As Guy wrote, this tax reform bill, the most extensive in 30 years, is a tax cut for the middle class. It will create a better job creating and investing climate. Even The Washington Post noted that for 80 percent of Americans, they’re getting a tax cut, contrary to the Democratic warnings that this is Armageddon. Right now, they’re confident that this bill will sink Republicans in the midterms. They see the polling. Yeah, it’s bad, but it can only get better—and we’re still many, many months away from the midterm elections. A lot can happen in the interim. So, what will Democrats do when this bill becomes more popular, when Americans see relief, when they see bigger paychecks, when they see, as CNN’s John King noted, more factory workers being hired? Not a single Democrat voted for this reform—not one. With this bill slated to become law, that means the Democratic Party is against tax relief for working class families, against economic growth, and didn’t understand what a couple hundred dollars in relief means to a working class family. It’ll show that their only economic agenda is tax and spend. Again, not too shocking since the Democrats are moving away from the centrist triangulation strategy of the Clinton era. They’re returning to the left wing. Yet, the GOP knows how much is riding on this bill and its success, which is why they’re priming millions to win the messaging war on it (via WaPo) [emphasis mine]:
But here’s the truth: 8 in 10 Americans will pay lower taxes next year, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the final bill. Only 5 percent of people will pay more next year. Mostly, those are folks who earn six figures and own expensive houses in places with high local taxes, such as New York and California.
I interviewed a dozen GOP operatives yesterday about how they plan to deal with this issue in 2018. They said the numbers right now are so bad that they can only get better. They freely acknowledged the head winds, but they see an opening to sell the cuts and insist that perceptions are still not fully baked. They’ve conducted focus groups and commissioned polls to figure out the talking points that are most likely to move the needle, and they’re planning multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns to drive those messages.
“Our fate in 2018 is tied to the tax bill,” said Corry Bliss, the executive director of American Action Network, a group aligned with House GOP leadership. “There’s no faking it. You know what you paid in taxes this year. You will know next year whether it’s going up or going down. And that should be something that every Republican is excited about.”
AAN has spent more than $24 million promoting the tax bill across 64 congressional districts since the start of August, and the group will make it a centerpiece of all 2018 messaging. “One party cut middle-class taxes. Another party spends all their time trying to impeach the president. That’s a really nice contrast,” Bliss said. “We have no control of the national narrative. There’s no amount of money to buy it back. But I do think we can have control over the narrative to targeted people.” One data point he said you can expect to hear a lot in future ads is that families will get “an average tax cut of $2,000.”
Republicans have a lot of upside potential with their own base. The NBC-WSJ poll finds that only 53 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Trump general election voters currently back the tax bill. Even worse, just 28 percent of rural Americans and 29 percent of whites without a college degree think it is a good idea right now. Trump’s overall popularity may be at a record low in the survey, but these are constituencies he can persuade.
Every GOP senator wound up supporting final passage — John McCain is fighting cancer back home in Arizona but said he would have voted yes — and just 12 Republicans defected in the House. (Five were from New York, four from New Jersey and two from California.) This reflects a mind-set inside both chambers that the politics of this are not as bad as the conventional wisdom emanating from the mainstream media suggests.
“We will run on tax reform and win on tax reform in 2018,” said Matt Gorman, the NRCC’s communications director. “This bill will help ease the cost of living for millions of Americans who feel left behind.”
On the other hand, it’s equally remarkable that not a single Democrat in either chamber voted for this, including all 10 of the senators up for reelection next year in states Trump won. “Democratic obstruction of middle-class tax reform will be our No. 1 issue going into next year’s elections,” said Senate Leadership Fund President and CEO Steven Law, a former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell.
But Democrats say this bill is unpopular enough that they can oppose it even in places where Trump remains popular. “Democratic candidates are already running against this tax scam and winning the debate in their communities,” said Meredith Kelly, the DCCC’s communications director. She predicts that the bill will stay unpopular.
For at least the next eight years, though, the undeniable math is that most people are going to pay less.
Well, for starters, 80 percent benefitting from this bill is a good base of support. Two, this isn’t health care. This isn’t the Obamacare overhaul that ended up hurting Americans; this is tax relief. For all the screams of total destruction from the Left, the bill’s passage saw scores of companies offering more pay and bonuses to their workers. The publication did add that this could end in disaster, but if things go well—it’ll be Democrats trying to defend why they didn’t want to give the middle class a break. The Post added how Committee45, a pro-Trump nonprofit, hired a GOP polling firm to gather information on how to best message this bill. The top four selling points were “1) Removes and eliminates many loopholes so special interests start paying their fair share.” 2) “Levels the playing field for American businesses to better compete against foreign competition.” 3) “It’s estimated that more than one million jobs would be created over the next 10 years with higher wages for workers.” 4) “Simplifies and reduces taxes for most Americans by doubling the standard deduction.”
If things go well, and for the sake of our country I hope they do, then Democrats are going to have to eat a lot of crow, along with explaining why they’re selective defenders for America’s middle class. For now, the Left thinks that our wages are their money—and that this bill is some sort of theft. Yeah, go with that. It’s a real winner, like pushing for minimum wage hikes, which are a disaster once implemented. Create a better climate and wages will rise. We’re seeing that right now.
JUST IN: Wells Fargo hikes its hourly pay rate to $15 & will aim for $400M in philanthropic donations next year due to the newly-passed GOP tax bill. https://t.co/GmM8bT0zjh— CNBC (@CNBC) December 20, 2017
MORE: AT&T is giving $1,000 bonuses to 200,000 U.S. employees and will increase U.S. capital spending by $1 billion because the tax bill passed https://t.co/mZnH1VU4Je— CNBC (@CNBC) December 20, 2017
AT&T ceo tells employees they will get a $1,000 Christmas bonus if Trump signs the bill in time.— Jim Tankersley (@jimtankersley) December 20, 2017
(If he waits, as reported, the bonus just arrives later) pic.twitter.com/8N69PxhatT
Comcast joining AT&T: "Based on the passage of tax reform and the FCC's action on broadband," Comcast is giving "special $1,000 bonuses to more than 100,000 eligible frontline and non-executive employees."— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 20, 2017
JUST IN: Fifth Third Bancorp announces plan "to raise its minimum hourly wage for all employees to $15, and distribute a one-time bonus of $1,000 for more than 13,500 employees" following passage of tax bill. https://t.co/iv4i2MTAkO— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) December 20, 2017
Can’t even imagine what it must be like to be mad at stories involving people making more money just before Christmas. It sounds miserable.— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) December 20, 2017