This morning we critiqued Paul Ryan for succumbing to a leftist pile-on by pulling down a tweet that highlighted a quote from a public school secretary in Pennsylvania who was delighted to discover a very small tax break she received under the GOP's recently-passed overhaul. In attempting to cast Ryan as out-of-touch, his critics were revealing themselves as the true elitists by denigrating a working woman's lived experience. Ryan wasn't "boasting" about her $1.50-per-week pay raise; she was. I suppose conservatives can debate whether it was a wise move to showcase that particular example in the first, when there are larger dollar figures helping families all across the country (I happen to believe it was a useful story to share) -- but every single time Democrats choose to pooh-pooh tax reform's tangible benefits to real people as inconsequential or small potatoes, the GOP should be prepared to aggressively counterattack.
In the original Associated Press story that started all of this, a worker from Florida is quoted as saying that the extra $200 in his paycheck was a welcome sight: "I have heard time and again that the middle class is getting 'crumbs,' but I'll take it!" he said. He's not alone. Democrats' startlingly bad talking point is paternalistic snobbery, and their targets can feel it. Here's a local news report out of an ABC affiliate in Louisiana:
If you recently noticed a sudden jump in your paycheck it's most likely not a mistake. Some companies are giving employees bonuses or pay raises in the wake of Congress passing President Trump's tax reform bill. The tax plan itself is leaving more take-home pay in your paycheck too. "Basically it's a one to two percent raise that they didn't have to pay anything for," says accountant, Kyle George. "It's bigger than crumbs like the politicians were saying... It's bigger than crumbs," says Mark Guilbeau of Lafayette. And they're already making plans for what to do with it. "I plan to pay down some credit card debt," says Guilbeau... Experts say no worker should be impacted negatively.
And here's a single mother of two from Ohio who is thanking President Trump for her pay raise and pushing back against the "crumbs" chorus, via Cleveland's CBS station:
“My name is Jessica Melendez and I work for Jergens Inc. in Cleveland Ohio,” were the first words Melendez spoke as she addressed the President of the United States on Wednesday afternoon in the Oval Office. It is not every day you step into the Oval Office, but that's where Melendez found herself along with five other working Americans discussing President Trump’s tax cuts and how those cuts would help their families. Melendez, a single mom with two kids told the president that she, along with everyone in the company, is going to get what she called a double raise. Jergens, she told President Trump, will also use the tax cut to reinvest in the company, and she sees that as a sign that the company is in good financial health...Melendez disagrees with critics who say the tax cuts amount to crumbs for working Americans. “I live and work for my children and every dollar helps,” she said. “Now I can plan on going on vacation in the summertime and the kids have to go to college."
None of the people touting their tax cuts in these stories are wealthy. They're working people trying to pay their bills and provide for their families. "Every dollar helps" is a sentiment that may not compute with privileged people in the faraway capital, but it's simple common sense for most Americans. Republicans should be begging Democrats to maintain their insulting and counter-productive strategy of degrading the modest pay increases and bonuses everyday people are experiencing -- especially since many of these people were expecting nothing at all, thanks to the last batch of self-defeating liberal attack lines. With each contemptuous eye roll, Pelosi et al are digging themselves a deeper hole with some of the very working Americans they purport to represent. The GOP should treat this self-destructive impulse as the sort of shovel-ready job they can fully endorse. Meanwhile, we're learning of additional meteor strikes inflicted by the evil corporate tax cuts, including lower energy costs for consumers in Massachusetts, whose entire Congressional delegation voted against the new law, and Arizona (note the final bolded sentence that cuts against the 'government coercion' counter-narrative, as do these examples):
The Department of Public Utilities on Friday instructed the utilities to account for any revenues associated with the difference between the previous and current federal corporate tax rates. The agency also ordered the utilities to submit by May 1 their proposals to lower their rates to incorporate the reduction in the federal corporate tax rate. Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey called the DPU decision "a huge victory for ratepayers" and said the agency had agreed with her office that all utility companies in Massachusetts must use the corporate savings from this federal tax bill to lower rates for customers. Eversource had already agreed to lower their rates.
Tucson Electric Power Co. says it is looking at different ways to return potentially millions of dollars in benefits to customers from the recently enacted federal #TaxReform law.https://t.co/1J5nxRkslQ— STEW ?????? (@StewSays) February 3, 2018
Community bank pays $1500 bonuses to employees, raises some salaries, due to tax reform: https://t.co/rvsgL4nZ7Z— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) February 5, 2018
Republicans shouldn't merely promote these stories in press releases and media interviews. They should have an across-the-board strategy to bait Democrats into spasms of "crumbs" taunting (now that "Armageddon" is no longer remotely operative), them pummel them for falling into their self-made trap. I can't believe the Left is going with this, but they are. Perhaps Congressional Democrats believe they have no better alternative, having unanimously voted against the succeeding law. Pounce, Republicans.