On Friday night, the GOP-controlled Senate FINALLY passed SOMETHING: a $1.4 trillion tax reform bill. Whoopee. It will now go to the GOP-controlled House, where who knows what will happen to it. And I take no pleasure to say this, but “I told you so.”
Just after the President was elected, I said, “What’s so terrifying about this moment is everything depends on Trump himself.” President Trump did some great things right off the bat. But he also staffed his administration with those who had been opposed to him. Rather than pushing his agenda, he aligned himself with the Republican Congress and pushed some policies essentially identical to those we would have seen from a President Jeb Bush or President Marco Rubio. Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, now back at Breitbart.com, has called this Establishment appeasement Trump’s “original sin.”
And instead of using political capital to fortify and expand the political coalition, President Trump tried to appeal to the very people whom he had already rendered irrelevant through his political victory.
Now, after failing to replace Obamacare with another massive federal healthcare system which no one really understood, Trump is struggling to force through tax reform. Objectively speaking, the proposed measure is deeply unpopular, with no poll showing a majority supports it. It’s also far more unpopular than the tax reforms pushed through by President Ronald Reagan [The GOP Tax Cuts Are Even More Unpopular Than Post Tax Hikes, by Harry Enten, FiveThirtyEight, November 29, 2017].
Remember, at this moment, there has been no infrastructure program implemented. There has been no major action taken to protect American manufacturing. Birthright citizenship is still in place, illegal immigrants have not been deported, the RAISE Act to limit legal immigration has not been passed.
So why is President Trump putting all his political capital behind a tax bill which offers the “Trump Republicans,” the working class white voters in the Rust Belt, almost nothing?
Indeed, this may actually shrink President Trump’s coalition in the future. One of the main elements of the tax reform bill which will likely reach a vote is the elimination of the property tax deduction. [Shaheen: GOP Tax Bill Would Hurt N.H. Homeowners By Eliminating Property Tax Deduction, by Peter Biello, NHPR, November 29, 2017]
Politically, this is going to make it very difficult for a populist Republican party to win the support of white working class voters in some New England states, which is obviously the next target once the Rust Belt is consolidated. President Trump came agonizingly close to winning New Hampshire in the last election; a step like this makes it far less likely. And it makes it less likely that Trump will be able to break into what VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow has called “Greater New England, from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon. These are areas that are heavily white, and yet they are still substantially controlled by Democrats.”
We can’t even say tax reform is uniting the Republican Party. According to the Pew Research Center, “Market Skeptic Republicans” are the second-largest part of the Republican coalition. This group opposes immigration and does not support upper class tax cuts. Yet Trump is trying to deliver on upper class tax cuts and is not doing enough on immigration.
The Democrat Party, which now seems to be defined by Open Borders and anti-white racial hatred, is doing its best to alienate the white working class. But putting all their political capital behind the tax bill is going to make it hard for the Republicans to create the kind of white turnout it will need to win elections in the future.
There seem to be many complaints with the exact structure of the tax bill itself [GOP Tax Bill Is The End of All Economic Sanity in Washington, by Stan Collender, Forbes, November 19, 2017]. Economically, with the stock market soaring the way it is (likely because of a Fed-driven bubble), there seems to be little justification for it. Politically, instead of investing in infrastructure and help for the working class, the tax bill is just going to make it easier for Trump’s billionaire critics to fund the NGOs that are trying to destroy him.
What’s truly incredible is how there seems to have been nothing prepared for the Republican Party to act on following President Trump’s victory. The “united Republican government” Paul Ryan bragged about had no plans, no concrete legislation prepared. And the way Trump won in the face of united Main Stream Media opposition and sabotage from his own party seems to have sparked no rethink within Beltway Right itself.
The rise of Donald Trump should have created a serious effort to build a platform which would support Affordable Family Formation for the GOP base. Instead, it’s like Conservatism Inc. and the Republican Establishment are both on autopilot.
Which raises an obvious question. What is the point of all these conservative nonprofits? What exactly do they do all day?
What was the purpose of all those hundreds of millions of dollars, those fancy fundraisers, all those staff positions and policy papers?
How could they have not been prepared for this moment, when they had all power in their hands and a president eager to carry forward their agenda? And then it turns out Conservatism Inc. had no agenda to begin with?
We can fault President Trump for not having his own nationalist agenda clearly laid out. We can fault him for not just doing what his campaign website said.
But the American Conservative Movement told its supporters it was preparing for this moment of a united government for years. And then, when you have a novice president ready to move, they had nothing to give him.
This ludicrous effort to pass a tax bill, any tax bill, and pretend that will solve all the party’s problems is only the latest evidence Conservatism Inc. is intellectually dead.
I can tell you this. If the VDARE Foundation had one percent—just one percent— of the resources the Beltway Right enjoys, we would have already had the revolution by now.
I’m Virginia Dare. A we’ll talk again soon.