Why, it's almost as if lying incessantly about a piece of legislation while it's being debated...isn't a sustainable strategy when your apocalyptic predictions can be tested by reality in relatively short order. Huffing and puffing about "the worst bill ever" causing the "end of the world" via" Frankenstein"-style "armageddon" -- and insisting, red faced, that the bill was a giveaway to the rich that would do nothing for the middle class, except possibly raise their taxes -- was, admittedly, quite effective at building heavy opposition to the GOP tax plan among voters. But now that the Left's hyperbolic overkill and breathless assertions are bumping up against real-world results, many Americans who had previously bought into the negative and fact-challenged hype are beginning to recognize just how catastrophically (and in some cases, intentionally) wrong Democrats have been all along. Yes, the tax law's popularity remains very slightly underwater, but consider the trajectory:
Americans are warming to the Republican tax law, and becoming more confident in the economy as a whole. They just aren’t sure that President Trump deserves much credit. The tax overhaul that Mr. Trump signed into law just before Christmas remains relatively unpopular and highly polarizing, according to a new poll conducted for The New York Times by SurveyMonkey. But support for the law has grown significantly over the past month, and more Americans believe that they will receive a tax cut. Forty-six percent of Americans strongly or somewhat approved of the law in early January, up from 37 percent when the bill was nearing passage in December. At the same time, falling unemployment, accelerating economic growth and a surging stock market have made Americans increasingly positive about both their own finances and the overall economy. That could be good news for Republicans hoping to overcome Mr. Trump’s unpopularity in the midterm elections.
The bill was polling at a brutal (37/58), or 21 points upside-down, just last month. Large majorities told survey-takers that they didn't expect to receive tax cuts, an erroneous perception. That dismal number has now tilted in a favorable direction by 18 net percentage points, with support drawing roughly even with opposition. Ubiquitous headlines about bonuses, expansion plans and wage growth have had a clear impact. A few more interesting data points from the New York Times numbers:
As I mention in that tweet, 55 percent of Americans still don't anticipate receiving a tax cut under the new law, with just 41 percent expecting their tax burden to decrease. In reality, nonpartisan analysts have confirmed that eight in ten taxpayers will get cuts in 2018, including 91 percent of middle income earners. The improvement in public perception of the law, it appears, has been driven almost entirely by positive news from businesses, based on the corporate tax cuts. In other words, there's a lot of upside left in these numbers once Americans start seeing the evidence of the law's across-the-board tax reductions in the form of larger paychecks. New withholding tables are being published next month. Here's another way to think of it: This survey shows the law at (46/49) with only 41 percent of Americans expecting a tax cut. The number who will actually receive a tax cut is approximately double that number. It's not unreasonable to expect throngs of pleasantly surprised Americans pushing these polling numbers significantly higher in the coming months. Republicans would be wise to trumpet the law's achievements and outcomes as loudly as possible, and to relentlessly remind voters about the many now-disproven lies they were fed by Democrats.
Another note: The Times poll was in the field prior to another big batch of encouraging news emanating from tax reform. Humana announced boosted incentive pay and higher hourly wages due to the new law, joining a growing list of companies who are reinvesting tax savings into their businesses and employees. Millions of American workers have benefited from these moves already. But the biggest splash of the week, by far, came from Apple: