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Treasury's Mnuchin sidesteps promise that the Trump tax plan won't be a budget buster

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin did not commit Thursday when asked if he could promise President Donald Trump's tax plan will not bust the federal deficit.

In an interview Thursday on NBC's "TODAY," Mnuchin was asked if he could assure Americans that the White House's massive tax cut proposal will be "revenue neutral and deficit neutral." That means it would not change the amount of revenue the government takes in or change the federal budget deficit.

Here's the exchange with host Matt Lauer:

Lauer: Would you be willing to raise your right hand and look at the American people and say, I, Steven Mnuchin, promise you that this will be revenue neutral and deficit neutral?

Mnuchin: Again, our objective, Matt, is to pay for this with economic growth. So right now, we're working with the House and the Senate. This is now about taking the president's principles and turning them into a bill that we can get passed and the president can sign this year so we can create economic growth. And we're going to work closely with Congress to get this done. So Matt, yes, our principles are we want to pay for this with economic growth and with reducing lots and lots of special-interest deductions.

Most independent analyses of Trump's campaign tax plan said it would balloon the budget deficit over time even after higher tax revenue from greater economic growth is factored in.