Trump Cabinet Picks CNBC Interview Notes 11.30.16

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Steve Mnuchin

Tax cuts are #1 priority

” This will be the largest tax change since Reagan. We’ve talked about this during the campaign. Wilbur and I have worked very closely together on the campaign. We’re going to cut corporate taxes, which will bring huge amounts of jobs back to the United States…We’re going to get to 15 percent and bring a lot of cash back into the U.S.”

Middle income tax cut promised

“we think by cutting corporate taxes we’ll create huge economic growth. And we’ll have huge personal income. So, the revenues will be offset on the other side. We’ll have a big middle income tax cut. That’s another big part of this in simplifying taxes. Taxes are way too complicated and people spend way too much time worrying about ways to get them lower.”

Offsetting tax cuts with reductions in deductions

“Any reductions we have in upper income taxes will be offset by less deductions. … There will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class. There will be a big tax cut for the middle class, but any tax cuts we have for the upper class will be offset by less deductions that pay for it.”

Open communication with business leaders

” First thing I would say is it starts with an attitude. Of this administration, this president, this vice president-elect is going to have open communications with business leaders. You can see this started because the president-elect called up the CEO of United Technologies and said it’s important to keep jobs here. And Wilbur and I will continue that. And again as he said, this is a great first win without us even having to take the job.”

Want to encourage banks to lend

” So, as we look at Dodd-Frank, the number one problem with Dodd-Frank is it’s way too complicated and cuts back lending. So we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending. And that will be the number one priority on the regulatory side.”

We’re going to look at what to do with the Volcker rule

“the number one problem with the Volcker Rule is it’s too complicated and people don’t know how to interpret it. So we’re going to look at what to do with it, as we are with all of Dodd-Frank. The number one priority is going to be make sure that banks lend.”

Interest rates are going to stay low for the next couple of years

“I think interest rates are going to stay relatively low for the next couple of years. We’re in a period time of low interest rates. I think we’ll stay there. And interest rates have come up a little bit, which I think makes sense. I think we’re going to be looking at the Treasury all different types of opportunities. We will look at potentially extending the maturity of the debt because eventually we are going to have higher interest rates, and that is something this country is going to need to deal with.”

Thoughts on Yellen:

“You know, look. I think she’s done a good job at the Fed…I’m not going to comment on whether she should or she shouldn’t [serve out her term]…But I will say we do have two [Fed] governor spots to fill, and that will be high on the priority list.”

Wilbur Ross

Mexico not just about lower costs, also have better trade deals

“Believe it or not, Mexico has better treaties with the rest of the world than the United States does. We’re going to fix that…On a typical car, they save twice as much on tariffs going into Europe out of Mexico as they do going into Mexico to save labor.”

Tariffs are the last thing

“Everybody talks about tariffs as the first thing. Tariffs are the last thing. Tariffs are part of the negotiation. The real trick is going to be increase American exports. Get rid of some of the tariff and non-tariff barriers to American exports.”

It’s just not true that corporate tax cuts will only go to dividends

” That’s just not true. And it’s also not true that all jobs are created equal. A guy who used to work in a steel mill now flipping hamburgers, he knows it’s not the same. So it’s the quality of jobs as well as the quantity, and one of the problems with the recovery is when the newly created jobs are not nearly as remunerative as were the jobs that were lost. That’s a very big structural problem.”