Republicans are about to pass a tax plan which most people don’t like, pushed by a president they like even less.
which’s the bleak situation the GOP finds itself in to close out 2017 as a pair of brand-new polls demonstrate the unpopularity of both the party’s standard bearer in addition to also its chief legislative agenda item setting up what could be a dismal midterm election cycle for Republicans.
A CBS News poll out Thursday found which over half of Americans oppose the GOP’s tax cut plan in addition to also 40 percent oppose the item strongly. Republicans generally support the plan yet only a third of them believe their own taxes will decline under the proposal, which is usually focused on a big cut inside corporate rate.
Overall, 41 percent believe their own taxes will rise in addition to also just 22 percent think they will go down. Large majorities believe the plan will help corporations in addition to also the wealthy, while just 31 percent think the item will help the middle class.
President Donald Trump’s numbers are even worse.
The latest Pew Research Center poll found the president’s approval rating at a brand-new low of just 32 percent, producing him the least common president in modern American history at This particular point in a first term. The ongoing Russia probe is usually taking a major toll on Trump, with 59 percent of Americans believing which improper contact definitely or probably took place during the campaign.
The numbers highlight a stark reality for Republicans heading into the midterm election year. Unless views of Trump in addition to also the party’s legislative agenda change dramatically over the next 11 months, the party is usually likely to lose significant ground next November with control of both the House in addition to also Senate potentially in play.
in addition to also fresh obstacles remain This particular year. Republicans in Alabama on Tuesday may elect an accused child molester, Roy Moore, as their next senator, putting party leaders in Washington inside deeply uncomfortable position of seating a man faced with credible accusations through multiple women. Or they could anger Trump in addition to also his nationalist base by attempting to block Moore through taking his seat.
The alternative is usually also bleak for Republicans. Should Democrat Doug Jones win in deep-red Alabama, the item might spare the party the nightmare of welcoming Moore to Washington yet the item might not augur especially well for the GOP heading into the midterms. Republicans also face the prospect of a government shutdown on Dec. 22 unless they can make a deal with Democrats on a longer-term funding bill.
Democrats have significant leverage to demand increased domestic spending in addition to also a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects immigrants who came to the United States as children.
Republicans could insist on keeping DACA out of a deal in addition to also limiting nondefense spending increases yet could then get blamed for a shutdown, given which they control both houses of Congress in addition to also the presidency. If Trump in addition to also the GOP back down on DACA in addition to also White House demands for border wall funding, they will likely anger the America First base.
On the tax plan, Republicans are hoping which the corporate rate cuts will eventually lead to faster growth in addition to also bigger paychecks, increasing the bill’s popularity over time. yet which’s not likely to materialize at least until 2019. in addition to also inside meantime, Democrats will relentlessly hammer the tax bill as a giveaway to the rich which ultimately raises middle-class taxes while blowing up the deficit.
The plan could be especially harmful to Republicans in wealthier suburbs where taxpayers could lose most if not all of their cherished deductions for state in addition to also local taxes.
Then there is usually the matter of the party’s 2018 agenda.
The White House signaled This particular week which Trump might like to roll out an infrastructure package in January. which could be a common proposal. yet the item features a deeply uncertain path to enactment, given the party is usually already adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit with the tax cut in addition to also Republicans are not likely to be enthusiastic about more spending.
in addition to also Democrats are not likely to get on board having a GOP effort which focuses on incentives for the private sector to pursue infrastructure projects rather than having the government spend the money directly.
Beyond the infrastructure plan, House Speaker Paul Ryan has suggested he wants to pursue an entitlements overhaul next year. This particular puts him at odds with Trump, who has pledged to protect the common Social Security in addition to also Medicare programs. in addition to also the item is usually perhaps the least common thing Republicans could do heading into the midterms.
Ryan may be betting which 2018 will be the last chance he has for a while to enact sweeping improvements while Republicans enjoy total control of Washington. Entitlement improvements has long been one of his chief goals. If Ryan isn’t betting which the GOP could lose one or both houses of Congress in 2018, he may be worried which the White House will be even less interested in entitlement improvements in 2019 as a potential Trump re-election campaign nears.
yet whatever the reasoning, Ryan appears set on doing what might appear impossible: settling on a legislative agenda for next year which is usually even less common than the tax plan the GOP appears poised to enact later This particular month.
—Ben White is usually Politico’s chief economic correspondent in addition to also a CNBC contributor. He also authors the daily tip sheet Politico Morning Money [politico.com/morningmoney]. Follow him on Twitter @morningmoneyben.