Mnuchin To Congress: Don't Do It For Me, Do It For The Stocks

The market needs you!
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Political neophyte and personal aviation aficionado Steve Mnuchin has done a lot 0f growing up recently. Just last month he was pissing off Republican legislators by clumsily relying on his irresistible personal charm to get Congress on-board with a debt ceiling extension. “Vote for the debt ceiling for me,” he was quoted saying by multiple House Republicans, whose reviews of Mnuchin's effort ranged from “incredibly poor”to “intellectually insulting.”

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But how far he's come since then! Now that the debt ceiling deadline has been firmly booted to December, the big agenda item is health care taxes. And like the loyal servant he is, Mnuchin is making the rounds talking up the Trump tax reform plan he and Gary Cohn have slaved over for so long. So on Wednesday the world was treated to the dulcet tones of Mnuchin's voice on the newly minted Politico Money podcast. He had this to say:

“There is no question that the rally in the stock market has baked into it reasonably high expectations of us getting tax cuts and tax reform done,” Mnuchin said in the interview. “To the extent we get the tax deal done, the stock market will go up higher. But there’s no question in my mind that if we don’t get it done you’re going to see a reversal of a significant amount of these gains.”

That's right, Congress: either you're down or stocks are. Don't do it for your donors, most of whom helped elect you for no other reason. Don't do it for the regular working folks' wages, which, we are told, will rise by an aggregate 300 percent of the total cut from corporate taxes. Don't do it for Mnuchin, even though he'd probably come out pretty nicely.

No – do it for the stocks.

In case you're skeptical that such a shallow appeal will really work on the Senate, Mnuchin gave his “absolute guarantee” that a major tax bill would happen this year. Though, alas:

The comments came before the president suggested on Monday that he might not, in fact, be able to sign a tax bill by year’s end. The comments came before the president suggested on Monday that he might not, in fact, be able to sign a tax bill by year’s end.

See ya in 2018.

Treasury secretary: Pass a tax bill or markets will tank [Politico]

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