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When Evil Was Called Good

Propaganda Works: Majority of Americans Now Believe the GOP Bill Will Raise Their Taxes. They're Wrong.

A new national survey conducted by Marist College's polling operation shows that a 52 percent majority of US voters believe the Republican tax reform proposal will negatively impact their personal financial situation.  Less than one-in-three respondents think they'll benefit.  This overwhelmingly inaccurate perception represents the fruit of Democrats' media-aided labor over recent weeks, as they've flooded the national debate with factually false assertions and ludicrous hysteria.  The truth, as we've relayed on numerous occasions, is that nonpartisan analyses of the plan have concluded that on average, every income group will receive a tax cut -- including, if not especially, the middle class.  I have not shied away from conceding potential negative outcomes for certain taxpayers, nor have I dismissed deficit-related concerns; the fact remains, however, that the exceedingly lopsided majority of taxpayers will see their tax burdens lowered and after-tax incomes rise under the Republican bill.  The green dots below represent middle class households currently taking the standard deduction that will see a tax reduction (the red dots are the very rare exceptions):


Roughly 70 percent of filers already take the standard deduction (a number expected to expand), which is set to approximately double under the legislation.  Virtually every single one of these people would emerge as net winners.  And according to a New York Times analysis, a substantial majority of middle income filers who itemize (rather than taking the standard deduction) would also see their tax bill decrease.  As we explained yesterday, most of the scare-mongering talking points employed by Democrats to achieve the polling results mentioned above -- if not entirely made up -- are rooted in cherry-picked information and misrepresentation.  Only a small sliver of taxpayers (in the ballpark of ten percent) might expect to see their tax bill rise due to tax reform, and those are disproportionately wealthier itemizers who live in high-tax blue states.  Here's the political question Republicans need to ask themselves: Will real facts and empirical reality regain the high ground once Americans actually, you know, file their post-reform taxes?  If so, the vast majority of taxpayers will realize that Democrats were lying to them.  Conservative policy wonk and activist Phil Kerpen is urging people to calculate their own tax scenario using this online tool:


The nonpartisan Tax Foundation also ran the numbers on how a wide array of American families would fare under reform, concluding that every household they profiled came out ahead:

The follow-up question for Republicans is, even if a massive supermajority of Americans do experience tax relief, will the media and Democrats try to drown out those stories by showcasing individual negative cases?  The GOP should count on it, and develop an aggressive messaging strategy to highlight the countless winners under reform, constantly beating the drum about how Democrats' (literally) apocalyptic predictions were embarrassingly wrong. Unlike Obamacare, which spat out significantly more losers than winners after everyone was promised utopia, many, many more taxpayers will benefit from the Republican plan than will feel a setback -- to say nothing of independent projections of faster economic growth and the creation of nearly one million new full-time jobs.  Meanwhile, here's a late-breaking detail about the compromise framework that has reportedly been reached ahead of the now-ongoing conference committee's work:


The highest tax bracket will receive a small rate cut after all (the House bill didn't include a rate cut at the top), and the corporate tax cut was scaled back by one percentage point.  Is the revenue attached to that slight uptick in the proposed corporate rate being put to the best use, policy-wise or politically?  Ramesh Ponnuru says no, and I'm inclined to agree (as is Marco Rubio, incidentally):

I'll leave you with a strong editorial in favor of reform, which posits that once tax reform is implemented and Americans see the results, liberal myths "will be demolished by reality."  Also, read this report about economic bullishness among American manufacturers in anticipation of pro-growth reform.  Quote: "63 percent of [manufacturing] CEOs said business tax reform would encourage capital spending and more than half said they would expand their businesses."

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