I've been pretty outspoken about the fact that I believe Democrats' belittling responses to the tax reform benefits being felt by average Americans poses a real opportunity for Republicans to press their advantage in this debate. The Democratic Party likes to position itself as a protector of the little guy -- but their leaders' partisanship-driven, tone-deaf aloofness in the face of positive news for everyday workers has been revealing. Rather than shying away from this messaging battle, the GOP should lean into it. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell has been hitting "crumbs" for days now, with some other Republicans following suit. A fresh statement from Paul Ryan knocks Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Debbie Wasserman Schultz's elitist, go-to dismissal, too:
Where Democrats see "crumbs," American see more money in their pockets....As new withholding tables take effect, 90 percent of Americans will see more take-home pay in their paychecks thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The average family of four will save more than $2,000 this year alone. Where Democrats see “crumbs,” Americans are seeing more money in their pockets as a result of the new law. From bonuses to wage increases and higher 401(k) contributions, tax reform is making life easier for hardworking people and families nationwide. And that’s what this is really all about.
And here's the RNC Chairwoman seizing on the same ill-advised Democratic talking point during a radio interview:
Nancy Pelosi represents where the Democrat Party has gone. They now represent the elite – she is a millionaire from San Francisco – they are completely out of touch with what a thousand dollar bonus means to many people in this country who are living paycheck to paycheck. Many of the Democrats have doubled down on her comments that these bonuses are just crumbs. It is offensive, and especially when people have been struggling for years. We have just now started to see wages begin to go up, we are starting to see under President Trump unemployment now at a 17-year low. These are things that we should all be celebrating, and Nancy Pelosi doesn’t get it. Yeah, that is going to be something that we make sure voters know about as she is vying to be speaker again.
I spoke to one well-connected Democrat in recent days who told me that many people within the party have been cringing at "crumbs," believing it to be a condescending messaging approach that's doomed to failure. As I've been arguing, part of the reason that it's such a flawed strategy is that it represents an untenable about-face. The Left has shifted from basically contending that there wouldn't be any benefits for working and middle class people, to complaining that the benefits aren't good enough, so people shouldn't enjoy them:
I tweeted about the Democrats’ problematic pivot from “Armageddon!” to “crumbs:” The latter sneering looks worse and is a tougher sell in light of the former hyperbole and dishonesty. And as promised in the headline, I'll leave you with an update to something we've been writing about: That Pennsylvania public school employee who told the Associated Press that she was pleasantly surprised by the weekly raise of $1.50 she received under the GOP law. She's quoted as saying she believed she was going to get nothing (probably because that's what Democrats were telling anyone who would listen for months), so a small tax cut that covered her annual Costco membership fee was a welcome development. Some lefties are circulating an edited snippet of her interview with CBS News as "proof" that she was being sarcastic -- of a big "gotcha" moment for Ryan:
Here's the video:
First of all, I'm glad she noted that other workers cited in the piece are getting hundreds of extra dollars per pay period, thanks to the tax cuts. I hope the Democrats' decision to shine the spotlight on her story (as a means of assailing Paul Ryan) encourages other people who weren't otherwise paying attention to check their pay stubs. Odds are, they'll discover "crumbs," too. Second, nobody is saying she's "super thrilled." We're saying she was surprised, and her surprise was a positive one. And we're saying that because she said it, on the record, to a reporter. And no, she's not backing away from her assessment, either. The key quote from the CBS clip: "A dollar-fifty is a dollar-fifty. I'm not gonna...I noticed it. I watch my finances and I noticed it. So, it didn't go down, so that was good. I was pleasantly surprised because it went up. It did not go down." As another tax reform beneficiary just said, "every dollar helps." Epic gotcha, Democrats!
Parting thought: CBS News labeled the video above, "high school secretary laughs after Paul Ryan highlights her pay raise after GOP tax reform." Did I miss the laugh? Are liberals sharing this clip without actually watching it?