The Trump Administration is trying to fight off the emerging media narrative that their tax reform bill will hurt the middle class, and only help the rich. This is a line that Democrats have used – with great success – in the past to squash all attempts at serious, and fundamental tax reform.
Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers on Monday and released a paper that argued that the GOP plan to cut down the corporate tax rate would expand median household income by $9,000 per family – raising wages and enhancing financial security for middle-class Americans.
Unfortunately, it seems Americans are buying the media line, a recent CBS News poll released on Sunday found about 58% believed that the Republican’s tax proposal would favor the rich, while just 18% said that it would favor the middle class. However, this question was spurious – it is entirely possible (and indeed highly likely) that a well-crafted tax plan will help Everyone at all levels. However, it is very easy to fall into a class-based “us-vs-them” economic narrative, when talking about tax reform, of the sort pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
President Trump has taken pains to clarify that, “We want to make sure that the middle class is the biggest beneficiary of the tax cuts and tax reform.” In a speech in Pennsylvania last week, he detailed that, “It’s a middle-class bill. That’s what we’re thinking of. That’s what I want.”
However, after the repeated failure to deliver on an Obamacare repeal, commentators are concerned about the GOP’s ability to deliver. If tax reform is not delivered, many predict absolute disaster in the upcoming 2018 congressional elections.
Trump and the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that they would like that a tax bill is passed this year, though they noted that the past administrations have traditionally taken more than one year to pass landmark legislation like fundamental tax reform.
Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, in a statement that muddied Trump’s tax reform message, admitted that a repeal of the estate tax would primarily benefit wealthy individuals. However, Trump was quick to clarify that an improvement to the overall health of the economy, and the investment environment would benefit every single American.
Right now, the Trump Administration has been relentlessly on message, pushing for tax reform. But, Democrats are also pushing their narrative of class-warfare, in a bid to block much needed reforms.