Tuesday, May 08, 2018

McConnell's Crystal Ball: "If We Can’t Sell This To The American People, We Ought To Go Into Another Line Of Work."


Sunday I was surprised to see California wing-nut Mimi Walters, pushing out a message about how GOP tax policies are helping Americans. They're not-- especially not in her Orange County district, where people are paying significantly higher taxes because of those policies that she voted for. Katie Porter is Walters' progressive opponent in the June 5th jungle primary. Today she told us that "the tax policies that Mimi Walters is pushing will be a shock to middle-class families’ pocketbooks. These devastating tax changes will tilt our entire system even more towards the top 1% at a time when multinational corporations are parking record profits offshore, a handful of top-tier billionaires are getting richer and richer, and when the middle class is getting squeezed."

Monday morning Reuters released a report by David Morgan, Republicans in key election races turn down volume on Trump's tax cuts. It doesn't take much imagination to understand why this is very bad news for rubber stamp Republicans like Mimi Walters, who will have to face a powerful progressive Democrat, Katie Porter, with a coherent message of economic revitalization very different from Walters' bullshit.

Morgan noted that right after congressional Republicans passed their tax scam in December-- a reverse Robin Hood operation that robs from the poor to give to the wealthy-- GOP leaders like Trump, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were "buoyant." McConnell told reporters that "If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work." Soon they will have no choice-- to find another line of work. "Four months later, McConnell’s attempt at levity could prove prophetic."
The most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the tightest congressional races in the November elections are talking less and less about the tax cuts on Twitter and Facebook, on their campaign and congressional websites and in digital ads, the vital tools of a modern election campaign, a Reuters analysis of their online utterances shows.

All told, the number of tax messages has fallen by 44 percent since January. For several congressmen in tough reelection fights, Steve Knight in California, Jason Lewis in Minnesota, and Don Bacon in Nebraska, messaging is down much more-- as much as 72 percent.

Right after the tax law passed, lawmakers piggybacked on a surge of corporate announcements of tax-cut fueled bonuses to employees, wage hikes and job creation plans to tout the benefits of the bill to voters.

As those corporate announcements trailed off in March and April, so did Republican politicians’ messages about tax relief, the Reuters review found. With the exception of a flurry of news releases on or around April 17, when federal tax returns were due, few incumbents kept up the pace. The Reuters review did not capture candidates’ email, direct mail or private conversations with donors or voters or stump speeches.

Most of the 13 Republican incumbents in the most competitive reelection bids, and their aides, declined to answer Reuters’ questions on why they were communicating less online about the tax cuts. But a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted from March 14 to 29 found that just 3 percent of American adults were aware of receiving a material benefit from the Republican legislation.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said that is why his party’s candidates need to energize voters by talking about other issues, too, like restricting immigration and stopping Democrats from taking control of the House of Representatives so that they cannot impeach President Donald Trump.

Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, acknowledged there “has been a downtick in what voters are hearing from members and businesses on the tax reform front.” He said it was because lawmakers had moved on to other issues.

“Candidates and members need to make sure that they stay focused on what is our signature achievement in this Congress,” Hunt said.

Five of the 13 candidates who did respond to Reuters said they do talk regularly to voters at events.

The Republican tax law sharply cut the corporate tax rate, encouraged corporations to repatriate overseas income at lower rates, and at least temporarily, cut taxes for the wealthy and most other Americans. Many of the benefits to individuals won’t become obvious until they file their tax returns in early 2019, and that is long after the congressional elections.

...Some polling results suggest that taxes are not the burning issue for voters that Republicans hoped they would be. A Quinnipiac University poll released in March said only 8 percent of voters thought taxes was the most important issue in deciding how to vote in the congressional elections. It was fifth, behind healthcare, the economy, gun policy and immigration.

It is also harder for Republicans to talk about lower taxes in states with high local taxes like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia [and California]. That also happens to be where 10 of the 17 most competitive congressional races are.

Many taxpayers in those states will pay more in federal taxes because the new law reduces the deduction for state and local tax payments. About one in four Americans expect their state and local income taxes to rise because of the Republican tax law, while only 11 percent expect them to fall, according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll.

...Don Bacon, of Nebraska’s 2nd district, sees economic growth, and the threats posed by North Korea and Islamic State as the election-winning issues for Republicans. “Taxes will be one of the pillars of our campaign, but more indirectly. In the end, it’s going to be about an economy that’s growing.”
Kara Eastman is the progressive Democrat running for the Omaha-centered congressional seat occupied by Don Bacon. She took a moment off from knocking on doors this morning to point out to us that "the economy might be growing judged simply by the stock market and low unemployment, but wages are stagnant and not everyone is feeling the benefits of tax cuts designed to benefit corporations and the wealthy. At the doors, I meet so many people who are working hard, some are taking two or three jobs to make ends meet. Politicians need to start getting real and speaking, and even more importantly, listening, to the voters in their districts."
Republican Mike Coffman, whose reelection prospects are rated a toss-up in his Denver-area congressional district, has not been visible at all on taxes via social media. But his campaign spokesman, Tyler Sandberg, said Coffman talks about tax cuts regularly with supporters via email and with small business owners.

When they do talk about taxes, Republican candidates prefer to talk about the tax law in the context of how it is really a form of financial assistance to help families cope with college tuition, buy new cars, make mortgage payments, or even pay for summer camp.

Democrats, meanwhile, are attacking the new tax law as a boon for corporations and the wealthy that will add $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over the next decade.

They received some unexpected help from Republican Senator Marco Rubio last week. Rubio, who is not facing re-election this cycle, told the Economist magazine that benefits are going to corporations instead of employees.

“They bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker,” he said.
Everyone's known it but Pelosi finally said it publicly. When asked about all those Democratic candidates-- like nearly all of them-- saying they won't vote for her to be Speaker, she told the media "I think if they have to do that to win the election, I’m all for it… Just win, baby." But she still expects to be elected leader this year and Speaker next year. I don't know where she thinks she's getting the votes... but she's good at that.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think if they have to do that to win the election, I’m all for it… Just win, baby." But she still expects to be elected leader this year and Speaker next year.

There she is, undercutting the Dem's change mantra because now the voters know the whole thing is a sham if they are getting Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker's chair. Count me out of voting this November. Pelosi or Ryan? What's the difference?

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:45, you forget just how fucking stupid almost all participating voters truly are. So few can connect the dots you did that they'll never reach that conclusion (that nothing will ever change).

Like DWT, their panacea is simply winning (and the Nazi losing) the election. All after that is of no importance.

As always, in a meme of 'lesser evilism', what comes after is always at least a little worse than what we left behind. If Pelosi is not speaker, whomever is will be worse. Of course, when the next Nazi is speaker in 2020 or 2022, they will be MUCH worse. That's how this has worked since 1980. That's how it will always work.

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What McConnell meant, was that when "democratic" governance doesn't get the job done anymore since it fails by no longer fooling the rubes, they will turn to dictatorship in order to do the bidding of those who own them.


Post a Comment

<< Home