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Dems Fret Over So Many Americans Benefiting From Tax Cuts

- February 28, 2018

To The Chagrin Of Democrats, Tax Cuts Are Benefiting The American People


  • A majority of Americans now approve of the GOP's tax cuts which has seen its support skyrocket by a third in just the few months since the bill was passed.
  • The increase in support correlates with Americans starting to experience the tax cuts' benefits:
    • 90% of Americans are expected to see an increase take-home pay.
    • 406 companies have promised to give their employees bonuses, pay raises, or increased benefits.
    • Corporations have pledged to invest an additional $101 billion in the U.S. economy.
  • Democrats have "stumbled" in their attempts to attack a law allowing Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money, most notably House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a multimillionaire, who dismissed the surprise bonuses workers received as mere "crumbs."
  • Increasing public support of the Republican bill makes running against the tax cuts during the 2018 midterms a "political gamble" for Democrats.
  • The number two House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) acknowledged that the Democrats have a "tough" argument to make against the law, even expressing doubt that they could do so successfully.
  • Republican challengers are already hitting vulnerable Democrats on their opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT HAS GAINED IN POPULARITY AS PEOPLE BEGIN TO FEEL THE EFFECTS OF THE BILL

The Majority Of Americans Now Support The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

51 Percent Of Americans Approve Of The Tax Law, Up From 37 Percent When The Bill Was Passed . "Over all, 51 percent of Americans approve of the tax law, while 46 percent disapprove, according to a poll for The New York Times conducted between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11 by SurveyMonkey. Approval has risen from 46 percent in January and 37 percent in December, when the law was passed." (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

Chief Research Officer For SurveyMonkey, Jon Cohen: "Public Opinion Is Moving In The Direction Of This Bill." "'Public opinion is moving in the direction of this bill,' said Jon Cohen, chief research officer for SurveyMonkey. 'Considering where it was, it is dramatically different.'" (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

"Because Of Substantial Wage Growth, Bonuses, And Other Positive Economic Factors, The Republican Tax Law Is Gaining In Popularity With The American Public." "Because of substantial wage growth, bonuses, and other positive economic factors, the Republican tax law is gaining in popularity with the American public after initially negative reviews, which is becoming a problem for Democrats looking to run on a cohesive economic message in 2018." (Joe Perticone, "Democrats Are Scrambling For A Cohesive Message To Counter The Rising Popularity Of The GOP Tax Law," Business Insider , 2/14/18)

The New York Times : "Other Recent Polls Have Shown "Similar Upswings For The Law…" "Other recent polls have shown similar upswings for the law, including a Monmouth University Poll in late January that found support for it had risen to 44 percent nationally, from 26 percent in December." (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

The Increase In Popularity Comes After Americans Started To Feel The Benefits Of The Tax Cuts

According To The Treasury Department, "90 Percent Of Americans Would See An Increase In Their Take-Home Pay" Due To The New IRS Withholding Rates. "The Department of the Treasury said 90% of Americans would see an increase in their take-home pay as a result. The time period when employees could see a change on their pay check varies based on how quickly their employer implemented the new guidance and how often they get paid, the IRS said." (Katie Reilly, "Check Your Paycheck: You Probably Just Got A Surprise Pay Bump," Time , 2/2/18)

Four Hundred And Six Companies Have Pledged To Give Their Employees Bonuses, Pay Raises, Or Increased Benefits. " "406 companies announce tax reform bonuses, raises, or 401(k) hikes." ("List Of Tax Reform Good News," Americans For Tax Reform, 1/23/18)

U.S. Companies Have Pledged To Increase Investment In The United States Economy By $101,067,500,000 As A Result Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act. ("List Of Tax Reform Good News,"Americans For Tax Reform, 2/12/18)

Many Americans Have A Positive View Of The Law Now That They Are Seeing An Increase In Their Paychecks

Erin Parker, A High School History Teacher In San Antonio, Was Initially Against The Legislation, But Her View Improved Once She Realized The Positive Implications For Her Husband's Business. "Erin Parker, a high school history teacher in San Antonio, said she did not like many elements of the law, particularly its big reduction of the estate tax, and said she was skeptical that it would provide much of an economic lift. But Ms. Parker, who described herself as an independent who tends to support Democrats, said the bill would probably help the technology start-up where her husband works. 'Hearing about the implications for my husband's business improved my view of it a bit,' she said." (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

Gina Coats, A Project Manager For A Plumbing Company In Springfield, MO Noticed When Preparing The Company's Payroll That Employees Were Bringing Home An Extra $20 To $40 A Week. "Gina Coats, a project manager for a plumbing company in Springfield, Mo., said she didn't follow the tax debate closely last fall. But in January, when she began preparing the company's payroll systems to handle the new law's provisions, she realized almost every employee would take home an extra $20 to $40 per week. 'Everyone seems to be a little more upbeat,' Ms. Coats said. 'It's causing people to let go of their money a little more easily.'" (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

Colleen Doering, Who Runs A Small Facilities Maintenance Business Said That She And Her Husband Saw Several Hundred Dollars In Tax Savings And That "'My Paycheck Has Increased, And If I See It In My Paycheck, Then I Know My Employees Are Seeing It In Theirs." "Colleen Doering, who runs a small facilities maintenance business outside Orlando, Fla., said she and her husband were paying several hundred dollars a month less in taxes because of the new law. As a result, they recently decided to spend $10,000 on a landscaping project and started to plan a vacation. 'My paycheck has increased, and if I see it in my paycheck, then I know my employees are seeing it in theirs,' Ms. Doering said." (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

THEIR OPPOSITION TO THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT MAY COME BACK TO HAUNT DEMOCRATS IN 2018

Democrats Have "Stumbled" In Their Messaging Against The Tax Bill

Democrats Have "Stumbled" In Their Attempts To Frame Their Argument Against The Tax Bill, Most Notably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) Characterization Of Bonuses For Workers As "Crumbs." "But Democrats have also stumbled in their attempts to frame the law as primarily benefiting the wealthy and corporations - most notably, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's characterization of bonuses for workers as 'crumbs' compared with the benefits that businesses receive under the new tax code." (Ylan Mui, "Democrats Go On Defense As The Republican Tax Plan Grows More Popular," CNBC , 2/14/18)

The Number Two House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Acknowledged That Democrats Have A "Tough" Argument To Make Against The Law, Even Expressing Doubt That They Could Do So Effectively. "While in Indianapolis, between a fundraiser for a Democratic House candidate and a tour of the airport, Hoyer acknowledged that his party has a 'tough' argument to make against the tax law. 'I don't know whether we can make that case, but we're sure going to try,' Hoyer said. 'It wasn't so much that you got a tax cut. It was that you got such a small percentage when your need is higher.'" (Erica Werner, "As GOP Tax Cuts Take Hold, Democrats Struggle For Line Of Attack," The Chicago Tribune , 2/16/18)

Democrats "Have Done Little To Counter The Republican Messaging," Even Conceding That The Bill Has Had A Positive Effect. "Democrats have done little to counter the Republican messaging and concede it has had an effect, along with a series of high-profile company announcements of bonuses, raises or other benefits attributed to tax savings." (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

With The Daily Economic News Mostly Positive Democratic Warnings Of "Armageddon" In The Wake Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act "Sound Woefully Tone Deaf." "But, with daily economic news mostly positive (despite the latest swings of the stock market), earlier Democratic arguments that this bill would cause an "Armageddon" like disaster on the nation's economy sounds woefully tone deaf. Moreover, Republican-aligned groups have both outspent Democratic groups in messaging on the bill thus far, and have publicly committed to spending millions more in the coming months." (Amy Walter, "Defining The Terms Of The Tax Reform Debate," The Cook Political Report , 2/15/18)

Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) Said That Pelosi's Use Of "Crumbs" To Characterize Increased Take Home Pay And Bonuses Was "Of Course Bad Messaging." "Maryland Rep. John Delaney, who is already running for president in 2020, told Business Insider that Sanchez and Pelosi's comparison of bonuses and increases in take-home pay to crumbs is 'of course' bad messaging." (Joe Perticone, "Democrats Are Scrambling For A Cohesive Message To Counter The Rising Popularity Of The GOP Tax Law," Business Insider , 2/14/18)

Democrats Have Expressed Issues With Pelosi's Messaging On The Tax Bill, Rep. Henry Cullar (D-TX) Said "I Would Not Use Crumbs Personally." "Other Democrats say the problem is not necessarily Pelosi herself but how she has chosen to combat the GOP tax law. The minority leader described benefits to the middle class - such as pay bumps or bonuses handed out by businesses after its passage - as "crumbs" compared with the tax breaks corporations received. 'I would not use crumbs personally, and I think a lot of Blue Dogs would not use crumbs,' said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a leader of the centrist coalition." (Heather Caygle, "Trump Rebound Has Democrats Fretting Over Midterms," Politico , 2/20/18)

Growing Support For The Law Has Democrats Worrying That Their Hardline Stance Against The Bill Will Hurt Them In 2018

Politico : "Trump Rebound Has Democrats Fretting Over Midterms." (Heather Caygle, "Trump Rebound Has Democrats Fretting Over Midterms," Politico , 2/20/18)

CNN: "Democrats Scramble On Taxes As Republicans Gain Steam." (Eric Bradner, "Democrats Scramble On Taxes As Republicans Gain Steam," CNN , 2/15/18)

The Increasing Popularity Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Is "Buoying Republican Hopes For This Year's Congressional Elections." "The tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law now has more supporters than opponents, buoying Republican hopes for this year's congressional elections." (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

"Support Has Grown Even Among Democrats," Making Running Against The Bill In November "More Of A Political Gamble." "Still, support has grown even among Democrats, from 8 percent just before the bill passed in December to 19 percent this month. For Democrats, Mr. Cohen said, running on opposition to the bill has become more of a political gamble. 'It's less of a sure bet than it seemed in December,' he said. (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

Democrats Were Caught Unawares By The Increasing Popularity Of The Tax Bill And They "Fear That Their Chances Of Claiming House And Senate Majorities In November's Midterm Elections Are Slipping." "Caught flat-footed by the suddenly increasing popularity of the GOP tax plan, leading Democrats are urging the party's candidates to ignore the day-to-day controversies surrounding President Donald Trump's White House and focus their campaigns on the economy. The scramble to reignite opposition to a tax plan that was deeply unpopular when it passed in December but is now seen favorably by about half of voters comes as Democrats fear that their chances of claiming House and Senate majorities in November's midterm elections are slipping." (Eric Bradner, "Democrats Scramble On Taxes As Republicans Gain Steam," CNN , 2/15/18)

Democrats Are Nervous About Polls Trending In Republicans Favor, They Worry "Worry They're Witnessing The Beginning Of A Slow-Motion Train Wreck That They Have No Idea How To Stop." "Now many Democrats say they're watching nervously as polls start to trend in Republicans' favor - and worry they're witnessing the beginning of a slow-motion train wreck that they have no idea how to stop." (Heather Caygle, "Trump Rebound Has Democrats Fretting Over Midterms," Politico , 2/20/18)

Some Democrats Said They Are Seeing The Beginnings Of A Republican Recovery, Rep. Vela (D-TX) Said "We Should Be Winning The Tax-Cut Argument, Not Losing It," And Acknowledged That Republicans Are Making Headway. "But other Democrats said they see the beginnings of a Republican recovery. They said the caucus should be prepared to quickly shift course in its messaging if the polls continue to drift away from Democrats. 'We should be winning the tax-cut argument, not losing it,' said Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas). 'Republicans making headway is evidence we need to do a much better job at it.'" (Heather Caygle, "Trump Rebound Has Democrats Fretting Over Midterms," Politico , 2/20/18)

CNBC: "America Is Warming Up To The Republican Tax Cuts And - Democrats Are Starting To Get Worried." "America is warming up to the Republican tax cuts - and Democrats are starting to get worried. Recent surveys have found growing support for the GOP overhaul of the tax code amid relentless messaging from Republicans and a barrage of businesses announcing bonuses and pay increases. The momentum is increasingly leaving Democrats on the defensive on the kitchen-table economics they believe will be critical to victory in November's midterm elections." (Ylan Mui, "Democrats Go On Defense As The Republican Tax Plan Grows More Popular," CNBC , 2/14/18)

Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA Put Out A Memo Saying, "The Party's Message Has Gotten Drowned Out In The Debate Over The Tax Plan." "The momentum is increasingly leaving Democrats on the defensive on the kitchen-table economics they believe will be critical to victory in November's midterm elections. In an open memo this week, Democratic super PAC Priorities USA said the party's message has gotten drowned out in the debate over the tax plan." (Ylan Mui, "Democrats Go On Defense As The Republican Tax Plan Grows More Popular," CNBC , 2/14/18)

  • The PAC Was Concerned By Internal Polls That Pointed To Increased Favorability For President Trump's Tax Policies . "The super PAC pointed to internal poll numbers showing the percentage of voters who view President Donald Trump's tax policies favorably jumped from 32 percent late last year to 46 percent in February. Support for his economic policies also rose significantly, from 38 to 46 percent." (Ylan Mui, "Democrats Go On Defense As The Republican Tax Plan Grows More Popular," CNBC , 2/14/18)
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) Called The PAC's Memo "Spot On." "Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) called the memo 'spot on,' adding it 'crystallized' concerns he's been expressing recently. 'There are some real issues that we need to pound - and I mean pound relentlessly - if we're going to win in the districts we need to win in," said Ryan, who ran against Pelosi as minority leader after the 2016 election. "We better come around to that fact rather quickly. It's February already.'" (Heather Caygle, "Trump Rebound Has Democrats Fretting Over Midterms," Politico , 2/20/18)

IN 2018, MANY RED STATE DEMOCRATS WILL HAVE TO DEFEND THEIR VOTE AGAINST A POPULAR TAX BILL

Republican Challengers Are Already Hitting Vulnerable Democrats On Their Opposition To The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act

Democrats Predicted "Political Backlash" For Republicans When They Passed The Tax Bill, But "Democrats' Early Optimism Appears Less Well Founded In Indiana, Where Democrat Joe Donnelly Is Facing A Tough Senate Reelection Fight." "Democrats predicted a political backlash for Republicans in December when the GOP pushed through a deeply unpopular tax cut that added more than $1 trillion to the federal deficit and disproportionately helped the wealthy. But at the outset of the 2018 campaign season, Democrats' early optimism appears less well founded in Indiana, where Democrat Joe Donnelly is facing a tough Senate re-election fight." (Erica Werner, "As GOP Tax Cuts Take Hold, Democrats Struggle For Line Of Attack," The Chicago Tribune , 2/16/18)

  • The Tax Cuts Are Rising In Popularity In Indiana And Republicans Running Against Donnelly Have Already Begun To Hit Him For Voting Against The Legislation. "The new law is rising in popularity as businesses in Indiana and elsewhere trumpet bonuses and bigger paychecks. And while Donnelly and fellow Democrats struggle to craft a consistent attack on the law, Republicans - boosted by outside spending from groups backed by the billionaire Koch brothers and others - are united in touting the tax cuts and slamming moderate Democrats who voted against them. The three Republicans vying to replace Donnelly hit that point repeatedly as they met on a debate stage last week. 'He said he would work for a tax plan that would help middle-class families,' said one of those candidates, Rep. Luke Messer. 'We delivered a tax plan that helped middle-class families, and he was nowhere to be found.'" (Erica Werner, "As GOP Tax Cuts Take Hold, Democrats Struggle For Line Of Attack," The Chicago Tribune , 2/16/18)

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) Attacked Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's (D-ND) Vote Against The Bill When Announcing That He Would Run For Her Seat In 2018. "Republicans are confident that support will continue to grow as more Americans see lower taxes reflected in their paychecks. Their confidence was reflected last week by Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who cited Senator Heidi Heitkamp's vote against the tax bill when announcing he would run for her seat." (Ben Casselman and Jim Tankersley, "Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans," The New York Times , 2/19/18)

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Who Did Not Vote For The Tax Bill, Has Already Started Receiving Negative Attention For Her Vote Against Her Middle Class Constituency. FOX BUSINESS'S DAGEN MCDOWELL: "Yes, exactly. Democrats are very concerned about this that -- because you already have ads that are running in states like Indiana against Claire McCaskill who didn't vote for this saying, hey, Claire McCaskill is running for reelection. She didn't vote for a middle class or --but they're running -- they're running the ad -- they're running the ads in Indiana as well. But she didn't vote for a middle class tax cut. And you also hear from left wing Democrats coming out, Keith Ellison, John Yarmuth in Kentucky, Emanuel Cleaver in Missouri trying to distance themselves from this kind of language. I'm glad that she's on the road trying to get in touch with what real Americans make actual Americans what a thousand dollars might buy them." (Fox Business's "Kennedy," 2/21/18)


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