- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2018

President Trump is crowing about what he calls an “economic miracle” taking place since the $1.5 trillion tax cut took effect in December, reminding voters that his Republican Party deserves the credit for the country’s good times.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act turned six months old last week, providing Mr. Trump an occasion to herald the economic boom under way and drive home the message he needs Republicans elected in this year’s midterms to help him extend America’s winning streak.

“At last, our country finally has a tax system that is pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family and pro-America,” the president said at a White House event Friday marking six months to the day since he signed the tax cuts into law.

He extolled the historically low unemployment rate, more than 6 million American workers who pocketed bonuses, and the fastest growth in nominal hourly wages in at least a decade.

And he reminded voters that every Democrat in Congress voted against the tax cuts.

“They fought with us,” said Mr. Trump. “We didn’t get a Democrat vote. We didn’t get one vote for these massive tax cuts.”

The tax cuts are the centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s economic agenda. It’s also one of the chief arguments for Republicans in this year’s midterm elections.

Stumping for GOP candidates across the county, Mr. Trump has touted the historic lows in the unemployment rate of blacks, Hispanics and women, and the end of the inheritance or “death tax” that he credits with saving family farms and family businesses.

“Now, when you leave your small business or your farm, you leave it to your children. Your children don’t go [bankrupt],” the president said at a campaign rally last week in North Dakota, where the GOP is trying to oust Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in November. “They don’t go to the bank, borrow money, and end up losing the farm or losing the business.”

Democrats remain skeptical of the tax cuts, saying it is a scam that mostly benefits the wealthy and will lead to cuts of welfare programs for the poor. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi famously dismissed as “crumbs” the amount of tax cuts going to working American.

Last week, a national poll shows that public support for the tax cut slipped 7 percent in the past two months. Just 37 percent of registered voters said they supported the tax cuts, down from 44 percent in April, found the Morning Consult/Politico poll.

Support for the law even dropped among Republican, down to 70 percent from 80 percent in April.

Among all registered voters, the falloff in support mostly resulted in a bigger share of the voters being undecided about the tax cut, a group that jumped to 24 percent in June from 17 percent in April. The share of registered voters who were opposed to the tax cuts — 39 percent — was unchanged for the April poll.

Democrats and their allies on the left are aggressively sowing doubts about the tax cuts.

“The American people know that Republicans in Congress sold them out in order to reward their big money donors with a tax giveaway that the country couldn’t afford,” said Andrew Bates, spokesman for the liberal advocacy group American Bridge. “Now the middle class and working families are bearing the costs. This atrocious deal is something that the GOP should be running from — not on.”

At the tax cut event at the White House, Mr. Trump highlighted the benefits that some workers might not realize until after the November elections, such as the average family pocking a $2,000 at tax time.

“The typical family of four earning $75,000 will see an income-tax cut of more than $2,000 — and, in some cases, more,” he said to cheers from the GOP lawmakers who packed the room.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also was touting some of the less obvious benefits form tax cuts, such as lower electric bills.

“That’s right — despite warnings from our Democratic colleagues that tax reform savings would never reach consumers, utilities across America are already making that happen,” he said in a Senate floor speech. “In my home state of Kentucky, the new tax code led to announced rate cuts of up to 6 percent for Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric customers.”

He said America workers can add lower utility bills to the higher take-home pay and expanded job opportunities because of the thriving economy.

“This is what tax reform means around middle-class kitchen tables. This is why Republicans passed this historic law,” said the Kentucky Republican.

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