The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine‘s weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula. The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena. Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week.
The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act could be the first piece of major legislation passed by the Trump Congress. It’s a much needed win for Republicans. The problem? Few people actually want this bill. And, Republicans need a legislative win.
The Republicans approval rating has been steadily dropping; Quinnipiac shows an abysmal approval rating of 15% in November. President Trump wants to remedy the empty win column by passing a tax bill.
“I want the House to pass by Thanksgiving, I want to see people standing by my side when we get ready to sign by Christmas, hopefully before Christmas,” Trump said, ultimately giving the tight timeframe.
Trump’s set an unrealistic expectation of what Americans should expect. Remember the “tired of winning” argument?
We’re winning so much that we can’t pass any legislation! The mark of a true politician. Winning so much we have no wins!
We no longer need to listen to constituents?
Political Scientist Chris Warshaw has collected data and shows 30 years worth of information, and it doesn’t look positive for this tax bill.
Public opinion on GOP tax bill clearly still in flux. Averaging across recent polls, however, only about 30% of Americans support the GOP plan. This is lower than any major legislation passed in last three decades & only barely higher than support for failed GOP health care bill. pic.twitter.com/xKEKQQCRJv
— Chris Warshaw (@cwarshaw) November 17, 2017
Approximately 30% want this tax bill to be passed. That is more than the health care bill disaster earlier this fall. But, if that’s our standard, America, we’re aiming too low.
“[M]ost individuals get a tax cut to start with, but by 2025, tax breaks for individuals expire, so taxes go up. So no question about it – both these tax bills are primarily focused on business tax cuts, not middle-class tax cuts,” NPR’s John Ydstie said. “Republicans would argue that the business tax cuts will boost growth and benefit everyone. However, claims like that for previous tax cuts under George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan did not materialize.”
If this tax bill is passed, the Republicans are in bigger trouble with approval ratings and their base.
“You ran on tax cuts, not on the swamp’s idea of tax reform where special interests win. This is a plan that helps Wall Street, hedge funds, private equity managers, real estate and oil and gas partnerships and individuals who disguise income as profits or distributions,” Randy Levine, President of the New York Yankees wrote in Newsmax. “This, Mr. President, is a swamp deal.”
What about bipartisanship? Unlikely.
Democrats are opting to work with its red Congressional counterparts instead of meeting with the president because of his immature twitter hits.
Can this bill happen even if it is incredibly unpopular? Sure.
With a 52 seat majority in the Senate, all Republicans need are maximum two defectors. That is more likely, but the Washington Post is tracking all Republican responses. (Note McCain, Murkowski, and Collins are in the “have concerns” column – they have been known to defect from Republican rule #DownWentSkinnyRepeal.)
But, the Senate Budget Committee already passed the bill, meaning the Senate can vote on it soon. The committee voted party lines, 12-11, and a similar outcome can be expected in the Senate.
With such unpopularity, Republicans should be working touting a bill that screams “Conservatism at its finest!”. Instead, they’re defending a bill Americans overwhelmingly don’t want. Republicans need a win, but this tax bill isn’t it. Americans don’t want it and Republicans don’t need the negative blow to their image.