The dangers of the Democrats' suburban strategy

Many of those people who stand to lose out under the GOP tax bill live in precisely the upscale suburbs that might flip to the Democrats in 2018. If that happens, the Democratic agenda going forward is likely to reflect a desire to retain the loyalty of these voters. And that’s a problem.

The tax increases in the GOP bill are not all terrible ideas by any means. The mortgage interest deduction badly needs to be reined in. It’s not okay that Ivy League schools have become giant hedge funds with colleges attached, and are using the same kinds of tactics that corporations and wealthy individuals have used to hide their assets from scrutiny. The more liberal and progressive party should want to address these inequities.

A tax bill that enacted a revenue-neutral rate-lowering and base-broadening reform of the corporate income tax (rather than a massive cut), and paid for an expansion of the personal exemption and an expanded child tax credit (one that benefitted families at the lower end of the income scale) by limiting deductions and subsidies that benefit the top 20 percent would be both moderate and progressive. But it’s probably not the way to win votes among the most competitive congressional districts in 2018, which skew distinctly wealthier and more educated.

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