President Donald Trump sat down on May 4 for an interview with The Economist.
DONALD TRUMP, the President of the United States, along with Steve Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, and Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, sat down for a conversation with editors from The Economist on May 4th, 2017. What follows is a lightly edited transcript.
… we’re bringing our taxes down so low that you won’t even need the barrier because the taxes are so low, that people are going to stay.Read the whole thing…
… We’re letting that money come back in. And that has two barriers which you have to watch. It’s got a barrier of the tax, which we will take care of. We’re going to make it 10%. Now it’s 35%...
Sorry, 10%? The repatriation taxes?
The repatriation. Inversion. The corporate inversions, which is a disaster, with the companies leaving. But they want to bring back their money. Number one, the tax is too high but the other thing that’s too high is the bureaucracy.
Mr Mnuchin: Correct.
President Trump: I have a friend who said even if you wanted to bring it back in you can’t because you have to go through so many papers, so many documents, so many…
Mr Mnuchin: We’re going to make it simple
President Trump: You have to do…Steve, they told me you’ve got to sign books and books of stuff, you pay millions of dollars in legal fees and they almost don’t allow you to bring it back in.
Can I ask you a question about the politics of tax?
It should be like one page.
Can I ask you about the focus of the tax cut because you’ve spoken about a massive tax cut for ordinary workers…
Right, this would be the biggest tax cut in the history of the country.
But the biggest winners from this tax cut, right now, look as though they will be the very wealthiest Americans.
Well, I don’t believe that. Because they’re losing all of their deductions, I can tell you.
But something like eliminating the estate tax.
I get more deductions, I mean I can tell you this, I get more deductions, they have deductions for birds flying across America, they have deductions for everything. There are more deductions…now you’re going to get an interest deduction, and a charitable deduction. But we’re not going to have all this nonsense that they have right now that complicates things and makes it…you know when we put out that one page, I said, we should really put out a, you know, a big thing, and then I looked at the one page, honestly it’s pretty well covered. Hard to believe.
Will you keep interest deduction in the corporate tax? Will corporate interest payments…Do you want to answer?
Mr Mnuchin: We’re contemplating it. We’re contemplating it.
So what would your preference be Mr President? You know about that very well.
… we’re contemplating various things, but one of the things that’s very important is simplicity. We want to keep it as simple as possible. Because even if you do, it’s complicated. I mean even if you keep it simple with taxes it gets complicated.
… But we’re going to be getting a lot of companies moving back and we’re going to get very few companies leaving the United States because we went from the highest tax rate of…not only major, you know they always say major countries, just about the highest tax rate period. And then when you add all the other things. And then when you add the regulations to the tax…I’ve had people tell me, because I’ve cut massive regulations and we’ve just started, believe me. But we’ve cut regulations massively.