In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC, National Economic Council chairman Gary Cohn said that he was “really not upset” that the wealthy will be getting a tax cut as part of the Republican tax reform plan — just weeks after insisting that “The wealthy are not getting a tax cut under our plan.”
When CNBC’s John Harwood noted that the plan’s changes to pass-through rates would largely benefit wealthy businesses, Cohn responded, “I’m saying there’s unique situations to everyone out there. Everyone has their own story. it’s not our intention to give the wealthy a tax cut.”
“But they’re getting one,” Harwood replied.
“I don’t believe that we’ve set out to create a tax cut for the wealthy,” Cohn retorted. “If someone’s getting a tax cut, I’m not upset that they’re getting a tax cut. I’m really not upset.”
Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs, also stated that in his conversations with the business community about the proposals, “The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan. They all tell me how they excited they are to get a tax plan that makes the United States competitive, makes it so they can grow their business domestically, makes it so they can — actually pay wages here.”
Cohn nearly quit the Trump administration over the president’s response to the Charlottesville white nationalist march, but decided to stay in the White House because he was excited by the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to pursue tax reform.
Cohn told CNBC that even after tax reform concluded, he was going to stay in the White House “and work as long as I can help the president drive his economic agenda.”