The left has greeted President Trump's tax proposals as expected, Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel notes, with Vanity Fairmagazine, the fashion rag of The Resistance, hailing the tax plan as “Trump’s New Tax Scam: Selling Plutocracy as Populism." To which Strassel replies:
Nonsense. Mr. Trump is selling pro-growth policies—something his party has forgotten how to do. And there’s nothing very “populist” about it, at least not by today’s political standards. The left has defined the tax debate for decades in terms of pure class warfare. Republicans have so often been cast as stooges for the rich that the GOP is scared to make the full-throated case for a freer and fairer tax system. It was precisely the right’s desire for a more “populist” tax policy that gave us the Reformicons and their manifesto for buying off the middle class.
Mr. Trump isn’t playing this game—and that’s why the left is unhappy. The president wants to reduce business tax rates significantly and encourage American companies to repatriate billions of profits held overseas. He wants to simplify the tax code in a way that will eliminate many cherished carve-outs. He wants tax relief for “middle income Americans,” though he also praised to the sky the 1986 Reagan reform that reduced the number of tax brackets and significantly lowered top marginal rates.
While Trump did give a nod to Ivanka Trump's child care proposals, the rest of the speech in Springfield at which he unveiled his tax plan was "largely a hymn to supply-side economics, stunning Democrats who believed they'd forever dispelled such voodoo."
A pro-growth tax plan is not the only threat from the past to re-emerge as a threat to the values of the modern Democratic Party. Elsewhere today, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price writes that the Trump administration believes in the dignity of work, and thus is rescinding waivers from welfare work requirements that the Obama administration handed out recklessly.
President Trump and this administration believe in promoting work, not dependency, and in building on the success of the bipartisan 1996 welfare-reform law, not dismantling it. So this week, the Trump administration rescinded the previous administration’s guidance that encouraged states to pursue work-requirement waivers.
At the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — which runs the TANF program — we are looking closely at ways to better encourage and support work. It is integral to the health and well-being of individuals to support themselves and their families, to the extent possible, through work. If our welfare programs are not designed with that in mind, they are doing a disservice to the people they are intended to help. Achieving this requires help from outside the federal government.
Pro-growth economics, self-reliance, and the dignity of work–The Resistance has its work cut out for it. And so do Republicans in supporting policies that the left has demonized but in truth give Americans opportunities and self-respect.