Steve Mnuchin signals higher taxes for hedge funds

President Trump

Backdating is something we're considering "and it would be a big boon for the economy", Mnuchin said at CNBC's Delivering Alpha conference in NY.

"I don't know if we will be able to achieve that, given the budget issues", Mnuchin said referring to the goal of reaching an 15 percent tax rate. "But we're going to get this down to a very competitive level", Mnuchin said.

"Our goal is to get in the mid-to-low 20s, and we think that that's an achievable goal", he said. But if Republicans want to pass a tax bill through reconciliation to prevent a Democratic filibuster, the legislation can't add to the deficit outside the budget window. They also said the deal gives leverage to Democrats in future talks over the borrowing limit and tax reforms.

"The president is absolutely a Republican", said Mnuchin, pointing out that he's one as well.

Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn are scheduled to meet with congressional leaders later Tuesday to discuss the Republican tax cut plan.

Mnuchin said that Republicans plan to eliminate the state and local tax deduction, so there won't be a tax cut for people in high-tax states such as NY and California.

Mnuchin, who had insisted earlier on Tuesday that tax overhaul would be a certainty before year's end, told CNBC that backdating was "something we are considering and it would be a big boon for the economy".

Mnuchin said the administration is sticking by another Trump priority: eliminating the favorable tax treatment for hedge fund managers.

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