Saturday, December 16, 2017

Will The GOP Tax Scam Hurt Them On Voting Day?


Ryan is so excited about being so close to passing his Tax Scam that he was talking about retiring from Congress this week. And Trump is giddy-- first for being close to finally having something he accomplished legislatively-- and second, because of all the money he will save in a plan written specifically to benefit multimillionaires and billionaires like himself. But as the Alabama-based political research firm ALG noted in a memo this week, while Trump, Ryan and their GOP allies rejoice, "polling suggests they could be in for a rude awakening next November after voters have learned more about it. Voters want tax reform that provides relief to the middle class, makes the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, and does not increase the deficit. They are unlikely to reward Republicans in Congress when they discover that the GOP plan delivers the opposite."

On Friday ALG analyzed recent national polling and concluded that Americans' top priorities for tax reform are "a tax cut for the middle-class and low-income working families, higher taxes for the wealthy and corporations, and no increase in the deficit. The Trump/Ryan Tax Scam bill "not only fails to meet all three of these priorities, but actually delivers the opposite. It provides massive tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations, raises taxes on millions of middle class households next year alone (and nearly half of the middle class over the next ten years), and will increase the deficit by more than $1.4 trillion (triggering $25 billion in funding cuts to Medicare)."
A recent ABC / Washington Post poll highlights just how out of touch the Republican tax reform plan is with what Americans are looking for. It finds that 73% of Americans already believe our tax system favors the wealthy, and that while over three-quarters (78%) support reducing income taxes for middle and lower-income people, 62% oppose reducing taxes for higher income people. As for corporations, it finds that nearly two-thirds (65%) already believe that they pay too little in taxes.

These results are consistent with findings from a recent poll of likely 2018 voters in Senate battleground states that we conducted for Center Forward. In an open-ended question on their top priorities for tax reform, these voters were most likely to volunteer "reducing taxes for middle and lower income Americans," and "raising taxes on the wealthy" as what they most wanted to see from tax reform.

While most Americans are not yet familiar with the details of the Republican tax plan, they already oppose it by a 14-point margin, based on an average of recent polling on the plan compiled by FiveThirtyEight, with 32% supporting it, 46% opposing it, and 15% undecided.

Even though most are still uninformed about the plan, the ABC / Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans (51%) already believe it is designed to reduce taxes on the wealthy, not the middle class, while only 24% think it will treat the wealthy and the middle class equally, and even less (10%) believe it will mainly reduce taxes on the middle class.

Based on how out of step this plan is with the public's priorities for tax reform, we expect opposition to rise once the bill is finalized and the public learns more about what's in it. But compared to other recent tax bills, the current GOP bill is already historically unpopular. In fact, it is the only major tax cut in recent years found to have negative support, and is even less popular than the tax hikes passed in the 1990's.

Additionally, an analysis by George Washington University political scientist Chris Warshaw found that this tax plan is less popular than almost every major piece of legislation since 1990. The only less popular piece of legislation over that period was the GOP's recent failed plan to replace Obamacare.

While Congressional Republicans' commitment to reining in the deficit seems to have vanished, deficit neutral tax reform is a priority for the public. A recent Marist poll found that two-thirds of Americans oppose increasing the deficit even if it meant that they would receive a tax cut.

This tracks closely with our polling for Center Forward, which found that simply noting that the Republican tax plan would increase the deficit caused opposition to increase 23 points to 61%. And this surge in opposition came after respondents had heard about the more popular aspects of the bill. This revolt against the plan due to its impact on the deficit was especially pronounced among Independents (29-point increase in opposition), and particularly among non-college Independents (+36) and Independent women (+35).

In addition to the problems that a deficit hike could cause for the GOP among Independents, it could also significantly hamper Republicans' ability to use this legislation to rally their base next November. After hearing that the plan would increase the deficit, support among Republican voters fell 32 points to just 50%, with only 14% of Republicans supporting it strongly.

As a result, information on the impact on the deficit created a huge intensity gap among voters in 2018 Senate battleground states, with strong opponents of the plan outnumbering strong supporters by a more than 4 to 1 margin (35% strongly oppose vs. 8% strongly support).

Center Forward's qualitative research with swing voters revealed that a big reason voters are so bothered by tax reform increasing the deficit is because they find it so unnecessary. They feel that a tax reform plan could easily cut taxes for middle and lower income Americans without increasing the deficit by making the wealthy pay their fair share.
They also cite that CNN poll that recently showed 52% of voters disapproving of lowering the corporate tax rate to 20%, 56% disapproving of repealing the estate tax and 52% disapproving of eliminating deductions for state and local income and sales taxes (52%). So how is this going to play out in the midterms? To get a better idea we asked candidates in 3 of the most hotly contested swing districts in the country, CA-39 (a sububan and small town district primarily in northeast Orange County), TX-21 (a San Antonio-Austin corridor district) and MI-06 (southwest Michigan from Kalamazoo to Lake Michigan).

Goal ThermometerSam Jammal's Orange County district has really been targeted by Ryan's tax scam and I'm actually shocked Royce couldn't-- or wouldn't-- do something to protect his own constituents, who are going to bear a lot of the brunt of giving billionaires and corporations lower taxes. Sam seems to see it the same way that I do. "This tax plan is bad for families in the 39th district. 80% of our homeowners will lose their mortgage interest deduction. 37% of our families will lose the state and local tax deduction. Countless young professionals here take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction and, as a community that includes and neighbors a number of universities, its troubling what this bill does to grad students. The bill is already unpopular and the ink isn't dry. Ed would be a 'No' vote if he still represented us, but its been years since he even made an effort."

Derrick Crowe is the Blue America-back progressive in central Texas (TX-21) and he's running in an open Republican seat, where the incumbent, Lamar Smith, has decided to get out while the gettin' is good. "We are going to absolutely hammer Republicans if they pass this tax scam bill," Derrick told me today. "Their constituents don’t support the budget impact of the plan, and the rest of America knows it’s a giveaway to the billionaire class. It does not solve the basic problem of the rigged economy, which is that people working full-time cannot afford a roof over their head and food on the table. Instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires for private jet ownership, We should be focusing on raising the minimum wage and providing healthcare as a right to all Americans."

Paul Clements (MI-06) was a candidate Blue America endorsed in 2016 and who were urged to run again in 2018. He was also endorsed by Bernie and is running on a forward-think Bernie-type agenda. This morning he told us that "People in southwest Michigan already resented being left behind by an economy built for the corporate elite. Now they are angry, and not only because this tax plan skews the economy even worse. They also don’t like being lied to. Congressman Upton, who currently represents this district and who sits on the reconciliation committee, has been saying this is a tax plan is for the middle class and for small businesses, and that it will double economic growth. The facts say otherwise. This week I spoke at demonstrations at Upton’s Kalamazoo and St. Joseph offices, and the response was palpable... from the people assembled, and from drivers passing by. We don’t want a 500-page bill rushed through Congress in record time, completed in the dark of night, aiming explicitly to satisfy big Republican donors and to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block, and with no chance for Democrats or the American people to get a word in. Since Upton arrived in Congress in 1986 Michigan’s average household income has risen 2%, with people working longer hours, while the stock market has risen, in real terms, over 700%. This tax plan makes economic inequality even worse. It also pushes up health insurance costs, particularly for people 50-64 years old, by undermining the Affordable Care Act. And it makes it harder to address real priorities, such as a living wage, food security, better education, and a fairer criminal justice system. It’s a give-away to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans, putting the cost on our children by raising the deficit, and we will be reminding the voters of Upton’s role in it all the way through next November."

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At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

The Republicans are revealing more and more how sick their party really is. A bunch of sociopaths. They do not give one whoop for people, it's just that simple. They are not in the business of representing their constituents, they are in the business of shuffling money around and lining their pockets.They do not care if the whole country, the world and even the planet sink into a black hole. That's it in a nutshell. They are just like Trump except smarter (some of them), less overtly psychiatrically impaired and smoother characters. They are mean spirited and have no compassion. Oh, and they are racists and hate women.

The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans.

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Will The GOP Tax Scam Hurt Them On Voting Day?"


Two reasons. The first is that the bulk of the damage won't show up and confront most people until well after the midterm elections. Most of the negative effects aren't going to show up until after the 2020 Election. Second, there remains plenty of time for the too-numerous two-digit voting IQs to forget about this and vote GOP anyway. Gotta keep them gays from besmirching the sanctity of marriage!

And don't expect the DINO-Whigs to make this an issue either, for Trump will just declare them "Fake News" in a tweet and completely obliterate their credibility.

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:21 has a good grip on it.

If voters ever punish politicians of either party for ass-raping them, it would be the first time. So never say NEVER. But you can certainly say: "not so far".

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Unfair assessment. When people become angry enough, the s..t will hit the fan and many of these scumbags will be voted out. Just look at what the black women did in Alabama - they were terrific and made a difference. Alabama, the redist state ever! Politics will always be an ebb and flow. The tide will turn. Show some strength and resistance 2:21 and 3:20.

You may be surprised that there are enough voters who see the holy crap going on in our government and will make sure to vote against it in the next round. It is so blatant and insane it is too hard to miss. There will always be the deplorable minority. The rest of us who have been asleep at the wheel are waking up.

At 1:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You assume that any future elections will be conducted honestly, Hone. I have no such faith in politicians right now because the stakes are huge! I expect the GOP to pull some kind of Gleichschaltung and turn the US into a unitary-party state with arbitrary and absolute power. Corporations demand no less!

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aside from the fix being in, you forget dear Hone that electing democraps is NOT voting against the "holy crap". It is simply replacing a snarling demon with a different ass clown. The money is still served and the people are still ass raped.

The real sadness in this is that 65 million American fools still will feel good about swapping the demon for the clown even though the obamanation debacle should still be fresh in their "minds". 2008 was our seminal demon/clown swap and nothing at all changed. In fact, most things continued to get worse for people and better for the money. Those Grant Park faces crying with joy in 2008 were crying for completely different reasons by 2010 since 15 million of HI$ voters stayed home in 2010.

Religion offers the same delusional satisfaction as swapping demons for clowns does, as you well know.


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