Trump Plans a Blitzkrieg to Sell His Tax Plan for the Rich

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Axios reports that the Trump administration intends to handle its tax-cut agenda way differently than it handled health care. They’re already deeply prepared for the marketing push, with Sean Spicer in overall charge:

Activists and business leaders…all tell us the same thing: They’re surprised about how much planning and organizing the White House has already done….President Trump … barnstorming the Midwest … engaging CEOs across the country … town halls … write letters to their employees explaining the benefits of tax reform … local mayors and county commissioners … spend big on advertising support … Heritage Action, Americans for Tax Reform, the Business Roundtable, and the Koch brothers’ network … grassroots organizing campaign.

Wow. But what about the tax plan itself?

We expect the White House to float a few tax policy trial balloons in August….[One] major unsolved problem is how (or if) to pay for all these tax cuts. Some in the White House would happily just blow out the deficit, but Leadership suspects most Republicans wouldn’t be on board with that.

Eric Levitz comments:

Ah. So activists and business leaders are pleasantly surprised by how well prepared the White House is to pass tax reform. Also, it will be one more month before the administration begins floating “tax policy trial balloons,” and, for the moment, the top economic minds in the Executive branch have no idea how to defray the cost of their desired tax cuts — which a recent analysis put at around $7.8 trillion over ten years — beyond “blow out the deficit.”

We’re now grading the White House policy proposals by the same exacting standards that a Montessori preschool teacher deploys when offering feedback on finger paintings.

That’s true, but keep something in mind: When you’re a “populist” who’s planning to propose a gigantic tax break for millionaires and big corporations, your comms strategy is 90 percent of what you need to do. The fiddly details of policy can be left to the nerds and the pols. It’s just a matter of deciding who gets the biggest slices of the pie, after all. The hard part is making sure that your fans are prepped to yell FAKE NEWS every time someone reports that the plan will be a gigantic tax break for millionaires and big corporations.

This is something Trump grasps instinctively, but back in March he hadn’t quite appreciated how it had to be scaled up now that he’s dealing with national politics. I think he now understands that it requires military discipline, months of unbroken persistence, and a presidential level of lying and browbeating. We’ll see if he can pull it off.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate