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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Political impact of the tax cut

I do not know how the 2018 midterm elections will end, but I do know that passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will help the economy and Republicans.

This I know because Stuart Rothenberg indicated that passage hurts Republicans.

On March 18, 2010, as Democrats prepared to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Rolling Stone reported:
Stuart Rothenberg, one of the Beltway's top handicappers, derided as "lunacy" the boast last April by Rep. Eric Cantor — architect of the Republican strategy of obstruction — that the GOP would soon return to power. "The chance of Republicans winning control of either chamber in the 2010 midterm elections is zero," Rothenberg declared. "Not 'close to zero.' Not 'slight' or 'small.' Zero."

I remember when most of the media called passage of the ACA a “win” for Obama and Democrats. It turned out to be a win that resulted in a terrible loss. Ultimately, it was not a win at all. A little perspective is always useful.
Now, does this mean that because he was wrong almost eight years ago he will be wrong again this time?


Of course not.

But I would point out Obamacare was a win for Obama and Democrats because Obamacare lives.

Republicans won't kill it.

However, Obama and Democrats won an albatross that for Trump happily hangs from their necks.

The reason Obamacare helped schlong Democrats in 2010 was nobody benefited from it. There was no reason for Democrats to go to the polls and reward the party. There was every reason for Republicans to go to the polls and punish Democrats.

A net gain of 63 House seats and seven Senate seats by Republicans was a spanking that Democrats felt for the next two years.

But there was more to the 2010 election than Obamacare.

Democrats had appropriated $837 billion for an economic stimulus that failed to stimulate anything. The economy shrank 2.9% in 2009 and grew by only 2.5% in 2010.

It looks like the economy will grow by 3% this year, and another 3% next year. Joblessness is at 4.1%.

The tax cuts are not the Pyrrhic victory Obamacare was for Democrats.

Tax cuts will continue the stock market rally in 2018. That will help in the midterm election.

Look, voters get economics. Voters tend to be old, wealthier, and more stable than non-voters. Voters have 401(k) accounts and the like, and have benefited from the stock surge.

At tax time taxpayers will not see the benefits of the bill when they do their taxes next year.

The spin will be the rich got theirs, but you got nothing.

However, the IRS will reduce payroll deductions sometime in February, which should blunt that spin.

Much of Wall Street's reaction to the tax cut also includes the benefits of regulatory relief by President Trump's administration. This hastens and enlarges the boost from the tax cuts.

Of course, the president's low approval rate and the Republican Party's penchant for abandoning candidates in the wake of a media-driven scandal work against the party's chances to hold on to either house in Congress.

But the low popularity in opinion polls of the tax cut has scant on the midterms. We have no tea party-level opposition to the tax cuts.

For the most part, the people who care about the tax cut are those who wanted it passed. They are happy.

The opposition we do have is to President Trump. Democrats have to transfer this to the Republican Party, as they did with Nixon's resignation in 1974, and Bush in 2006.

The tax cut may spare Republicans from the gallows because while voters may hate Trump's style, they love his substance.


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

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As always, Make America Great Again.


  1. Which is baffling to those of us who love both Trump's policies AND his style.

    1. Yep. Just sit back, sip your cognac, and watch the monkeys go ape.

    2. And, there a sooooo MANY monkeys!

  2. I read a key thing from the 16 election - 15% of people who voted trump 'disapproved' of him. That's something to bear in mind in 2020. If the economy is pretty good, I think you'll see that number of people who dislike him but vote for him go up. I've seen proof it it in MSM stories - 'we don't like trump but the economy is doing well, he's a business guy.'

  3. I also don't care what the media says about the tax bill being unpopular. Wow, when every major media outlet blares that its tax cuts for the rich, why is this surprising? But people will feel it in their wallets next year and vote accordingly.

    1. The media...shooting themselves in the foot every day! And intelligent media would learn not to do that, but our media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dems.

  4. People usually vote their wallets. If the Republicans are smart (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHa who am I kidding?) they will hammer every Dimocrat senator up for reelection in a red state that not only did that senator vote against the tax cuts but that senator wanted to raise taxes. Hear that Missouri? This is a chance to get rid of the odious Claire McCaskill. Hear that West Virginia? Here's a chance to get rid of Joe Manchin. This should be a slam dunk but this is the Stupid Party we are talking about. They blew a winnable election in Alabama.- GOC

    1. #NeverManchin The Reepubs could run Pee Wee Herman next year and I'd vote for him. Ol' Status Quo will seal his doom with the final tax cut vote, and then get absolutely gobsmacked next November. BTW, went to his "official" website and could not find any sort of info pertaining to sending an email. Joe's gotten pretty comfy down there in The Swamp. Bucking Fastard.

  5. I look forward to Paul Krigman’s analysis. Hah.

  6. No politician ever lost reelection for cutting taxes.

  7. If only there were a way to punish the GOPe face of the Uniparty, without harming President Trump.

    The Democrats are just acting like the mad dogs they are; I don't like it, but it's their nature. The Republicans have no such excuses. Too many of them are faithless hogs, lined up at the Federal trough and they're the ones I particularly loathe.

    They run and are elected on promises they have no intentions of keeping, while they join the Democrats in warmly backstabbing the President and perverting the country.

    It'll be a cold day in Hell before I make a donation to any of those lying weasels at the RNC or the NRSC, but I can't do more.

    I'd sure love to know how to hurt them badly without that affecting the Trump Train, and in that I'm baffled!

    1. Donate to the candidate, not the party. --BJ54