William K. Black
February 25, 2019 Ames, Iowa
Donald Trump promised to deliver a middle-class tax cut of epic proportions.
“The largest tax reductions are for the middle class, who have been forgotten,” Trump said in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 22, 2016.
If Trump had fulfilled that campaign promise, it would have made him spectacularly popular and vastly increased his support beyond his base. He, not the ‘Republican Party,’ controlled the House and the Senate. Many Democrats would have supported a serious cut in middle-class taxes. Better yet, from Trump’s perspective, many Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and ‘Chuck’ Schumer would have bitterly opposed the Trump Tax Triumph on the economically illiterate basis that budget surpluses are next to godliness.
Trump could have followed up his tax cut success with a real infrastructure program distributed through grants to counties, cities, and states. Again, this would have been spectacularly popular and even Pelosi and Schumer would have rushed to co-sponsor the legislation. This would have been the second Trump triumph. With those two triumphs, the Republicans would have won a whole series of close congressional elections in 2018, retained (and perhaps expanded) control of the House, and expanded control of the Senate. That would have been the third Trump triumph and would have positioned him brilliantly for reelection.