It’s become a popular trope of political punditry to make jokes about how the electorate gets bombarded by enough advertising to repeatedly vote against its own best interest. A massive tax cut for corporations, which were already flush with the most amount of cash ever, is apparently not going over particularly well with the supposedly “ignorant” electorate.
The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that the tax-cut law, never broadly popular, has sagged in public esteem lately. Just 27 percent of Americans call it a good idea, down from 30 percent in January. A 36 percent plurality call it a bad idea, while the rest have no opinion.
Moreover, a majority gives thumbs-down on the plan when asked to consider its potential effects. Just 39 percent foresee a positive impact from a stronger economy, more jobs and more money in their pockets; 53 percent foresee a negative impact from higher deficits and disproportionate benefits for the wealthy and big corporations.
The results we’ve seen so far this earnings season from the major banks make it crystal clear that the tax cut is achieving at least one aim: the further enrichment of the investor class and the shareholders of large corporations. What JP Morgan had to say last week, along with Citi and B of A, seals the deal. Tax cuts have worked out very well for them. Goldman too, the company reported a blowout quarter this morning and saw its effective tax rate drop to 17% while profits soared 26% year over year.
Hopefully, for the GOP, these benefits find their way down below the 10% of Americans who own 80% of the stock market before the fall midterms.
It’s one thing to sell ordinary Americans on how great a thing is going to be before it actually happens. It’s quite another to tell them how great a thing was after it happens and the effects haven’t been felt. This is a nice experiment we get to watch in real-time, with the only risk being a massive, generational hole potentially being blown in the deficit, but so what. It’s for science!