Tags: Trump Administration | gary cohn | trump | tax reform

Gary Cohn: Tax Reform Coming Regardless of Health Bill's Fate

Image: Gary Cohn: Tax Reform Coming Regardless of Health Bill's Fate
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 29 Jun 2017 11:52 AM

The Trump administration is "actively involved" in the ongoing Senate healthcare reform bill discussions and will come to the place where the White House and the Senate can come up with a bill that can be signed, but tax reform will take place in September, no matter what happens with healthcare, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, the president's chief economic adviser, said Thursday.

"We're going to have to see what the final piece of legislation that comes out of the Senate looks like," the former Goldman Sachs president and chief executive officer told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle. 

"We really want to get healthcare done. I think the president has shown you how much personal commitment he has and how much personal time he's willing to spend on getting healthcare done."

Meanwhile, there are "multiple issues" involved, said Cohn, and "we can't solve every issue in the healthcare bill. We're going to tackle taxes, we'd love to cut some of the taxes that are in the Obamacare bill, and that would be a great thing to do."

If taxes can't be cut through Obamacare reform, the administration is still actively involved in tax and tax legislation, continued Cohn.

"What we do know, and we do know this for sure, is that Obamacare is failing," Cohn said. "We know there are many counties in this country that do not have an insurer. We know that premiums continue to go up. They've been going up 30 percent annually.

"We know that people are not getting what they thought they were going to get. The president is committed to fixing this."

And even though polls, including one from Politico/Morning Consult, give the GOP healthcare plan low marks, Cohn said eventually, those numbers will change.

"America will be happy with what we give them," Cohn said. "We'll have a product they can buy, a product that's going to be cheaper, a product they get to tailor for their needs."

The Trump administration also will move on to tax reform whether or not the Obamacare repeal legislation passes, said Cohen.

"When we come back in September, when the August recess is over, we will be 100 percent engaged in tax reform," Cohen said.

However, while a 3 percent GDP goal has been mentioned, the administration is not "that lofty," he added.

"We're setting realistic expectations," said Cohen. "If you think where we've been in the last eight years, muddling around either side of a 2 percent GDP, we've done it in an environment where American business has been over-regulated, very highly regulated. Businesses have been unable to expand, banks have been unable to lend, banks have been unable to return capital."

Places like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have been lending, but to the "most credit-worthy borrowers in the world," he said.

"You don't expand the economy by lending to the top borrowers," he continued. "You expand the economy by lending to smaller, medium-sized businesses that are actually hiring people to grow their businesses.

"We all know that the very credit-worthy borrowers in the world today have access to capital, access to bank loan, access to capital markets. That's not where economic growth comes from."

And such businesses have not been able to get loans, Cohn said, "because the credit-worthiness of those institutions doesn't score well enough for the highly regulated institutions to give them loans and they don't have access to the capital markets."

The jobs outlook also looks very good, Cohn continued.

"Look at more importantly the U-6 rate, the broader measure of unemployment," aid Cohn. "The U-6 rate since inauguration day is down one percent. That's a massive move in the broader measure of unemployment."

Further, data has been coming through since the inauguration showing that people are making hiring decisions on a daily basis.

"One percent of people have gone from partially employed or working part-time to full-time," Cohn said. "That's a huge movement. You look at the unemployment rate, we're down in the low 4 percent unemployment rate."

Cohn also spoke about energy, saying the White House employs an "all of the above" strategy that encompasses clean energy as well as traditional forms.

"When I think where our big competitive advantage is in the world today, cheap energy and energy dominance and energy Independence is a competitive advantage for us in the United States today," said Cohn. "But to have that, you have to embrace all forms of energy.

The Trump administration is betting on technology as well, along with manufacturing, said Cohn.

As for jobs, Cohn said he loves his own, dismissing a question about his eventually becoming Trump's chief of staff.

"Think of the opportunity I have," he said I have the opportunity to do something that hasn't been done in 30 years, which is reform the U.S. tax code. I have the opportunity to be involved in redoing the United States' infrastructure, something that desperately needs to be done. I don't know how many people can sit here and tell you that they have that opportunity."

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The Trump administration is "actively involved" in the ongoing Senate healthcare reform bill discussions and will come to the place where the White House and the Senate can come up with a bill that can be signed, but tax reform will take place in September...
gary cohn, trump, tax reform
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2017-52-29
Thursday, 29 Jun 2017 11:52 AM
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