“Trumpian populism remains a tantalizing promise for people who are interested in it.”
Olsen expected the tax plan to include some of Trump’s populist campaign promises — that the rich would pay more, the forgotten working class would pay less, and special interest loopholes like the carried-interest provision for hedge-fund managers would be gone.
But the tax bill ended up instead being traditionally Republican in its focus on cutting taxes for the well-to-do but barely touching the working class and not helping the middle class to a significant degree.
.. “That’s not what Trump promised,” Olsen said. “And it’s not what Trump’s voters thought they were getting.”
Whatever happened to Ivanka Trump’s child care tax credit?
One of the biggest disappointments for conservatives who believed that Trump could have offered a new, more reform-minded populist economics was the failure of the expanded child care tax credit offered by Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Marco Rubio.
It was an actual populist idea, geared to the working class, because it was refundable against payroll taxes. But not only did Republican leaders oppose it, they made sure it failed by requiring it to get 60 votes, unlike other amendments.
.. The tax bill might not be the kind of populist piece of legislation Trump promised during the campaign, but it does have a lot in it to make conservatives happy. Obamacare is unraveled; there are more tax breaks for people who home-school their kids or send them to religious schools;
.. Maybe the most important thing Trump offers his supporters isn’t economic policy or any policy at all — it’s his racially charged Twitter feed and the cultural grievances it directs at immigrants, Muslims and millionaire black athletes.
Sure, Trump’s followers like the idea of having fewer tax brackets, said conservative Ben Domenech, publisher of TheFederalist.com, but, “What gets them riled up and active is the embrace of the culture-war issues — that Trump has shown himself perfectly happy to fight in a way that Republicans in a lot of other positions have been unwilling to traditionally.”
His tax bill is much more tilted to the wealthy than the tax bills of Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. And his white-identity politics is much more raw and more central to his persona.
It’s as if the Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street and the wealthy get the policy, while Trump’s blue-collar base gets the Twitter feed.