“We’ve lost the messaging battle”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

According to an internal poll conducted for the Republican party and obtained by Bloomberg, the vast majority of Americans have a correct impression of the GOP's tax cuts.

That is not how the Republican National Committee (RNC) is framing the results, as you might have guessed, as they say it's just a matter of messaging.

By a 2-to-1 margin -- 61 percent to 30 percent -- respondents said the law benefits “large corporations and rich Americans” over “middle class families,” according to the survey, which was completed on Sept. 2 by the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies and obtained by Bloomberg News. [...]

“Voters are evenly divided on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the RNC-commissioned report said. “But, we’ve lost the messaging battle on the issue.”

With a policy like this, the proof is in the pudding. The fact is the overwhelming majority of Americans have seen little to no benefit from the GOP's tax cuts while nearly a trillion dollars in corporate buybacks and dividend payments have dominated the headlines.

Trump himself is all too eager to point at the stock market while many Americans have actually seen their wages decline as inflation partially driven by Trump's trade war consumes the modest gains they've made.

You can't "message" your way out of this and, unfortunately for the Republican party, the good news is going to peter out as the benefits from the tax cuts fade even for corporations. The best of times is likely behind us or it will be relatively soon.

Here's another correct impression voters have of the GOP's tax cuts:

The RNC study says Americans worry the tax law will lead to cuts in Social Security and Medicare, concluding that “most voters believe that the GOP wants to cut back on these programs in order to provide tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.” It attributes that finding to “a fairly disciplined Democrat attack against the recent tax cuts.”

What could possibly give voters the idea that Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare? It must be the Democrats, right?

Or maybe it was Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

Asked Monday if the Trump administration would address "entitlement reform," White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said it will "probably" look at "larger entitlements" next year. Entitlement reform generally refers to changes or cuts to large government social programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or food stamps.

We've always wondered if voters would ever learn that tax cuts don't trickle down and it appears that they have, but it doesn't necessarily matter. Republicans stopped answering to voters a long time ago. They only answer to party donors.

  • swift_4

    So it only took them (us) about forty years, but they’re starting to learn.

  • muselet

    Yeah, that there is some quality analysis from Public Opinion Strategies.

    The public is evenly divided on the Rs’ tax deform law, but somehow a messaging failure leads the public to believe by a 2-to-1 margin that the law favors corporations and the wealthy. The public believes the Rs will cut Social Security and Medicare benefits to offset some of the cost of the tax cuts, but that’s only because those dastardly Ds are united in opposing said cuts.

    The “messaging battle” and “a fairly disciplined Democrat [sic] attack,” not the policy itself, account for public disapproval. Sure.

    Whatever the RNC paid for that report was far too much.

    (I could be terribly, even unforgivably, childish and point out that Public Opinion Strategies is abbreviated POS, but I shall forbear.)


  • Christopher Foxx

    a fairly disciplined Democrat attack…

    Now there’s something you don’t see every day. In fact, have we ever?

  • Draxiar

    The Democrats could not have asked for a better talking point to beat the Republicans over the head with.

    • Tony Lavely

      I’m waiting to hear one…

    • Christopher Foxx

      Now let’s see if they do…

  • Aynwrong

    “By a 2-to-1 margin — 61 percent to 30 percent — respondents said the law benefits “large corporations and rich Americans”

    “Voters are evenly divided on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” the RNC-commissioned report said.

    How is a 61% to 30% evenly divided?

    Republican voters may have figured out this grift (most Dems had them beat by at least a decade) but they’ll keep voting for the R’s. It was never about “economic anxiety.”

    • Nefercat

      “How is 61% to 30% evenly divided?”
      I wondered that also. I have concluded it is true if you introduce republican math.

      If you round 61% down by 27%, and round 30% up by 150%, then presto, they are approximately equally divided, 45% to 45%. See? Just a rounding difference.

      This is the same mathematical brilliance that makes the fat cat tax cut so wonderful for The Little People.