Conventional wisdom says voters vote based upon their fiscal successes and failures. When the economy is up, the ruling party generally maintains control. When the economy drops, Americans call for a change. In 2018, Republicans aren’t taking their chances with conventional wisdom.
The House has voted to permanently extend the individual tax cuts they gave Americans last year. The timing, with just over a month before the election, is intended to remind voters which party allowed them to keep more of their hard-earned cash.
“By making the new code permanent for our families and small businesses, the [bill] will keep America’s economy booming and middle-class families growing again,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, the House’s top tax-writer.
The vote was 220-191, mostly along party lines, with only a few Democrats backing the bill and about 10 Republicans voting against it.
House Republicans are trying to highlight tax cuts and the booming economy as they prepare to head home to campaign, saying Democrats will seek to roll back the new rates right away if they re-take control of the House and/or the Senate.
This is a good move for Republicans, but it won’t be enough. There is such a strong wave of leftist backlash to the President that it will be challenging for them to simply point at economic success as the reason to keep their seats. Many Independents and nearly all Democrats want to put a check on President Trump. The easiest way to do that is to shift power on Capitol Hill.
If the Republican hope to hold their majorities, they’ll need to hammer home the economy, but they need to do more than that. They need to flip the script regarding the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation and paint the Democrats as the obstructionists they’ve been ever since losing the 2016 elections.