It really shouldn’t be the job of a small news outlet to tell the American people they are saving a lot of money because of the tax cuts the GOP enacted last year. It also shouldn’t just be us reminding people that job growth, pay increases, and those unexpected bonuses they’ve been receiving have been a response by corporate America to the tax cuts.
Unfortunately, one of the Republican Party’s biggest weaknesses is rearing its ugly head with two weeks left before election day. Their inability to educate the people about something as basic yet important as tax cuts is the second biggest reason (hatred by the left for President Trump is the biggest) a blue wave may be on our horizon. I’m leaning away from believing the blue wave will manifest anywhere near the degree that many analysts are anticipating, but the fact that there’s a potential for a blue wave at all is a direct result of the GOP not knowing how to explain tax cuts to the American people.
The tax cuts were far from perfect, but they had a dramatic effect on many aspects of the vast majority of American families. This was the thunder the GOP needed for these elections and they’ve squandered them. The saddest part is that their quiet roll out last year was because even Republicans underestimated the impact. They downplayed it all because they didn’t know corporate America’s response would be so powerful.
Roll back the clocks. It’s a month after the tax cuts were signed and at that point dozens of major companies had announced some variation of “giving back” to their employees. Some gave bonuses. Others gave raises. It was a welcome bit of extra cash just before the holidays. Mainstream media couldn’t help but report most of it because they were that significant.
Most Republican law makers and analysts said, “See, told ya so!” Unfortunately, they moved on. They fell into one of two camps with their assumptions. Some thought the American people were aware because the news they were watching was filled with talks of the tax cuts’ effects. The others assume the American people will never really understand it.
Both were wrong. They’re always wrong when it comes to understanding what the American people know and how to make them know more.
Now, we’re two weeks away from the election and many Democrats are actually running on REPEALING the tax cuts.
“Had they done what the Bush guys did by making it advance-able and giving everybody a ‘Trump check,’ then maybe people would have had something a little more tangible,” said one Republican on condition of anonymity. “Otherwise, it’s like, ‘Take a look at the third line down on your paycheck every other week.’” And Democrats, to the surprise of some, remained unified against the law.
They’ve pilloried the cuts as a gift to the rich and to corporations. Even an internal Republican National Committee poll leaked last month to Bloomberg News conceded has been effective at shaping perceptions of the law as a giveaway to the rich.
There were many ways to educate the people, but they lost the “information war” to the Democrats. Now, tax cuts are being painted as a gift to corporate America with no benefit to the people.
The GOP expected people would understand the benefits of cutting their taxes. They thought they’d look at their paychecks and see a difference. They thought the people would attribute job growth to the tax cuts. They even through people would read the news thoroughly and properly translate quotes from obscure CEOs.
Some Republicans gave the people too much credit for researching this on their own. Others didn’t give them enough credit and didn’t even attempt to explain the tax cuts. Both groups have failed their party and left Americans in the dark.
Whether through direct increases in take-home pay or through trickle down effects of business growth, the tax cuts have helped Americans and the economy. If the GOP knew how to communicate that, talk of a blue wave would have died from the start.