There really should be a job posting coming up soon for a new DNC strategist because somebody has gone off their meds. The phrase “repeal and replace” is coming back into vogue, but this time we’ll be hearing it from the Democrats.
At first glance I had to double check to make sure this wasn’t an article from The Onion. But it’s really published at The Hill and deals with the Democrats’ overarching strategy heading into the midterms and perhaps even the 2020 elections. They’re counting on Americans being so unhappy with their “crumbs” from the tax cuts that they will ask the voters to give them control of Congress so they can repeal and replace the new tax law. And if you haven’t already guessed, Republicans couldn’t be happier about it.
Democrats are vowing to undo parts of the GOP’s tax-code overhaul if they win back control of the House in November, hoping President Trump’s first major domestic achievement will be a liability for the Republicans in the midterm elections.
The effort is reminiscent of the Republicans’ long-drawn campaign to hammer away at the Affordable Care Act and turn President Obama’s signature health-care expansion into a down-ballot albatross for the Democrats — an effort that helped the Republicans retake the House with sweeping election victories in 2010.
“We should repeal it and I think we should offer an alternative tax plan, which is we’re going to provide the tax relief to the middle class and the working class,” said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).
The initial stage of the plan is to hold liberal “teach-ins” around the country in competitive districts and states. These educational seminars are intended to inform voters about what a “scam” the tax cuts were and why the Democrats will be able to dump them and put something much better in place if they regain the majority in both chambers.
Does anyone see a couple of possible issues with this strategy? First of all, they should recall how well “repeal and replace” worked out for the GOP when it came to Obamacare. And that was a seriously flawed legislative package which drove health insurance prices through the roof and immediately began collapsing under its own weight.
Conversely, the polling on the tax law has been shifting rapidly. Pelosi’s “crumbs” comments have gained zero traction and now even a significant number of Democrats are saying they like the tax cuts. Heck, it’s even dragged Trump’s numbers back up to the mid-40s in a couple of recent polls, not to mention eviscerating the Democrats’ previous lead on the generic ballot. This is what you’re going to run against all year?
And as I mentioned above, the GOP has finally found an area where we can have bipartisan agreement. They want to see the Democrats make this their theme for 2018 also.
“I would welcome Democrats running for election based on, ‘Let us slow down the American economy, raise taxes and make sure people’s paychecks are stagnant for another decade,’ ” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) told reporters earlier this week.
“That would be a terrible campaign theme for them to run on, but I welcome them to do it,” he said.
The final question is the obvious, fill in the blanks issue. One of the biggest failures of repeal and replace when it came to Obamacare was that the GOP was never very clear about exactly what they planned to replace it with. And when they did roll out a replacement package it turned out to be full of holes. So what would the Democrat’s replacement tax plan look like?
No answer thus far. Pelosi is talking about repealing “the most harmful elements” of the tax bill, but which are those? The bigger standard deduction? The cuts for nearly every working class person in the country? Perhaps the cut to the corporate rate which has been cited by a huge list of employers as the reason they’re raising wages and handing out bonuses?
This should be simply fascinating to watch.