Democrats Try to Make Political Hay From GOP Tax Bill

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The Washington Post has an article on its website about how the national branch of the Democratic party is trying to turn the recent Republican legislative tax bill victory to its advantage. Essentially, the Democrats are saying that the GOP bill is all about helping the wealthy, and democratic candidates for the 2018 congressional elections from coast to coast are harshly criticizing what the Republicans have done. In particular, Democrats are saying that the bill will lead to devastating cutbacks in programs popular to voters including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

While the GOP celebrates what is probably their biggest legislative victory in 2017, Democrats are trying to turn setback into success by convincing Americans that the bill will ultimately harm them and that wealth will not be trickling down to the middle and lower classes. Because not a single Democratic congressperson voted for the bill, the party is able to present a united front on this issue and others, including health care, which contrasts with how the Republican party has shown major fault lines in recent months across their entire platform.

The Democrats are already talking up the fact the bill will increase the deficit when the GOP has long sold themselves as the fiscally responsible party. Furthermore, the bill is strongly associated with President Trump, who campaigned for it, and Democrats hope to capitalize on his low approval rating in recent polls.

The GOP has admitted that the opinion polls show less support from the American public for the bill than they had hoped, but they say this will change as ordinary American workers start to see tax breaks and rising wages in 2018. Currently, some polling suggests that Americans who will likely pay less in taxes under the Republican plan believe that they will be paying more. Basically, the problem for Republicans directly after the bill has become law is public perception.

Nonpartisan tax experts predict that most Americans will, in fact, see less of their money go to taxes under the new plan; however, wealthy Americans will likely benefit more than poor. In any event, perception does not always reflect reality, and it is very much an open question which party will benefit politically going forward.

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