Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Comes to Columbus to Sell GOP Tax Plan

Nov 14, 2017

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (right) at an appearance Tuesday at the Athletic Club of Columbus.
Credit KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Treasury Secretary came to Columbus to promote Republican lawmakers’ $1.5 trillion tax reform plan, which they say will grow the economy, make the tax code simpler and create a middle-class tax cut. Not everyone agrees.

David Pepper talks to reporters outside the Mnuchin event.
Credit KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Protestors were waiting for Steve Mnuchin, led by Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper, who said Ohio has trailed the national recovery for 57 months and suffered with stagnant wages for decades.

“It’s ironic that he’s here to tout a trickle-down economics plan when the very approach in Ohio has actually been such a glaring failure.”

Inside the luncheon with the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Mnuchin spoke to a mostly friendly audience, though he was asked about a controversial point – limiting or eliminating the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

“Fundamentally we believe that the federal government should get out of the business of subsidizing the states.”

Mnuchin said he thinks lawmakers will land on dropping the 35 percent corporate tax rate to what he called a very competitive rate of 20 percent. He said the House will vote on its version on Thursday and the Senate will vote on its separate bill after Thanksgiving, but Mnuchin said he’s confident there will be a plan for Trump to sign by the end of the year. The Congressional Budget Office has said unless Congress waives a specific rule, this tax cut could trigger $136 billion in automatic spending cuts.