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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Trump Tax Cut Still Yields Benefits ... For Democrats

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the tax issue in the 2016 campaign.  The update  --  published last year --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. and explains why the Trump tax cut backfired on Republicans.

Thanks in part to the Reagan and Bush 43 tax laws, about 44 percent of Americans have no income-tax liability, though they do pay other taxes.  By definition, a cut in income taxes brought them no direct benefit at all.  Many others pay relatively little in income tax.  Most of the benefit of the tax cut went to the well-off.  Voters understood, which is why they disapproved of the tax cut by a significant margin.

Greg Sargent at The Washington Post:
In a sign that President Trump’s monumental failures on the novel coronavirus are helping to put the GOP’s Senate majority at risk, Republicans are planning to spend a startling $10 million on ads defending a GOP-held Senate seat in Montana, a state Trump carried by 20 points.

The Washington Examiner reports that the huge expenditure reflects how worried Republicans are about the seat held by GOP incumbent Steve Daines, who is facing a stiff challenge from Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

What’s interesting here is how Democrats are attacking Daines, and what that says about Trump and GOP vulnerability on the economy, now that we’re sliding into a depression partly created by Trump’s disastrous mismanagement of the federal response to the pandemic.

The Dem-aligned Senate Majority PAC is up with its own ad attacking Daines that’s backed by a $700,000 buy, according to the group:

Note the centrality of the 2017 Trump/GOP corporate tax cut, which lavished enormous benefits on the wealthiest earners while producing few of its promised effects on wages or growth. That was true even before the coronavirus depression, and this ad is all about the economic terrors of ordinary Americans right now amid the current crash, depicting soaring jobless claims and evaporating retirement holdings.