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In an interview on FOX Business Network's (FBN) Countdown to the Closing Bell (weekdays 3p-4p/ET), former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew discussed the latest surrounding tax reform, lowering the corporate tax rate, and the carried interest loophole with anchor Liz Claman. Lew tells Claman, 'the idea that the [tax] system already is very generous to the wealthy than it is to others is something that's very real and 'I hope [President Trump] means what he said about taxes for the rich not going down.'
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On his thoughts on President Trump's remarks today saying that there will likely be no tax cut for the rich:
'I think the idea that the way to lower rates is to make sure that you pay for it is right. I didn't quite hear him say that. That is to me one of the core principle, it has to be paid for with revenue. The idea that the system already is very generous to the wealthy than it is to others is something that's very real and that I hope [President Trump] means what he said about taxes for the rich not going down.'
On lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent:
'The idea of cutting the business corporate tax rate, stature rate is something I very much support. I worked very hard on trying to get it done. The way to do that is to close loopholes and pay for it. Getting to 15 percent is very, very hard – it's very expensive. When we were purposing business tax reform, we came to 28 percent because that was what we saw that we could pay for. Getting to 28 percent costs about a trillion dollars. Getting to 15 percent costs much more than that.'
On FBN's Charlie Gasparino's report that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is suggesting that he will only be getting rid of the carried interest tax loophole for hedge funds and not private equity firms:
'When I was Secretary we were proposing to eliminate it and we obviously didn't succeed. So I think getting rid of carried interest would be good tax policy. I think technically Charlie [Gasparino] is correct but you have to hold something long enough in order to qualify for carried interest and a lot of hedge funds don't so they're not the principle target. I actually think the issue is not just carried interest -- it is the broad structure of our tax code, which has really been quite lopsided for many years. There is discussion now about relaxing the estate tax. The estate tax only hits the very largest estates in this country and $11 million for a couple.'