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Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Delusional And Dishonest Message

There's an op-ed in USA Today by the head of a large Democrat political action committee discussing what the party needs to do to win back the majority.  Most of the column is a discussion of polling results that supposedly show concerns of various types of voters.  Eventually, though, comes the recommendation as to what the Democrats in Congress should do to win over Trump voters who had previously voted for the Democrats.  Here's the key:  Democrats need to be "fighting to protect Medicare and Social Security from privatization efforts, and fighting for tax reform that prioritizes the middle class, rather than the wealthiest."

Think about that for a moment.  There is no plan to privatize Medicare and Social Security.  President Trump campaigned on making no change to the benefits provided to seniors under those programs.  Even AARP, the huge organization of seniors, is running TV ads that point out that Trump wants no changes that could alter Social Security or Medicare benefits.  In other words, the recommendation in USA Today is that Democrats fight like hell against something that the President is not proposing.  It's a major fight against a straw man, a battle against shadows.

In order to make their battle to save these programs from "privatization" believable, the Democrats and the media will have to run a long propaganda campaign spreading lies about Republican plans.  That would not be unusual; it happens pretty much all the time.  The problem for the Democrats is that most Americans no longer believe them or the media.  When President Trump says that he will fight to preserve Medicare and Social Security and AARP promotes that, seniors understand that the Democrats pushing the supposed "threat" of privatization are just telling lies.

Then there's tax reform.  The current focus of tax reform is likely to be the corporate tax structure.  Changes there will help energize the American economy.  The changes to individual taxes are going to come second, since it is unlikely that both corporate and individual taxes will be tackled together.  If the changes to the tax rates boost the economy, nothing the Democrats say will overcome that.  On the other hand, if Trump cannot get the economy moving again out of the Obama doldrums, the Democrats will benefit no matter what they say.

In short, the Democrats "way forward" suggested in USA Today is either delusional or dishonest (or maybe both.)

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