America's 35 percent corporate tax rate was what made the nation great. That's why it's mentioned so many times in our national anthem.
And that's why, when Republicans pushed their tax reform bill through at Christmas, liberals pretty much lost their minds with a frothing, IQ-destroying rage.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi commented that it was "the worst bill in the history of the U.S. Congress," likely forcing some poor intern working for the New York Times editorial board to draft a defense of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Kurt Eichenwald's tweet, "America died tonight...move away if you can. USA is over," will likely be preserved as a historic example of stupid punditry. Also, Patton Oswalt's, "There is no America now," and the increasingly unhinged Bruce Bartlett's remark that the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 21 percent "is akin to rape."
So yes, it was all very funny — perhaps a bit less funny when the purportedly objective news media took their point of view far more seriously than it deserved.
Still, after the bill passed, it didn't take very long for people to see through the deceptions that had been involved in demonizing this legislation. Its popularity, depressed for a time by this Kremlin-like propaganda campaign, has since risen significantly. People have now seen their paychecks increase as withholding has come down, and they've seen the various companies handing out bonuses. With all the lies and hysteria about the worst bill in human history now well in the rearview mirror, a clearer picture has formed.
And now, just as the tax reform bill has risen above 50 percent popularity, Democrats are leaping into the 2018 election season with a proposal to repeal it.
The new Democratic plan, announced Wednesday, would raise the top income tax rate, resurrect the unlamented Alternative Minimum Tax, and raise the corporate tax rate, which consumers and workers ultimately pay in the form of higher prices and lower wages. (Corporations never pay taxes.) The money raised would supposedly go to pay for an infrastructure plan, but of course this is not how the world works — it would in fact go toward whatever future Congress decides to put it toward.
Call it the Walter Mondale strategy, expect that perhaps it's even a bit worse. After all, Mondale warned voters in 1984 that he would have to raise their taxes if elected, so that no one could accuse him of lying if the had won. Congressional Democrats, in contrast, won't be able to raise taxes even if they do win control of Congress. So their decision to line up behind a very unpopular idea is completely unforced.
It's especially strange given that the Democrats are starting off this election cycle with every advantage, and in my opinion should be favored to win a majority in the U.S. House.
Or maybe they think their advantage is unfair. Or maybe they believe their own propaganda — that someone other than Kurt Eichenwald gets excited at the prospect of a tax increase.