INDIANAPOLIS – While President Trump will likely use tonight’s State of the Union address to praise the McConnell tax bill, Republicans will continue to worry behind the scenes about the tens of millions of Americans who haven’t felt any impact from their unpopular bill.
Republicans are coming to grips with the fact that middle class Americans haven’t been sold on the tax plan the party has hung its electoral hopes on. A prominent GOP super PAC recently circulated a polling memo that issued a stern warning to Republicans: despite their PR rollout, the McConnell tax bill is still unpopular with a majority of GOP voters. It goes on to explain that “a plurality of voters in at least 50 battleground [House] districts believe the GOP tax plan will increase their taxes, not cut them.”
Republicans seem to be struggling to sell the McConnell tax bill to even their own voters because the gains for most middle class workers are vanishingly small. According to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center, Americans earning roughly $50,000 to $75,000 will see an average increase in their paycheck likely to be so small that it will go unnoticed when other factors like premium hikes on health insurance are included.
Relatedly, while companies have been desperate to attribute one-off bonuses to the tax bill, only two percent of adults have said they had gotten a raise, bonus, or any other benefit from it, according to a new Thomson Reuters survey. Polls, including Reuters’, have routinely shown that roughly thirty percent of Americans think the McConnell bill will increase their taxes. And corporations like Kimberly-Clark aren’t helping the bill’s reputation when they’ve used their gains to pay for laying off thousands of workers.
“Tens of millions of Americans will tune in to the State of the Union tonight having realized that the McConnell tax bill they’re being sold is an empty promise,” said Michael Feldman, spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Republicans ought to be nervous because voters have come to realize exactly what the McConnell bill is: a budget-buster that won’t benefit them, but create new tax breaks for the wealthiest among us and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”