The GOP would like to remind you that it has lots of unpopular positions unrelated to Trump
Rick Scott (R-Slenderman) promises a GOP Congress will do many unpopular things.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, released a campaign document today outlining what the GOP will do should it regain Congress this November. Up until very recently, this wouldn’t be news since parties always released documents like this but the GOP has avoided it the last few years since it’s basically just been “Trump good.”
Scott’s campaign platform is a bit of a throwback to the time before Trump. It’s a grab bag of unpopular conservative (or “conservative”) culture war agenda items from the last few decades, with some Trump-specific sprinkling on top. Reading it you can understand why Mitch McConnell had been against releasing a platform at all. There is a lot of ammunition here.
The biggest one is probably this: “All Americans should pay income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount.” This is a Romney-era GOP talking point. Basically, half the country doesn’t pay federal income tax because they don’t have enough income to qualify. They still pay taxes. State taxes and sales taxes and a zillion other taxes, but they don’t pay federal income tax. So this is a pledge to raise taxes on the poorest half of Americans (and retirees). A lot of those people, especially in the Trump era, are Republicans.
Josh has a good long post about this specific part of the NRSC platform, but one thing I will point out is that over the last few years Democrats like Elizabeth Warren have pushed a meme that I think is sort of annoying: billionaires don’t pay taxes. They obviously do, but what they mean is that billionaires only pay capital gains taxes on realized gains, and every day the market fluctuates and billionaires' net worth goes up or down and they can say “Elon Musk made a billion dollars today but paid zero taxes” because you don’t pay taxes on unrealized gains. You pay them when they are realized. I personally find this to be a somewhat misleading and annoying talking point but it must poll well because you hear it 17 times a day.
If you were a secret liberal working undercover at the NRSC and you wanted to tee up an opening for Elizabeth Warren, you would suggest Republicans make this exact pledge so that liberals can say “Republicans want to raise taxes on your grandmother. Democrats want to raise taxes on billionaires.”
“On taxes, Scott is pushing the party back into Romney-Ryan-era “47%” territory,” Josh writes, “offering Democrats an attack line that will both unite their party and be popular with marginal voters — something Democrats desperately need right now.”
But it isn’t just taxes. The entire platform is filled with humorously stupid nonsense that Democrats would be thrilled to talk about instead of inflation or whatever whacky ideas leftists on Twitter are obsessed with.
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