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Last Men And OverMen

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Democrats Can’t Possibly Talk About Trump’s Tax Returns Too Much

One of the many notable things about last night’s Georgia race was that the Republican challenger for June 20, Karen Handel didn’t mention Trump’s name in her post election speech.

Trump is taking credit for the GOP simply getting to a runoff-this in a district that hasn’t gone Dem in 37 years. Romney won by 24 in 2012 and Trump won by 1.5 in 2016. Kind of interesting for him to be taking credit.

If last night’s result was a win for anyone it wasn’t for him. I lot of note has been taken for the way Joni Ernst, James Langford, and other Republicans are being critical of Trump at the town halls.

They’re discovering disagreeing with and criticizing Trump it’s the only way to survive these events.

At least it’s better than doing a Tom Cotton: ‘Give the President a break he’s in the middle of the world’s longest audit.’

But talk is cheap. A number of GOPers at the THs now say Trump should release them. But what are they going to do about it? Will they vote to compel him to do something about it?

At this point only one GOPer-Walter Jones naturally-has supported Democratic bills to compel Trump to release his tax returns.

Yet polls show that Americans feel strongly he must release his tax returns. In my exploratory poll for my planned challenge of Peter King (NY-2) I initially a neophyte-lost to him 60-22. But when you factor in various policy positions of mine and compare them with his I gained 27 points to trail just by 11. This is as a neophyte with no name recognition-yet.

One issue that worked well for me was Trump’s tax returns. After respondents learned that I demand Trump release his returns and King has voted again and again not to release them, 47% are more likely to vote for ‘Mike Sax’ and only 26% more likely to vote for Peter King.

This is true across the country. Every Dem challenger should hit GOP incumbents on refusal to vote for Trump to release his returns-not just say ‘Gee, Trump ought to do it but I’m not going to make him with my oversight power in Congress.’

Jennifer Rubin:

“Some time in 2015, Donald Trump made a calculation. If he refused to release his tax returns to the public like every other presidential nominee and president in the past four decades, he’d get criticism from his opponents and the media, but that criticism would be more tolerable than allowing whatever was in those returns to become public. He could take the hit without fundamentally harming his chances of winning and eventually the issue would fade away.”

“It turned out that he was right — except for the part about the issue fading away. If anything, it’s getting more important, even undermining Republican unity and threatening the party’s chances of passing tax reform.”

“For that, you have to give liberals some credit. Who would have imagined that they could get tens of thousands of Americans to turn out at protests all over the country to demand the release of Trump’s returns? It’s not what you might consider a sexy issue. Meanwhile, congressional Democrats have signaled that a demand for Trump’s returns will be a centerpiece of their argument against whatever form of tax reform Republicans come up with.”

Is Trump’s tax returns more or less sexy than Hillary’s email server? I digress.

As Jennifer Rubin says this is an issue that Dems can also tie to tax reform.

“All of this is going to put Republicans in Congress in an uncomfortable position. They desperately want to pass tax reform, or at the very least a big tax cut, even if they don’t do a total overhaul of the system. But the politics of it will already be tricky. Their top tax priorities are cutting individual taxes at the top end and cutting corporate taxes. It just happens that this puts them in a diametrically opposed position to the American public, whose top two complaints about the tax system, according to the Pew Research Center, are that corporations and the wealthy don’t pay their fair share.”

“Trump’s personal taxes therefore offer Democrats a way to take an abstract and wonky debate and make it more compelling and personal — both for voters and for the news media, which loves to frame stories in terms of personalities, none more so than the president’s. A debate in which every Republican proposal is met with, “How much money is that going to put in Donald Trump’s pocket? We need to know!” is not the one Republicans would prefer to have, particularly when three-quarters of the public says Trump should release his returns.”

“Regarding tax reform, what conservatives always say is that nothing is more important than reducing ‘complexity in the tax code.’ This is Wall Street Journal piece is typical’ ‘Complexity is the root of all evil in the tax code.’

So in other words, most voters are happy to trade a less complex tax code for a more regressive one?

Democrats will happily take the other side of that bet any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.

There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.

Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.

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