Who do you trust on taxes?

Who do you trust on taxes?

by digby

That new Q poll shows a major shift on public opinion about taxes, which is significant. The GOP has the whole enchilada and they are losing their reputation as the part of fiscal responsibility. It's always been bullshit but now they have Orange Julius Caesar making the argument for massive cuts for the wealthy and that brings the absurdity into stark relief.


Oh lordy:

A dozen high school students working for Americans for Prosperity, the conservative political network funded by Charles G. and David H. Koch, fanned out across the Little Havana neighborhood one day last week to make the case that the Republican tax bill was something to get excited about.

“We believe it’s time to fix our broken tax code and let families keep more of what they earn,” Barbara D’Ambrosio, a sophomore, dutifully told an elderly woman who answered the door in her slippers. After she finished her script, Barbara glanced up from the iPad she was carrying and asked if the woman would kindly call her senators to urge them to support the tax bill, which was hours away from being approved by the Senate.

The woman stared at her silently for a moment. Then she nodded, politely but unconvincingly.

So Ms. D’Ambrosio and her friends soldiered on, visiting about 40 houses that afternoon and finding more of the same: people who were often unenthusiastic, unaware or simply uninterested.

It’s the trickle down theory of selling tax cuts to the American voter. Conservative activist groups like Americans for Prosperity, celebrating what they expect is the imminent passage of a tax package that they and the Republican Party’s corporate backers have sought for a generation, now need to convince ordinary Americans that this is good for them too.

These groups have marshaled their resources in almost every state in a campaign that can sound at times as if it were something a Democrat dreamed up, complete with tributes to the American worker and the middle class.

“The American people have waited 31 long years to see our broken tax code overhauled,” the leaders of the Koch’s political network insisted in a letter to members of Congress on Monday, urging swift approval of final legislation. They added that the time had come to put “more money in the pockets of American families.”

The problem, as Republicans are learning, is that most Americans do not believe that is what the tax plan will do.

Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist, said that amid all the talk about the need to score an important victory for their party, “it bears mentioning that the ‘win’ is something that is extraordinarily unpopular with 75 percent of the American people.”

“We Republicans get into the weeds and talk about technical tax policy and the budget process, and for the average American, that ends up sounding like the adults on the old Charlie Brown cartoon — wah, wah, wah,” said David McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, which has been among the groups pushing for tax cuts. “And the Democrats are messaging: ‘This is not fair to the middle class and the poor.’”

Ken Spain, a Republican consultant who works on financial and tax issues, said the legislation has become “a blank canvas” for the opposition to paint and that his party is to blame.

“There hasn’t been a cohesive messaging strategy to date, and the polling data reflects that,” he added.

So far, Americans for Prosperity and its field staff and volunteers have visited more than 41,000 homes and made 1.1 million phone calls. Cassi Alexandra for The New York Times
Americans also see the tax bill as inextricably linked to the Republican Party and Mr. Trump. And majorities of the country deeply disapprove of both.

In many public polls, Americans see the Republican tax plan in a more negative light than they did the Affordable Care Act before it became law in 2010. Never overwhelmingly popular, opinion on the health care law was generally evenly split at that time.

But the discontent runs deeper than an affinity for one party over the other. Not only do a majority of Americans doubt it is good policy, but people in conservative areas of the country have low expectations that it would do anything to help them, new polling has found.

In counties where Mr. Trump performed exceptionally well — that he won but Mr. Obama carried in 2012, or where he ran 20 percent ahead of what Mitt Romney received in 2012 — only 17 percent said they expect to pay less in taxes, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another 25 percent said they expected their family would actually pay higher taxes.

Those numbers were similar to a recent Quinnipiac poll that found 59 percent of voters believe the Republican tax plan favors the rich at the expense of the middle class.

Peter D. Hart, the Democratic pollster who helped conduct the NBC/Journal poll, called the tax cut package “penthouse populism” that risked tarnishing Mr. Trump’s image with those who see him as a “drain the swamp” crusader fighting powerful and entrenched interests. “The swamp isn’t only Washington to them,” Mr. Hart added, “it’s Wall Street. It’s the wealthy.”