HighTower Broker Hosted Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump, Didn’t Like What He Heard
The same broker who in August urged President Trump to pardon junk bond impresario Michael Milken played host this week to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Ivanka Trump.
David Bahnsen, a Newport Beach, Calif., broker with HighTower Advisors, posted pictures of himself with the political celebrities on his LinkedIn page.
Mnuchin and the First Daughter were in southern California to pitch the new tax plan passed by House Republicans last week, according to Bahnsen. About 65 people, including some of his clients, crowded into his quarters on Monday for one of the presentations.
“It was a Treasury Department/White House event—they just asked me if they could use our office,” Bahnsen wrote in a text. “I have been in heavy communication with the [White House] about tax reform.”
Bahnsen said he did not contribute to the Trump campaign, although he has been a frequent republican donor. He declined to comment on whether he heard back from the Trump administration regarding his August letter requesting a pardon for Milken.
On the other hand, the former Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial Services broker has been frank about his disappointment in what he heard.
In an assessment of the event published in the conservative National Review, he wrote that he left with diminished hopes for tax reform because “no one is willing to cut spending and the current plan would raise taxes on many individuals.”
Mnuchin, who took no questions from the audience, said the proposed legislation will lower taxes for anyone making less than $300,000 but that the bill wasn’t designed for people with over $1 million of income, who in some states would see their taxes rise, according to Bahnsen.
“[T]here is a big gap between $300,000 and $1 million, and the sleight of hand between those two sentences should not be missed by hundreds of thousands of hard-working American doctors, dentists, business owners, programmers, accountants, and more,” Bahnsen wrote. “[I]t would be news to them that they are not paying their fair share.”
The broker, who manages around $1.1 billion in client assets, opined that Republicans have twisted themselves into a knot because of the President’s determination to keep Social Security and other “entitlement” reforms off limits while insisting on corporate tax reductions. Those forces create a yawning deficit and have created a messy combination of tax cuts and hikes for individuals, he wrote.
It also leads to a core repudiation of conservative Republican principles.
“The tax cuts were not designed for you’ and ‘you will see your taxes go higher’ are two sentences that need not go together,” Bahnsen wrote.