Message war begins on tax reform: Trump fires first
When’s the last time you saw a Republican president rally with over-road-truckers? Not the norm.
But then President Trump is not the normal president and he’s not waging the normal fight. In his 50-minute speech Wednesday night in Harrisburg, Pa., he talked about many things, as usual. But the main focus was his tax reform proposals. You can watch his speech at C-SPAN’s video archive here.
It’s a middle-class bill. That’s what we’re thinking of. That’s what I want…You finally have a government that is going to defend you and stand up for you and your country….The biggest winners from this transformation will be everyday families, from all backgrounds, from all walks of life….
The more than 30 million Americans who have small businesses will see — listen to this — a 40 percent cut in their marginal tax rate — 40 percent. I wouldn’t want to be a politician against that….Now is our chance to reclaim America’s destiny. We can breathe new life into struggling industries and forgotten towns. We can end the special deals for special interests, and we will honor the hardworking, patriotic Americans who make this country run.
The serious political struggle is underway right now — listen for it now day after day in the news — to frame the tax reform debate within the broad public mind. Trump’s message is the plan is built for the middle-class. So, he went to Pennsylvania, which he won last November, and scheduled his speech for the prime-time news hour, when he knew more stations would carry it and, at 6p.m. Eastern, more families would see it.
Democrats will, as usual, try framing the administration’s tax-reform package as more lucrative giveaways to the rich pals of the GOP.
Trump anticipated that last night:
I’ve had rich friends of mine come up to me, and say, Donald, you’re doing this tax plan — we don’t want anything. We don’t. Now, they gain when the economy gains. They gain when companies get better. They gain in lots of different ways. But they don’t want that. So many people have come up to me and say, give it to the middle class. Give it to people that need it. Give it to people that want to spend it. You would be surprised.
Trump pointed out that the last major tax reform was in 1986. It passed with a large bipartisan majority.
“That would be wonderful,” Trump added. “But sadly, the Democrats have become obstructionists. They want to stop. They don’t want to do anything productive. They want to raise your taxes very, very substantially.”
The message struggle will continue.