Dave Camp is by all accounts a wonderful guy. But he has orchestrated another pratfall for the Beltway GOP, another display of loser-thinking, elite favor-currying, and desperately bad politics eight months before crucial elections. And he has done so when even party leaders have said his grand plan has zero chance of succeeding. No one is even sure what is in the proposal because Representative Camp is attempting to bend public opinion by talking about what is in it before we get to see what it is in it, just like Obamacare.
This has become a habit of the D.C. GOP. Again and again some sect of the D.C. GOP develops a sweeping policy proposal –in secret– unveils it to great expectations and the nods of Beltway elites, and then are shocked to find their base voters are adamantly opposed. Again and again the chief sponsors of legislation refuse to listen to anyone not already inside their circles, and every time big Beltway interests distort the desires of party regulars. Again and again, shocked D.C. elites who were expecting acclaim get hit with a tidal wave of disdain.
Every time the chief sponsors refuse to talk to the base via talk radio, key cable shows, or social media. Every time they refuse to answer tough questions and engage the base in conversations before they unveil the New Coke. And every time they pull a dead rabbit out of their hats and are shocked when talk radio and cable news audiences are appalled and angry and erupt on Twitter or other forums.
This session of Congress this sequence has already happened with immigration reform and with the repeal of the COLA for career military. Now it will happen again with Dave Camp’s “tax reform” proposal, which of course will slash deductions held dear by base GOP voters in “exchange” for cuts in the corporate rate, capital gains and dividends rates. Such cuts matter to the wealthiest of Americans and to large business interests. They matter little if at all to homeowners, donors to churches, para-church organizations and schools, residents of high tax states, and the rising upper class –those with large salaries but few assets– get hammered under Camp’s third bracket, which he attempts to deny exists by labeling it a “surcharge” and not a bracket, thus combining deceitful packaging with a new and sure-to-be-abused avenue for future tax-hikers.