Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says the Trump administration is 'committed to get tax reform done' by August

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin laid out the timeline for tax reform and predicted that the US economy would see a serious growth boom in an interview Thursday morning.

Speaking with CNBC's Becky Quick, Mnuchin said that the administration is considering a number of tax-related proposals but hopes to have the plan in place by the end of the summer.

"Our economic agenda, the number one issue is growth and the first, most important issue that will impact growth is a tax plan," said Mnuchin.

"So we are committed to passing tax reform, it will be very significant, it's going to be focused on middle-income tax cuts, simplification, and making the business tax competitive with the rest of the world... That's really our focus, we want to get this done by the August recess."

Mnuchin said that the administration is working on a "combined plan" with the House and Senate.

The 10 Biggest Things Your Income Taxes Pay For
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The 10 Biggest Things Your Income Taxes Pay For
Nearly 25 percent of all income taxes go to pay for defense. Of that amount, salaries and benefits for members of the armed services make up roughly a quarter, while most of the remainder goes toward equipment and supplies as well as weapons, construction, and research and development.
About 22.5 percent of income tax revenue goes toward health care programs. The two big expenditures are for Medicare and Medicaid, but additional amounts go toward health research, food safety, and public health services and disease control. These amounts don't include the dedicated Medicare taxes that workers have withheld from their pay.
The government spends roughly 17 percent of income tax revenue on various programs that provide money for those in need, including retirement benefits for federal employees, food and nutritional assistance, and Supplemental Security Income. The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are also funded from income tax revenue.
The national debt incurs a substantial amount of interest each year. Even at current low interest rates, about 8 percent of your income tax dollars go toward paying interest costs annually.
About 4.5 percent of spending goes to pay for various benefits for veterans. Income and housing support represent not quite half of the spending in this category, with health-care expenditures nearly as high. The remainder goes for education, training, and other benefits for former military personnel.
The majority of the 3.3 percent of income tax revenue spent on education and job training goes toward funding education through the high-school level. College financial aid, along with employment training for those with disabilities and more general job training and employment services for the broader public, take up the remainder.
Just over 2 percent of income tax revenue goes to support the nation's immigration and law enforcement programs. These expenses help fund the nation's court system, as well as federal law enforcement agencies and the federal service that implements U.S. immigration policy.
About 2 percent of revenue from income taxes is spent on various expenses related to the natural resources of the nation. About a third of that money goes toward water and land management, with the remainder funding environmental protection initiatives as well as management of the nation's energy assets and conservation efforts.
Money going toward international initiatives makes up about 1.7 percent of total income tax revenue. About half of that amount is spent on humanitarian and economic-development assistance, while the remainder is split among the costs of maintaining embassies and diplomatic missions, and providing security assistance overseas.
Just over 1 percent of income taxes go toward science-related programs. More than half of that amount goes to NASA, but additional recipients include the National Science Foundation as well as various national laboratories and other research facilities.

Quick asked whether the tax plan would include the controversial border adjustment tax, which some House Republicans say will make the US more trade competitive but has been derided by retailers and some GOP Senators. Mnuchin said there are "some concerns" with the border adjustment tax, but it also has "interesting aspects."

In his first interview with CNBC in January, Mnuchin noted that any tax cut for the wealthy in Trump's tax plans would be offset by the closing of deductions for high-income earnings. The Treasury secretary stood by those comments on Thursday.

"As I said before, we're primarily focused on a middle-income tax cut and simplification for business," said Mnuchin. "What we are focused on, on the high end, if there are tax cuts that they are offset with reductions of deductions and other things."

Trump previously said in a meeting on February 9 with airline CEOs that the administration was going to release something "phenomenal in terms of tax" over the "next two or three weeks." While a plan may come out in that timeframe, it appears the administration does not expect its passage until the end of the summer.

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