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Is Mnuchin a fool or a knave?

By Robert B. Reich, Tribune Content Agency on

Even the Joint Committee on Taxation, the House and Senate's official scorekeeper on tax issues, finds that the Senate's version of the bill would increase taxes on all income groups making under $75,000 per year.

By 2027, it would give its biggest tax breaks to those making $1 million or more. The House bill would be even more generous to millionaires and billionaires.

Mnuchin's response? He has none. He just keeps repeating the same lie.

Mnuchin also maintains that the Senate and House tax plans won't cause the federal deficit to rise. "This isn't about the deficit," he said recently. "We'll create economic growth to pay down the deficit."

But even the Tax Foundation -- a major proponent of the corporate tax cuts -- estimates the House bill will cause a $1.08 trillion revenue loss over 10 years, and the Senate bill a $516 billion loss.

Assuming Mnuchin isn't a fool, he's a knave. He intends to deceive the public.

 

By doing so he has abandoned his duty to the American people inherent in the oath of office taken by every Cabinet official, in favor of advancing the goals of his boss and other Republicans in Washington who are desperate to pass their tax bill.

He has also sacrificed his credibility and integrity.

Why? Because he's secretary of the treasury in an administration that has no integrity. Merely by joining Trump, he made a Faustian bargain and lost whatever integrity he might have had.

Recall that after Trump equated white supremacists with protesters in Charlottesville, and several hundred of Mnuchin's Yale classmates urged him to resign in protest, Mnuchin found it "hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president."

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