Gary Cohn

      MONEY_MAN_BIG_WALL_final resize.jpg
      Money Man

      The next big initiative for the Trump administration is tax reform. After the failure to rollback Obamacare, they need a win. This week I sat down with one of the key architects of tax reform, Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council and the chief economic advisor to President Trump.

      Sharyl Attkisson: Where do we stand on tax reform or tax relief as of today?

      Gary Cohn: So look Tax reform tax relief are very important to the president. I think he's made it abundantly clear that his number one priority from a legislative standpoint for 2017 is to get tax reform and tax relief completed. He continues to work on it day in and day out. He's putting enormous pressure on us here in the administration, but he's also putting enormous pressure on Congress to make sure that we get tax reform and tax relief done this year. And that's what we're going to do.

      Sharyl Attkisson: The Republican Congress hasn't really gotten behind much of President Trump's agenda. Does it change with tax reform and tax relief or does he count on bringing more Democrats to get this done?

      Gary Cohn: The president is committed to tax reform and tax relief. We'd love to do a bipartisan tax reform and tax relief bill. If we can do that, that would be great. And the president has been working on that. Yesterday I was with the president and we had a bipartisan congressional meeting here with congressional both Democrats and Republicans. We had dinner with the with Nancy Pelosi and Senator Schumer last night talking about taxes. And if we can get them to come along with us on a tax plan that makes sense, we'd love to(have that)happen. If we need to go alone and we need to do with all Republicans, the President's willing to do that. He's totally committed to give middle income tax relief to Americans and to bring jobs back to America by lowering the business tax rate.

      Sharyl Attkisson: I know a lot of this is subject to negotiations. But the president said his priority is helping the middle class and he has even said that the wealthiest top group will not get any new benefits. What is significant benefit or what would be the help you envision the middle class receiving?

      Gary Cohn: We need to allow our middle class earners the backbone of the United States to keep more of their income. We don't need them to go to work 40, 60, 80 hours a week and send their money to government. We need them to keep their money and spend it in the economy.

      Sharyl Attkisson : What is the right now for middle class?

      Gary Cohn: It depends what you define middle class is which is always an interesting discussion topic. Where you define having you define it.

      Sharyl Attkisson: How do you define it?

      Gary Cohn: It's a broad target group. When you look at middle class income today,and median income in the United States, it is around, it's in the high $50000. Is the median income in the United States today.

      Sharyl Attkisson : For a family?

      Gary Cohn: Yes, a family.

      Sharyl Attkisson: And so what kind of relief can they look toward getting in terms of maybe a percentage.

      Gary Cohn: Yeah I'm not going to comment on percentage here. We are committed to give them relief, relief where they will see when they get their first paycheck in January of 2018 that they will have more disposable income in their hand.

      Sharyl Attkisson: You think that's going to happen?

      Gary Cohn: I am highly confident that we are going to get a tax bill done.

      Sharyl Attkisson: CNBC recently called you the most important man in Washington and on Wall Street. And some said if you quit, it would crash the markets. What do you think of that?

      Gary Cohn: I think that's what CNBC said.

      Sharyl Attkisson: Do you have any intentions of leaving?

      Gary Cohn: I think that's what CNBC said.

      Sharyl Attkisson: Is that yes or no or we don't know?

      Gary Cohn: We don't know.

      Sharyl Attkisson: OK.

      Gary Cohn: Let's put it this way, I am extremely happy doing what I'm doing. Think about the opportunity I have today think about what I'm working on right now. Tax reform hasn't been done for 31 years to be in the front row front center of the opportunity to work on something has been done in 31 years where you think you can dynamically change the forward trajectory of the United States economy by bringing businesses back to America, by changing the business rate where we become competitive with the rest of the world where we put Americans back to work, where we create an environment where companies compete for labor and they compete for labor by paying higher wages and we create wage growth something we haven't had for decades in this country. That's an unbelievable opportunity that is hard to believe with I'm sitting here in that seat.

      Sharyl Attkisson: You're a Democrat right.

      Gary Cohn: I am.

      Sharyl Attkisson: Do you consider it your job to sway President Trump some toward your way of thinking about things where it differs? Or does he sway you to implement what he thinks ought to be done.

      Gary Cohn: I think my job is to deliver facts to the president and allow him to make his decisions with the best facts available.