Let me offer a theory about why Democrats in Congress are not going after the Republicans’ worst tax bill ever with the same visceral vehemence they used to oppose the GOP’s efforts earlier this year to gut Obamacare and Medicaid.
The House and Senate versions of the bill, while differing in some particulars, have been parsed by the country’s best fiscal analysts, and as longtime tax policy investigative reporter David Cay Johnston noted, “share the same basic feature: huge tax savings for big business and the rich, while more than half of Americans may see their income taxes rise between now and the end of 2027. You can read solid analyses by three organizations with track records for accuracy in their tax and spending estimates here, here and here.”
So why are the Democrats not making more noise about a giant reverse-Robinhood scheme, that at least on the Senate side, also includes moves to gut Obamacare by ending the tax penalty for not carrying health insurance. If passed, that provision would allow millions to drop their coverage, which in turn, would raise premiums for everyone else. Remember how last summer Dems rose in the House and Senate to remind Republicans that tens of thousands of voters in their districts would lose their healthcare?
The answer—and it’s a theory, but one honed from covering national politics—is too many Democrats across Congress are still beholden to wealthier constituents, whether individuals who contribute to their campaigns, corporate employers who threaten to leave if they don’t get more corporate welfare, or people in their social circles who get invitations to Kennedy Center galas.
Whatever is really going on in the minds of individual Democratic members of Congress—which might include shoehorning in giveaways for local constituents—there is a growing sense that the opposition in Washington is not being so loyal to mainstream America, which they like to think they are defending. The question is, why?