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 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.
PragerU: As the Rich Get Richer, the Poor Get Richer
The rich are getting richer, and the poor are… also getting richer. What’s driving this wealth creation process? In this video, Daniel Hannan explains why it is capitalism — and capitalism alone — that has led to the unprecedented enrichment that is the central fact of Western life.
Published: Apr 9, 2018
The Republican Party showed its true stripes and proved David Leach right all along
Over the recent years, the Republican Party told us that they needed control of the House. We gave them the House. Then they said we can’t do enough, we need the Senate. We gave them the Senate. Then they said we can’t do enough, we need the White House. We gave them the White House, even if it’s not the guy they really want. But now I turn on the cable news shows and they now say they just have a thin majority.
Can’t the Republican Party make some kind of stand for little “r” republicanism? Can’t it make a stand for conservatism? Can’t it make a statement for liberty and freedom? Can’t it make a statement for private property rights? Now it needs a greater majority that is basically mission impossible, especially in the Senate.
The Republicans overwhelmingly have decided to pass the omnibus bill which was put together by mostly progressive thinking lobbyists. Granted military spending will be increased but so will the Democrats beloved welfare programs which they have used to buy votes and gain more and more power. It will also fund Planned Parenthood which in spite of shining a light on shady dealings of fetal parts, getting abortions for underage girls under the table, or not really investing in pap smears or mammograms as it will continue to keep its bread and butter of pre-born baby murder going strong. I really believe that many politicians in both parties benefit from abortion due to the fact they seek constant sexual flings with just about any women who work under them as these young ladies try to move ahead in their careers.
The Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer (his pet projects will be funded) are so happy with this bill cause they know it’s only going to benefit Washington and the Democrat Party.
For all the faults Rand Paul has, including his support of Mitch McConnell’s last election campaign, I have to give him credit for speaking out against this current omnibus spending bill. It seems that if the Democrats want to spend more of the taxpayers’ money it is wrong. If the Republicans want to spend more money, than its OK…but it should not be OK.
Sadly conservatives who have not read Pastor Cary Gordon’s book A Storm A Message A Bottle http://cornerstoneworld.org/a_storm_a_message_a_bottle or watched his series of animated videos Five Steps to Political Epiphany. http://stepstopoliticalepiphany.com/ They will protest the election by sitting out the election, instead of using their write-in blank or third-party options since Duverger’s law forbids this. Meanwhile, President Trump might go down in history as the bigger spender than Barack Obama.
We can’t any longer tolerate any more excuses. Regardless if the Democratic left is in the majority or the minority they seem to have the power in the elected branches of government. They have the power in other areas of government no matter what. We can learn one thing from Bible Believing Christians when they start a new denomination when breaking away from a bigger one. They break away because the establishment in the old denomination they are breaking away from does not repent of their apostasy (while claiming new truths). They try and they try, but like the American Gladiator event Pyramid they just knock you down to the bottom time and again. The only thing you can do is to let them go their way and let the denomination implode as they try to prevent themselves from being corrupted. It proves Jesus that you can’t put new wine into old sheepskins. We must do the same thing and try to build a new political party that can replace the Republican Party. The Grand Old Party is not what it used to be.
Mr. President, you made a choice and that choice was to sign the bill and take what you can get. Conservatives like myself, Steve Deace and Mark Levin, would call this a betrayal of conservatism. Either you are naive and/or a fool about politics, or a true charlatan, or something in between. All I can say to you is only “proved” that Benjamin Wilhelm and David Leach correct, and it will show in this midterm election. You screwed the pooch just as the Republican Party elite has done many times before, and the Democrats wildest dreams are coming true. Your likely impeachment, single-party rule, making America a new Soviet Union or some kind of socialist experiment, and the Democrats desire to become Demi-Gods.
Your own words you said on TV so many times are coming back right at you like a boomerang…”You’re Fired.”
The Money Pit: California’s not-so-high-speed rail
Have you heard this story, a couple finds a million dollar distress sale mansion on the market for a mere $200,000? Some upgrades are needed, but overall it’s a bargain. What ensues is comedic brilliance as the owners find out the house is barely standing. They pour more and more money into the house in the classic Tom Hank’s comedy “The Money Pit.”
Just like this movie, the California High-Speed Rail has become our Money Pit, but unlike the movie, this is no laughing matter.
In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 1A, a $9.95 billion bond to partially fund an 800-mile high-speed electric train traveling up to 220 mph. The goal would be that the state would fund a third, one-third by the federal government, and the last third via private investment. Total cost was estimated at $35 billion.
What has transpired since 2008? No more federal funding and no private funding. From 800-miles we went to 520 miles, as a cost savings measure. From 220 mph we are at 110 mph in large sections of the rail, to save money of course, and a possible completion date of 2020, is now estimated to be completed by 2033.
With all these cost-saving measures you would assume the cost would come down. Unfortunately, for California taxpayers, this money pit keeps getting worse.
The price tag for all these cost-saving measures brought to you by the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Legislature is currently estimated at $77.3 billion. But wait you want more savings and fiscal responsibility, too bad, because this $77.3 billion estimate may ultimately cost California taxpayers $98.1 billion. My prediction is it will be even higher.
At this point, it might be cheaper and faster to build a Death Star instead. Not to mention more useful.
This is not what the voters were promised. We did not approve a not-so-high-speed train with a price tag most likely ten times the initial projected cost to California taxpayers.
This boondoggle of a money pit must be stopped. Those billions can be used to help repair our roads, highways, bridges, dams, water reservoirs, and critical infrastructure.
If elected to be California’s next State Controller and Chief Financial Officer, I will look at all legal means to cut funding to this project. In my opinion, if we bought one thing and are getting something else, then the authorization to fund this project has not been authorized by the people, and thus the Controller may have the legal authority to stop payment until the project complies with Proposition 1A.
I hope, I won’t have to do this, and the Legislature does its job and kills this project. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We made a promise to taxpayers to be good stewards of their trust and money. Let’s restore that trust and do the right thing, and let’s put an end to this money pit.