideration, I have decided to support the Senate #TaxReform bill. Though not perfect, this bill will deliver much-needed reform to our tax code, grow the economy & provide long overdue tax relief for American families. https://t.co/BeWZAT0SjMpic.twitter.com/6qwYhmyE5p
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 30, 2017
(Nearly all the replies to that tweet—and there are a lot—are from people reminding McCain that he used to value “regular order.”)
The Joint Committee on Taxation is rushing to finish its own analysis of the bill, which many people say will likely show that the bill will not result in the optimistic results the Republican lawmakers have promised. Mnuchin is already preparing to rebut the Committee’s claim. That’s right, despite his own department not even working on a full assessment, Mnuchin feels ready to debate a team that did.
Mnuchin claims that he wants “complete visibility” in the assessment of the bill, yet there has been none thus far. The NYT quotes Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat on the Finance Committee:
This administration’s top salesmen spent months trying to con the American people into buying false claims about their tax plan. Treasury has broken this promise intentionally and know the truth would sink this scam once and for all. They’re doing everything they can to cover up Republicans’ middle-class tax hike.