No, the Tax Bill Will Not Help Republicans

    Jeremy Slevin

    Politics, Americas

    U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks during a session on

    Republicans passed a bill over the objections of the American people that, in many cases, was designed to hurt their own constituents.

    Last month, weeks before signing into law the most sweeping changes to corporate and individual tax rates in decades, President Trump promised the tax bill would help Republicans politically. “I think people see that and they’re seeing it more and more, and the more they learn about [the tax bill], the more popular it becomes,” he told reporters. It was a refrain Republican leaders repeated ad nauseum: once people feel the effects of the tax bill, they’ll love it! “When we get this done . . . that’s what’s going to produce the results,”  House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters just before the bill passed. “And results are going to be what makes this popular,” he added. It was an argument many reporters bought, as evidenced by the Washington Post’s credulous headline, “The tax bill is likely to become more popular after passage. Here’s how Republicans plan to sell it.”

    But [a month] after the bill was signed into the law the prediction has yet to come true. And it shows no signs of changing anytime soon—threatening Republicans’ fragile majorities in both the House and Senate in this year’s midterm elections. A poll released [last week] by Quinnipiac University finds the tax bill remains the most unpopular major law passed in recent memory. Just 32 percent of voters support the plan, compared to 52 percent who disapprove. Two-thirds (accurately) think the wealthy will benefit most from the plan, while just 22 percent think the middle class will benefit most. By comparison, 52 percent disapproved in November and 55 percent approved in December—when Republicans refused to seat Sen. Doug Jones before voting on the tax bill. A Gallup poll found similar results: just 33 percent support the tax plan, within the margin of error of its December tax survey.

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