When the Trump administration released a one-page outline of its tax reform goals earlier this year, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin touted the proposal as the "biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The plan would move from seven income tax brackets to just three, capping the highest at a 35 percent tax.
Chief strategist Stephen Bannon may have other ideas, Axios reports: He wants to raise taxes on America's highest earners. Bannon reportedly told other White House staff he wants the top income tax bracket to "have a four in front of it," which would mean raising that tax rate to something in the 40s, a hike from the current rate of 39.6 percent for individuals making $418,400 or more and couples making $470,700 or more.
Bannon's proposal — and his populism more broadly — puts him at odds with President Trump's expansive tax cut promises, as well as with most of his colleagues tasked with crafting the administration's full tax reform proposal. However, polling suggests raising taxes on the rich could prove popular among a majority of Americans, offering a tempting shot a public approval for an administration with record-low popularity.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the Axios scoop.