Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

In acknowledging that the GOP's tax proposals would be a boon for CEOs, Cohn departed drastically from his previous insistence—as recently as September—that the "wealthy are not getting a tax cut" under the Trump-GOP plan. (Photo: CNBC/Screengrab)

Big CEOs Are 'Most Excited' About Trump-GOP Tax Cuts, Brags Gary Cohn

"He's right—this plan is great for big CEOs!"

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser and former Goldman Sachs banker Gary Cohn dealt yet another blow to Republicans' claim that their tax plan will primarily benefit middle class Americans on Thursday, telling CNBC's John Harwood in an interview that the Americans who are "most excited" about the GOP's push for massive tax cuts are actually "big CEOs"—a reversal from his claim just weeks ago that the wealthy "are not getting a tax cut under our plan."

"The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan. They all tell me how excited they are to get a tax plan that makes the United States competitive, makes it so they can grow their business domestically," Cohn declared, prompting many to wonder whether he was actually "supposed to say that."

Watch:

Cohn went on to claim against all evidence that "trickle-down economics" is "good for the economy" and repeat the familiar line that the Trump administration and the GOP did not "set out to create a tax cut for the wealthy," implying that any tax cuts for the rich would be purely incidental.

However, "if someone's getting a tax cut, I'm not upset that they're getting a tax cut. I'm really not upset," Cohn added.

Cohn's comments to CNBC came just as Senate Republicans are preparing to release their own tax bill, which is expected to resemble the House version in offering massive tax cuts to the rich and massive corporations.

In acknowledging that the GOP's tax proposals would be a boon for CEOs, Cohn departed drastically from his previous insistence—as recently as September—that the "wealthy are not getting a tax cut" under the Trump-GOP plan.

Watch:

But as Vox's Matt Yglesias notes, Cohn's latest remarks are far more accurate.

"He's right—this plan is great for big CEOs!" Yglesias writes, noting that the GOP bill:

  • "Reduces the corporate income tax rate," which ultimately has the effect of boosting share prices and, as a result, CEO pay;
  • Eliminates the estate tax, which "helps you if you manage to amass an $11 million fortune, which big CEOs tend to do but family farmers don't"; and
  • "Lets companies take cash that's been stashed tax-free in foreign subsidiaries and use it for dividends or buybacks that also boost share prices."

While Cohn may be correct in saying that CEOs are excited about Republicans' aggressive tax cut push, he would be wrong to think that middle class Americans share this excitement, according to recent polls.

As Common Dreams reported last week, only 13 percent of Americans believe the GOP tax plan will benefit the middle class, while 60 percent believe the plan will "mainly favor" the rich.

Numerous expert analyses published in recent days appear to validate the public's view.

According to a New York Times analysis published Monday, 45 percent of middle class families would actually face a tax hike within a decade if the GOP plan becomes law. Meanwhile, benefits for the richest Americans would continue to grow over time.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Nebraska Abortion Ban 3 Votes Short Shows Why Midterms ‘Matter So Damn Much'

"Poll after poll has shown that a majority of Nebraskans support abortion rights," said the state's Democratic Party chair. "But there are radical Republican senators that will keep trying to erode reproductive rights."

Julia Conley ·


'A Lot Better Than Build Back Better': Big Business Relieved as Dems Go Light on Tax Hikes

One progressive tax expert said the Inflation Reduction Act "cannot be the final chapter in the fight against profit-shifting and offshoring practices by large corporations."

Jake Johnson ·


'What Happens When You Warm a Planet': Massive Flooding Kills At Least 8 in Seoul

"Two months' worth of rain in half a day. We are in a climate emergency," wrote meteorologist Eric Holthaus.

Jake Johnson ·


Trump Says Mar-a-Lago 'Under Siege, Raided, and Occupied' by FBI

"The accountability our democracy desperately needs for its survival might, just might, be a real possibility," said the head of a watchdog group.

Common Dreams staff ·


New Ad Against Herschel Walker Features Ex-Wife's Domestic Violence Accusations

A leader at the anti-Trump group behind the advertisement targeting the U.S. Senate candidate said that "our campaign is built around the voices of Georgia Republicans who know that he's unfit for office."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo