In his inaugural address earlier this year – yes, it’s been a long year – Donald Trump articulated a vision for taking political power and “giving it back to you, the American people.” The new Republican president added, “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”
In practice, of course, Trump’s promises were as false as they were cruel. The White House’s budget plan seemed to go out of its way to punish the working families the president vowed to protect. Trump’s health care measures, by his own admission, ended up hurting many of the struggling people who helped elect him.
And as NBC News’s First Read team noted this morning, Trump’s tax plans are part of the same regressive governing vision.
When President Trump speaks on his tax plan at 3:30 pm ET today in St. Charles, Mo., it will no longer be accurate to describe him as an economic populist who pursues policies to benefit the poor and the middle class at the expense of the wealthiest Americans. The reason: The Senate tax plan he’s selling is the exact opposite of economic populism.
Trump the candidate did his best to cater his sales pitch to a specific set of marks, I mean, voters. He talked about raising taxes on the wealthy, for example, and said in his convention speech, “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people who cannot defend themselves.”
It was then time for the bait and switch: Trump the president endorsed, among other things, a tax plan that rewards the wealthy and raises taxes on the middle class.
“The forgotten men and women of our country” have evidently been forgotten.
The next line in the president’s inaugural was, “Everyone is listening to you now.” Ten months later, these same Americans are saying they don’t want to pay more in taxes in order to finance breaks for the wealthy – and Trump and his Republican brethren are choosing not to listen at all.