- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday that his concern for the deficit is what drives him to pass tax reform.

“You will never balance the budget in this country again at 1.8 percent or less growth. It’s just not going to happen. We have an appetite in this country for a certain level of government, and it’s been clear to me now that we’re not going to fix that through spending alone,” Mr. Mulvaney said on Fox News.

“We can fix that through slowing the rate of government, but growing the size of the economy,” he added.

Mr. Mulvaney has been criticized for the tax reform plan, which analysts say will add to the current deficit. During his time as a congressman, Mr. Mulvaney was a known deficit hawk who tried to cut $2.5 trillion from the federal spending over the course of 10 years shortly after he took office in 2011.

But Mr. Mulvaney said the Republican tax plan will stimulate the growth needed to support the size of government that Americans have come to expect, along with slowing government’s growth rate.

He said that to accomplish tax reform this year, Republicans need to stay on schedule and try to pass a budget by this Friday, which allows them to pass tax reform by a 50-vote majority instead of a 60-vote threshold.

Some Republicans, such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have said they need a few details hammered out before they can support the proposal, but Mr. Mulvaney said he has spoken with Mr. Paul and feels he and those like him will come around.

“This is part of the ordinary course of business in passing a piece of legislation. You sit down with Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate and hammer out these types of details,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

He also added that some details, such as the tax brackets, are not set. Mr. Mulvaney said he’d like to see Congress hold hearings soon to discuss the “mathematics” of various options and see what is the most reasonable percentage to set each bracket.

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