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January 26 2018

Why Class Warfare Rhetoric Is Unlikely to Work Against Tax Reform

by Charlotte Hays

As Patrice notes, Democrats, including most notably House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, rhave  been dismissive of the bonuses and raises American workers will receive in the wake of the passage of the tax reform bil, describing them as "crumbs" and "scraps." 

I urge you to read Patrice's rundown of their darkly amusing arguments as to why a mere $1,000 is a pittance and beneath notice.   

If you are like me, you'll get a whiff of Marie Antoinette here.

For example, Ms. Pelosi is the 15th richest member of Congress, whose minimum net worth is put at nearly $30 million. I don't begrudge Ms. Pelosi her  wealth. The more rich people the better. They spend money and create jobs, among other things.  

However, I do suspect that Pelosi and her fellow Democrats who are unable to grasp that $1,000 could be meaningful are showing the rest of us how out of touch they are with ordinary wallets and realities.  

They also seem to view the tax reform bill as primarily a rhetorical challenge--if they can deploy enough class rhetoric warfare phrases against it, their words will carry the day. People will believe the bill only helps the rich.

Not so fast. Bill Riggs explains why that is unlikely to prevail--tax breaks and bonuses in the very districts of the naysayers will speak for themselves. I won't quote his entire article, but these snippets struck me as especially interesting:

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri called the benefits of tax reform “scraps,” which sounds even worse than “crumbs.” Those “scraps” include $1,000 bonuses for all employees at the Bank of Advance in Advance, Missouri. Central Bancompany and BancorpSouth are also giving four-figure bonuses to Missouri-based employees.

. . .

Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said he “introduced multiple amendments that could have put real money in the pockets of Ohioans. Instead Washington chose to cut taxes for millionaires and corporations.” But Ohioans in every tax bracket will get a tax cut, and the typical family of four with the median income will get a tax cut of more than $2,000.

While a host of the corporations that Brown derides are offering bonuses and wage hikes, big companies are not the only ones rushing to share the benefits of tax reform with their employees. Bruns General Contracting in Tipp City, Ohio, is investing in plant and equipment and boosting retirement benefits. Coach, Truck & Tractor in Conneaut, Ohio, boosted Christmas bonuses for its seven employees.

. . .

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin tried worn out and dishonest class warfare, too. “This is largely a tax giveaway to the wealthiest few, big corporations and Wall Street while millions of middle class families will face tax hikes,” Baldwin said.

Not only will those families be getting a tax cut instead, but Wisconsinites will also benefit in other ways. Green Bay-based Associated Bank, the state’s largest, is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour and giving employees a $500 bonus. Stevens Point-based Copperleaf Assisted Living will hand out $60,000 in bonuses to employees -- equal to the company’s entire savings from tax reform.

When class warfare rhetoric meets reality, it could be sobering for these legislators. 

Not only are families and individuals in line to benefit, but In a rundown of the likely economic effects of the bill in an excellent  Commentary article headlined "Nancy Pelosi's Crumbs Will Power the Economy," John Steele Gordon explains the potential effects on the economy as a whole. 

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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