The Economic Club hosted for its first event of 2018 The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury, on January 12th. Secretary Mnuchin focused on several US Treasury initiatives, including the recently authorized tax reform, the national debt and possible reform to raising the debt limit, as well as the Treasury’s focus on regulating cryptocurrencies, among other topics. He told the audience to expect "Higher growth, moderate inflation, lower unemployment” in the coming year.
Secretary Mnuchin claimed that he could not be more pleased with the outcome of the tax reform legislation, highlighting the importance of a team effort while writing the bill. “…It was very clear to us from the beginning that we needed to make sure the Treasury, the White House, the House and the Senate were on the same page,” said Secretary Mnuchin. He also stated that he believes tax reform will pay for itself and will not increase the national debt. Secretary Mnuchin also was critical of the current process for determining whether the debt limit should be increased. “I won’t go so far as saying we shouldn’t have a debt limit,” he said, “but I do believe that when money is authorized to be spent, there should be some mechanism that the debt limit is also raised to pay for it." Secretary Mnuchin also highlighted the Treasury Department’s recent focus on cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. He noted two major concerns he sees with cryptocurrencies – making sure that “bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things,” and consumers possibly getting hurt without fully understanding the risks.
Finally, Secretary Mnuchin said that being in his current position is the most interesting thing he has ever done, as he is able to be involved with domestic and international finance, as well as managing sanction programs and serving on the National Security Council. “…The thing that’s great about this job is it touches on so many different aspects of the government,” he said.
To view additional highlights and excerpts from the event, please click here.
View news coverage of the event featuring Secretary Mnuchin here.