Trump accidentally admits Republicans deceptively sold the tax bill to the country

From the Washington Post, December 20, 2017:

To President Donald Trump: “We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.” — Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

Trump just admitted the GOP’s tax cuts were deceptively sold

 December 20

President Trump was so excited about passing his first major piece of legislation Wednesday that he blurted out that the Republican Party had misrepresented the entire bill, handing Democrats some potentially troublesome talking points for the 2018 midterm elections.

Speaking at the White House just before the House prepared to sign off on the tax-cuts bill one last time, Trump reveled extensively in his win before turning things over to Vice President Pence to heap praise upon him continuously for a few minutes. It was a thoroughly unique spectacle, even as victory dances and Trump Cabinet meetings go.

But along the way, Trump basically admitted that the GOP’s talking points on the bill weren’t exactly honest in two major ways.

While talking about the corporate tax rate being cut from 35 percent to 21 percent, Trump said, “That’s probably the biggest factor in our plan.”

The problem? Republicans have been selling this legislation as a middle-class tax cut, first and foremost.

A sampling:

  • “The entire purpose of this is to lower middle class taxes.” — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.)
  • “Primarily, and priority number one, is middle-class Americans.” — White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
  • “The theme behind this bill is to get middle-class tax relief for most people in the middle class.” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Fox News on Tuesday

And polls show Republicans have bought into this, with around 6 in 10 believing the bill favored the middle class over the wealthy — despite the biggest cuts going to the wealthy and the corporate cuts being permanent (unlike the personal tax cuts). Is it possible they think corporate tax cuts will spur the economy and eventually benefit the middle class first? Sure. But wary of it looking like a giveaway to the wealthy and to corporations, Republicans have avoided even this kind of “trickle-down” argument. They’ve been arguing that the middle-class tax cuts are what this bill was all about, and Trump just said that’s not actually the main feature.

Trump’s second admission was about the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate being repealed in the bill. Apparently eager to argue that this constituted his having cut taxes and slain Obamacare in one fell swoop (after Congress came up short on Obamacare this year), he argued that repealing the individual mandate was basically the same as repealing Obamacare.

But, he said, he told Republicans not to talk about that. Trump said he told allies to “be quiet with the fake news media because I don’t want them talking too much about it.”

  1 comment for “Trump accidentally admits Republicans deceptively sold the tax bill to the country

  1. Let’s review. The status quo Democrats don’t like Trump and the status quo Republicans don’t like Trump. Maybe you missed that one?

    But Trump is President, which probably means (according to your opinion) someone voted for him in spite of the instructions from the GOP and the DNC not to do that? Was it the Russians that elected Donald Trump? Well, if you believe that, why don’t you just impeach him? Wouldn’t that be the logical thing to do, so that all can be forgiven and forgotten?

    I don’t think the fight over the tax cuts is going to be the big fight. And what you should know. The people who elected Donald Trump know that fight is coming. And they know that fight will not be between the Republicans and the Democrats. And they know which side they will be on when that fight comes.

    The Republicans are pretending that we don’t exist and the Democrats think we’re Republicans. So what’s not to like? Right now is good for us.

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