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Misplaced Anger and Hope About Tax Reform

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The New York Post columnist John Crudele shared his reasons why the tax reform package, just passed and signed into law by the President, remains so unpopular. For perspective, he references the popularity of the previous tax cuts by Reagan, Bush, and their extensions under Obama.

And yet, they enjoy a mere 32% approval rating, while widespread disapproval still lingers. Why the misplaced anger about Trump’s tax reform package?  For the record, Crudele opposed the cuts because of deficits and national debt. That argument doesn’t concern me. Larry Kudlow concluded that the cuts will spur economic growth and tax revenue and cover the deficit.

But why the misplaced anger from the public? Crudele argues that the polling may be wrong. That’s possible. Clinton’s high favorable did not favor her on Election Day. CNN’s polling about the 2018 Elections oversampled Democrats. Gallup just listed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as the most admired people in America—again. Has the polling on tax reform targeted a specific state, or were the respondents selected throughout the country? 

What about the Democrats’ class warfare argument: “The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting the shaft!” This narrative is working—somewhat, even though liberal think-tanks and the mainstream media have grudgingly affirmed that 80% of Americans will get a tax cut. A large number of wealthy people will benefit, too, but that's because "the rich" are paying most of the taxes to begin with. Wealthy people own corporations, and they will benefit from a lower corporate tax rate.  There’s one more reason for such low polling on tax reform: corporations are giving bonuses to their workers. Such generosity does not fit the Bernie Sanders’ “greedy corporations” narrative.

What about the Anti-Trump animus in the media? That makes more sense, considering that Obama has gotten away with taking credit for the strong economy, albeit for very little. The media had a quiet disdain for Reagan, and they benignly mocked George W. Bush. The press’ relentless vitriol is still having an effect.

Crudele offers another interesting insight, which makes sense: cynicism: “Maybe we’ve gotten to the point where nothing that Washington does is right.” Everything in and around Washington DC is polling badly. They didn’t get anything substantially good done for American workers during the Obama Administration, and the electorate is still jaded.

David Harsanyi of The National Review reported the same global dissatisfaction with politicians in general and its correlation with tax reform’s unpopoularity.

However, Harsani pivoted to chiding the Democrats’ misplaced hopes for victory in 2018 by campaigning against the Tax Reform law it will lead to victory in 2018. Democrats think they can attack the bill the same way Republicans campaigned against Obamacare in 2010. Harsanyi wisely comments: “However — apologies to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — they can be somewhat content knowing that voters will probably like it once they find out what’s in it.”  Democrats advertised Obamacare with hollow promises. Voters lost their health insurance, money, and faith in Democrats. Voters will like the Republican tax cuts. Do Democrats think that attacking take-homes savings will help them? Their elitist, self-defeating arrogance stands out again. Liberals scoff at saving $2,000, but that's big money for family budgets ravaged by eight years of Obamanomics.

Harsanyi also calls out the militant negative bias in the press, which directly targets President Trump and everything he accomplishes, while the press fawned over Obama and promoted Obamacare up to its passage in March 2010. However, unlike the Democratic House majority in 2010, Republicans did not hide the contents of their tax reform package. Another strike against Democrats’ anti-tax cut strategy.  

Unlike Crudele, Harsanyi brings up the repeal of the individual mandate, which “gives millions a choice”, while Democrats’ signature legislation took their choices away. Republicans also increased the child income tax credit, something good for a targeted voter demographic: single mothers. U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) pointed out this particular part of tax reform upon passage.

Democratic hopes for the mid-term elections are misplaced on attacking tax reform. Voters will find little to hate about Republicans’ signature achievement in 2017. Small businesses and major corporate firms are already relocating and investing in the United States, creating jobs and opportunity. The Democrats already lied to stay in power in 2010, even while healthcare died under Obamacare’s massive, justified unpopularity with American voters. In 2018, their latest litany of lying about the tax reform package will doom their chances of retaking the House in Election 2018.

Granted, the Republican majority will likely lose seats. They lost seats last year, and there is enough Indivisible/La Raza/Progressive PAC hustle in Democratic-leaning House seats with Republicans representing them in swing states. But remember that Democrats underperformed in 2016, failing to take back the House, and even then Trump had high unfavorables. Those bad polling numbers didn’t hurt enough Republicans to benefit Democratic challengers.

Despite the multi-pronged onslaught against the Republican legislative victory, the relentlessly negative press had to admit that their tax reform will benefit all Americans, not just "the rich". No one should be surprised, though. The income tax rates were lowered for many taxpayers. Even high tax states—whose residents depended on the SALT deductions—will not see an increase in taxes. McConnell and Co.'s decision to add repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate likely sweetened the deal for many wayward Republicans facing tough headwinds going into Election 2018. It also made the whole package better for the American people, striking another blow at the Democrats’ failed legacy with their legislative “achievement” under the Obama Administration.

Sadly, the corrupt media’s influence is still pervasive and persuasive enough to cast a negative light on a signature achievement. Following the success of the tax cuts, the misplaced anger will soon abate. As for the Democrats, their misplaced hope in retaking Congress on American prosperity will blow up in their faces next November.

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