President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser and former Goldman Sachs banker Gary Cohn dealt yet another blow to Republicans’ claim that their tax plan will primarily benefit middle class Americans on Thursday, telling CNBC‘s John Harwood in an interview that the Americans who are “most excited” about the GOP’s push for massive tax cuts are actually “big CEOs”—a reversal from his claim just weeks ago that the wealthy “are not getting a tax cut under our plan.”
“The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan. They all tell me how excited they are to get a tax plan that makes the United States competitive, makes it so they can grow their business domestically,” Cohn declared, prompting many to wonder whether he was actually “supposed to say that.”
Cohn went on to claim against all evidence that “trickle-down economics” is “good for the economy” and repeat the familiar line that the Trump administration and the GOP did not “set out to create a tax cut for the wealthy,” implying that any tax cuts for the rich would be purely incidental.
However, “if someone’s getting a tax cut, I’m not upset that they’re getting a tax cut. I’m really not upset,” Cohn added.
Cohn’s comments to CNBC came just as Senate Republicans are preparing to release their own tax bill, which is expected to resemble the House version in offering massive tax cuts to the rich and massive corporations.
In acknowledging that the GOP’s tax proposals would be a boon for CEOs, Cohn departed drastically from his previous insistence—as recently as September—that the “wealthy are not getting a tax cut” under the Trump-GOP plan.
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