NEC Director Gary Cohn was on hand at Thursday's White House press briefing to discuss President Donald Trump's tax plan. Cohn said the presdient was "very clear" in what his goal was in terms of tax reform: create tax cuts for middle-class Americans. Cohn said that the standard family that deducts can expect a tax cut of about $1,000.
When asked whether or not eliminating state and local deductions would cause some Americans to see theit axes doubled, Cohn responded by saying, "Our plan is based on lowering rates and expanding the base,"
Cohn said that the goal was to get Americans to pay a lower tax rate, but to pay it on more of their income. However, Cohn did concede that people who itemize their taxes could not see their taxes fall. However, he pointed out that the majority of people in the nation did not itemize their taxes.
Cohn dodged a question about how the president would prove he would not benefit from his tax plan by simply re-promising that his plan was aimed at helping middle-class Americans.
Reporters present pressed Cohn on the issue, asking why he wasn't being candid about the president's interests in his tax plan. Cohn again didn't respond, instead accusing reporters of being obsessed with the death tax.
During the second half of the press briefing, White House staffer Tom Bossert spoke about efforts to aid Puerto Rico after being hit by Hurricane Maria.
Bossert said that the Jones Act hadn't been lifted because there were enough U.S. flagged vessels earlier in the aid process to transfer goods. Bossert said that now, land-based distribution of goods like food and water is the problem. According to the staffer, the mountainous interior regions of the island are where much effort was being focused.
Bossert said that he had "no doubt" that those waiting for food and water would be taken care of and their lives saved.