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Economy

As the GOP banks on the tax bill for preserving majorities, their real threat is the economy

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As the GOP banks on the tax bill for preserving majorities their real threat is the economy

Republicans believe their tax cut bill is the first step in winning enough during the midterm elections to preserve their majorities in the House and Senate. It’s absolutely necessary following the Obamacare repeal debacle. If they finish their first year with control of the House, Senate, and White House without passing any meaningful piece of legislation, voters will rightfully wonder what they’re doing in DC in the first place.

The tax bill is not a guarantee they’ll win. In fact, passing it will temporarily hurt their chances. As David M. Drucker pointed out, the bill is unpopular at a time when a majority of Americans want Democrats in control on Capitol Hill:

Republicans stake control of Congress on tax bill

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/republicans-stake-control-of-congress-on-tax-bill/article/2643895Republicans are counting on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to change the minds of unhappy voters who would prefer to have the Democrats in charge on Capitol Hill by an 11-point margin and consistently rate Trump’s job performance at around 40 percent, according to polling averages.

That’s a tall order for a proposal that has been underwater for weeks and is viewed skeptically by upscale suburban voters in Republican strongholds who worry it will raise their taxes. A fresh Monmouth University survey pegs support for the package at just 26 percent; 47 percent disapproved.

Drucker and Republican strategists agree that passing it launches a new campaign: selling it to the American people. How the GOP tries to sell it will determine their success in the midterm elections. If they go down the road of telling people they’re better off because of this cut or that change, their message will be completely ineffective. Leftist mainstream media isn’t on their side, which means they need more than facts and figures to convince people the tax bill is a good thing.

They need emotion. They need to make it personal. To do this, they’ll need to attach the tax plan to every piece of good economic news that comes in for the next 10 months while shifting blame for any negative economic news. They need to learn from the mistakes the Democrats made in attempting to defend Obamacare. The healthcare bill was more popular in its early days than the GOP tax plan is today, so Republicans have to work both harder and smarter if they’re going to avoid massive losses.

Avoiding the Obamacare defense mistakes

Republican majorities in the House and Senate are 100% due to Obamacare. They used it to get conservatives rallying behind them more than ever, especially through the Tea Party movement. Democrats failed to defend their policy because they weren’t willing to accept any responsibility for its shortcomings.

The GOP needs to own up to the shortcomings of the tax plan when they pop up, then redirect overall blame. An example of this will be the incessant stories about families in New York or California who end up paying more taxes thanks to cuts in state and local deductions. The Democrats and the media will find some suburban middle-upper class family who had to sell their home and move into a cramped apartment thanks to unexpected tax hikes hitting their bottom line. This is a fair point that the Democrats and media will make just as it was fair for Republicans to point out how people lost access to good healthcare because of Obamacare.

The Democrats played the “isolated case” card and it didn’t work. To avoid this mistake, the GOP will need to own up to the fact that somewhere around 20% of taxpayers, mostly in very blue states, will see their taxes rise. They need to then redirect it back on the blue states themselves, demonstrating how these states have become addicted to high taxes and had to lean on deductions from federal taxes to make up for it. This will be challenging for Republicans in these states to keep their seats, but many have simply opposed the bill to protect their own chances of reelection. It may be enough to distance themselves. As for all the other Republicans, their narrative should be that California and New York need to rein in their tax and spend mentality to protect their own people rather than reliance on federal breaks to make up the difference. Why should these blue states penalize red states by overcharging taxes and sucking up these breaks?

If it sounds like a tough case to make, that’s because it is. Nevertheless, there’s no better narrative for defending their home turf than to say the Democrat-controlled states are the ones paying their fair share now that the new tax plan is in place.

That’s the defensive message. The positive message will be attributing fiscal success to the tax cuts at every level. Americans who have more money come tax time can thank the tax cuts. Increased job and wage numbers can thank the corporate tax cuts. Every company that moves operations back to the United States will do so because of tax cuts. If money is good, it’s because of the tax cuts.

There’s a potential problem with this strategy. What if the economy doesn’t do so well in 2018? The economy is looking great, but did it peak too early? Can the nation sustain strong economic indicators all the way through to election day? That’s a question that concerns the standard financial crystal balls out there. These are tumultuous times in the United States and around the world. The GOP desperately needs all indicators to be strong, attributed to tax cuts, and showing no signs of weakness if they’re going to be able to maintain their majorities.

If things start to go south with the economy, the best ally for pushing Republican victories in 2018 will become their worst enemy. He sits in the Oval Office.

The wild (Trump) card

As long as the economy can continue down the road it’s on, President Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill should get along just fine. If things turn south and questions start getting asked, expect the President to put all the blame on the Republican-controlled Congress.

This is why the Democrats want so badly for the economy to start failing. It’s not just the standard good-money/bad-money narratives that come into play every election. President Trump magnifies it in both directions. If the economy continues to thrive, he’ll take all the credit, including “his” tax plan. That should be just fine for Republicans on Capitol Hill as it will mean they can keep their majorities. If the economy starts having problems, President Trump will turn against the House and Senate. Doing so will hurt the economy even more. Then more blame. Then worse economy. It we be a domino effect that reaches far and wide across the nation.

Financial indicators may end up determining whether President Trump helps the GOP or hurts it.

The sad part is we shouldn’t need the GOP to use subterfuge and politics to sell their tax plan. If they did as the Federalist Party would do (dramatically cutting national budgets and spending while committing to true tax reform rather that cuts within the current progressive system) the GOP could let the results do the selling for them. Instead, they have to hope for certain things to happen while manipulating the narrative to support their premise.

Christian, husband, father. EIC, NOQ Report. Co-Founder, the Federalist Party. Just a normal guy who will no longer sit around while the country heads in the wrong direction.

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Economy

Jobless claims hit 45-year low, and mainstream media is silent

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Jobless claims hit 45-year low and mainstream media is silent

The last thing mainstream media wants you to know is the country is doing very well economically. Stock prices are up. Lower tax rates means 164 major companies and rising have given back to their employees in the form of raises and bonuses. Jobless claims just hit a 45-year low.

Wait, you didn’t hear about that last item? That’s because mainstream media is virtually silent. They’re too busy talking about the President’s Tweets to spend any time reporting actual news.

U.S. Jobless Claims Plunge to Lowest Weekly Tally Since 1973

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-18/jobless-claims-in-u-s-plunge-to-lowest-weekly-tally-since-1973U.S. filings for unemployment benefits plummeted to the lowest level in almost 45 years in a sign the job market will tighten further in 2018, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

The drop in claims shows that companies are increasingly holding on to their employees amid a shortage of skilled labor. Businesses are struggling to find workers to fill positions, particularly in manufacturing and construction, as cited in some anecdotes for the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book released Wednesday.

The most important factor during elections is the economy. More specifically, people vote based upon how well or poorly they and their families are doing financially. Unfortunately, mainstream media knows it’s not as simple as people checking their bank statements and counting their blessings. They can still be manipulated into believing they’re not doing as well as they really are or that the nation is on the verge of fiscal collapse based upon actions by the GOP and/or the President.

As a Federalist, I can say these things knowing I’m not spinning it in favor of the GOP. I’m not a Republican fanboy, but when things are going well based upon actions they are the Democrats take, it’s okay to give kudos. My allegiance is to the nation and the truth.

In this election year, the Democrats will utilize their puppets in the media to try to make as many people as possible believe things are really bad. It doesn’t matter that the economy is looking great. Perception trumps reality and mainstream media wants to change as many people’s perceptions as possible. We have to fight against that. Share news like this with as many people as you can. They need to know the truth to fight against the bias mainstream media tries to slap on them.

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Economy

The number of companies helping employees thanks to tax cuts is 164 and rising

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The number of companies helping employees thanks to tax cuts is 164 and rising

Republican tax cuts were met with instant success on the business front when the President signed them into law last month. Companies across the nation rewarded their employees and customers by passing on some of the saving they’ll get. It’s helping to push the economy even higher than it was last year.

As Nick Givas covered over at Daily Caller, the total number of companies giving back to their people is 164 and rising:

164 Companies Credit Tax Reform For Bonuses And Pay Raises

One hundred sixty-four companies have gone on record stating they gave bonuses and pay raises to employees because of the new tax reform law, according to Americans for Tax Reform. The list has been continually updated and jumped from 40 companies to 164 in 10 days, The Washington Examiner reports. The businesses include: American Airlines, AT&T,… (more…)

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Democrats

With both sides wanting more spending, Wednesday’s government funding discussions end in a stalemate

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With both sides wanting more spending Wednesdays government funding discussions end in a stalemate

There was no movement Wednesday as top Republican and Democratic leaders met at the White House to lay down their ultimatums for funding the government. With two weeks of funding still allotted, neither side seemed to be in a hurry to compromise.

One of the main sticking points was purely political. Democrats wanted something written into the spending agreement that would give certain guarantees to “Dreamers” who they say are having their futures jeopardized by President Trump’s rescinding of President Obama’s DACA executive order. This is purely for show to try to win back some of the Hispanic voters they lost in 2016 and into 2017. With the President showing more compassion for “Dreamers” than anticipated by preemptively demanding that Congress put together a permanent fix, Democrats needed to regain ground and act as if they’re the ones fighting on behalf of illegal immigrants.

Republicans were equally theatrical with their opposition to such an addition to the funding agreement, claiming they wanted to first fund the government, then address DACA before the March deadline. They could just as easily allowed something in the funding agreement, knowing they’re going to pass some variation of amnesty in the next month and a half, but instead chose to draw the red line.

The more alarming sticking point in the funding deal is that both sides want to spend more and are actually leveraging the other side’s spending increases to negotiate for spending increases of their own. Republicans want to raise defense spending. Democrats are opposed unless they can raise non-defense spending as well. In the end, it’s very likely that this “impasse” will result in both sides getting what they want: move spending across the board.

Further Reading

No spending deal after GOP, Dems meet with White House officials Wednesday

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/no-spending-deal-after-gop-dems-meet-with-white-house-officials-wednesday/article/2644897“It is important that we achieve a two-year agreement that funds our troops and provides for our national security and other critical functions of the Federal government,” the White House, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a joint statement. “It also remains important that members of Congress do not hold funding for our troops hostage for immigration policy.”

“We’ve been clear about these budget priorities from the beginning and hope that further discussions will lead to an agreement soon,” they added.

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