Mnuchin, Ivanka Trump Tout Tax Plan in New Hampshire

From left, former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu moderates a town hall style-event on April 17, 2018, featuring Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House adviser Ivanka Trump. (PAMELA BAKER, Courthouse News Service)

DERRY, N.H. (CN) – Joined by one of the president’s daughters, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin touted President Donald Trump’s new tax law Tuesday at a town hall-style discussion in New Hampshire.

Taking presubmitted questions from the invitation-only crowd of 150 people, the Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump highlighted what the administration considers the benefits of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. Former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu, the father of current Governor Chris Sununu, moderated the 30-minute discussion at the Derry Opera House.

“We don’t often come together to celebrate Tax Day,” Trump noted, adding, “you’ll like it a whole lot better next year.”

Trump, who is married to real estate scion Jared Kushner, is also a White House adviser. She went on to praise what the administration says is “the simplification of the tax code.”

Responding to a taxpayer in the audience, Secretary Mnuchin doubled down of his frequent claim that next year, filing taxes will be so easy that most Americans will be able to file on postcards – both virtually and on paper.

From left, former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu poses for a picture with White House adviser Ivanka Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a town hall style-event on April 17, 2018. (PAMELA BAKER, Courthouse News Service)

But Democrats and economists critical of the tax plan argue that it further enriches big companies and the wealthy while hurting the middle class. A handful of protesters stood in a light drizzle outside the event with signs echoing these concerns.

Inside the opera house, Trump focused on many aspects of the high cost of raising children, the child tax credit and a dependent-care credit. Secretary Mnuchin addressed small-business owners, the lowered individual tax rates and increased standard deductions. But when the time came for a question that Sununu said that they needed to be “careful” with, he gave it to Ivanka.

“I’m going to the smart one,” he joked to awkward laughter and jeers as Secretary Mnuchin grinned.

The Tax Day event marks the third visit to New Hampshire from the Trump administration in the past month. In late March, President Trump unveiled his opioid crisis plan in Manchester. Vice President Pence appeared at a fundraiser for Governor Sununu’s re-election campaign a few days later.

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