Middle-class Republican voters and those who supported Donald Trump in the presidential election are beginning to regret their decision, now that the GOP tax bill is poised to become law.
Speaking to several voters in the Midwest, the Washington Post found that many people feel “betrayed” now that the Republicans have rushed a tax bill through Congress that seems to benefit big corporations and the wealthy more than the average person.
Republican voter and Michigan resident Ron Stephens — who wrote in Ted Cruz for president — said he thinks the plan will allow the rich to profit while any gains he might see as a middle-class person will be washed out by changes to the deductions he would typically make. He was particularly upset by the decision to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.
“Why are you going to lower their taxes?” said Stephens, who works in the auto industry, referring to the families at the head of the companies in his industry. “The level of lifestyle that they have versus everyone else — why do they need that? It’s not that big of an impact for them, but for someone making $30,000 a year? That would have a huge impact on them.”
The Post also spoke to two businessmen — one from Indiana and one from Tennessee — who have been longtime Republican voters. Both men were skeptical about the idea that the corporate tax cuts would trickle down to them personally. Neither believed they would benefit from the tax cuts at all, and the Post noted that they “scoffed” when asked if representatives in Congress or the President truly cared about the middle class.
Even those who supported Trump and who believe they might benefit from the tax bill have some doubts about how the wealthy will make out.
Patrick Colley, a 59-year old union man who hauls cars for a living, told the Post that “there’s too much gray about the wealthy” in the tax plan. Colley thinks he will benefit from the plan, but is not sure by how much. He also doubts that the corporations are likely to pass on much of their savings from the tax plan to employees because they “are in the ‘not caring’ mode.”
In Ohio counties that went strongly for Trump in the election, the New York Times found little buzz about the apparent legislative victory for Republicans.
“Few expected a tax cut to be significant enough to matter very much,” the Times reported. “Most said that other issues, like jobs that paid living wages, were more important.”
One Trump supporter didn’t understand why the focus had been on the tax system. “We are focusing too much on this tax thing, frankly,” said Gerry Noble, an electrician and Trump voter. “There are other things he could do that would be a whole lot better.”
Mac McLaughlin told the Times he was worried about the plan’s implication for his grandson’s college loan deductions, but regretted voting for Trump more so because of his “abrasive” style.
Other Trump supporters were incensed about the tax loopholes that the rich are able to use and which the average person cannot, but many were simply in the dark about what was actually in the bill.
“Lower taxes for the rich, is that what they’re talking about?” said Al Brancifort, a machine tool retailer who voted for Trump, but did not know enough about the bill to have an opinion on it.
“Until you came in here,” a 24-year old Trump voter and electrician said of the bill to the Times, “I never heard anybody bringing it up.”
“Nothing has really happened to make me think, man I need my taxes reformed,” the Trump supporter said.