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The Democrat Party is now publicly revealing its plans for the 2018 Election Season: Campaigning on INCREASING TAXES and HALTING DEPORTATIONS of Illegal Aliens!

This week, Congressional Democrats released a detailed tax hike plan that they promised to implement if given majority control of the House and Senate after the 2018 midterm elections. So much for the crocodile tears about the deficit--Democrats want to raise taxes not to reduce the debt, but rather to spend that tax hike money on boondoggle projects.

As you might expect, hold onto your wallets. Here are the details:

Increase the top marginal income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. This nearly 3 percentage point increase in the top personal rate is not only a hike in the top bracket levy, but it's also a direct tax increase on small and mid-sized businesses. The 30 million companies which are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Subchapter-S corporations, and LLCs pay their business taxes on their owners' 1040 personal tax returns. Hiking the top tax rate is a small business tax increase.

Increasing personal income taxes would be particularly unfortunate since workers are now seeing the results of lower rates in their paychecks. Thanks to the new IRS withholding tables, in February of this year over 90 percent of workers saw higher take home pay in the form of fatter direct deposits (for a humorous spectacle of the New York Times desperately trying to get people to down-talk their bigger paychecks, click here). They will continue to see those bigger paydays for as long as the tax rates in law remain in effect. This higher tax home pay is a down payment on a lower tax liability. Typical families of four should see their federal income tax decline from $2000 to $4000, depending on their income level and number of children.

Increase the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent. Up until this year, the United States labored under the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world. As a result, jobs and capital were fleeing America for more normal tax rates that could be found in tax havens like France and China (saracasm font very much activated). Finally, after many years of bipartisan consensus that the U.S. corporate rate had become an impediment to attracting new jobs and investment, Congress cut the rate all the way from 35 to 21 percent. Even doing that only puts us in the middle of the pack of developed nations, but that's a heck of a lot better than dead last. 

As a result of this change, companies like Fiat ChryslerAmgen, and Amicus Therapeutics (among many others) have announced new factories and jobs would be built in America, not in other countries. Americans for Tax Reform keeps a running list of tax cut bonuses, raises, 401(k) match increases, and other benefits companies are passing along to workers as a result of this tax cut. The current number as of this writing is 431 companies and over 4 million workers. Just yesterday, Cox Enterprisesannounced bonuses of up to $2000 for 55,000 of their workers. Walmart and Wells Fargo have announced permanent wage hikes for all employees, notably those on the lowest rung of the ladder. Electric and other utility bills are going down in states all across the country.

Not content to endanger all that good news, the Democrat tax increase goes on to call for the following:

Bring back the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for 4 million families. Up until this year, 4 million upper middle class families had to calculate their income taxes two different ways, and then pay the higher result. This was due to a provision of the law known as the "alternative minimum tax" or AMT. Millions more had to at least pay a tax preparer to run the calculation, even if they didn't end up paying the AMT. The new tax law all but repealed the AMT for 99 percent of these families thanks to a higher AMT "standard deduction." Congressional Democrats would bring back the dreaded AMT, which especially hit hard two-income white collar families with kids in New York, New Jersey, and California.

Cut the "death tax" standard deduction in half. Over the past few decades, no tax has proven more unpopular in every single poll than the death tax, the federal tax on estates. 60 to 70 percent of poll respondents consistently call for its full repeal. The new tax law didn't repeal the death tax, but it did the next best thing--it doubled the death tax's "standard deduction" from $5.5 million to $11 million (and twice that for surviving spouses). As a result, far fewer family businesses and farms will be subject to the death tax, and many smaller firms can shed the costly insurance, legal, and actuarial costs of avoiding the death tax. Like the top personal rate, the death tax is not something that really affects the rich, who have plenty of resources to avoid the levy. Rather, it hits hardest those companies profitable enough to worry about it but not profitable enough to not worry about, if you catch my meaning. Democrats have never understood this, which is why it's not surprising they want to reduce the death tax's standard deduction back down to what it was before.

All of this is very confusing given that the new tax law is supported by a plurality of the American people (the New York Times reports it's actually a majority) and is growing in popularity. A good chunk of people haven't even yet realized they've received a tax cut, so the favorable numbers should continue to grow. Maybe that's why a Democrat pollster and strategist recently wrote:

Since the passage of the Republicans’ tax bill, and even before it, Democrats have been losing the messaging war. Now that many Americans are seeing the results in their paystubs, it’s even harder for Democrats to make this a winning issue. Voters are seeing the bill’s positive impact and are not likely to oppose it because we tell them they’re not benefiting, and many voters who aren’t seeing the impact still support the bill. If Democrats want to continue using this bill as a major issue for November, we need a new messaging strategy. 

Instead of figuring out how to raise taxes, Congressional Democrats would do better to work in a bipartisan manner to make the middle class and pro-jobs tax relief just passed into law permanent. A rising tide lifts all boats.

 

Abolishing Immigration Enforcement

Left-wing pundits and activists are increasing pressure on Democratic politicians to embrace the fringe position of abolishing ICE.

Once an idea limited to the far-left fringes, abolishing the nation’s immigration enforcement agency now looks likely to become a campaign issue in the Democrats’ 2020 presidential primary.

Former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon came out for abolishing the agency in January. “ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force,” Fallon argued. “Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form.”

A U.S. Border Patrol agent watches over a group of undocumented immigrants on February 23, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. The agents captured the group of Central American immigrants shortly after they rafted across the border from Mexico into Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

“Should ICE exist?” MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris on Thursday. Harris’s answer — “certainly” ICE should exist — sparked a backlash among some liberals.

Liberal writer Jack Mirkinson on Friday slammed Harris for her answer in an article titled, “Not Good Enough, Kamala Harris.”

“Any serious defender of undocumented people in this country would look at ICE and know that it is a cancer that needs to be excised from the U.S. Pretending that the most diseased levers of state power can be molded into something better is a useless fantasy. ICE must be abolished. Anything less is not good enough,” Mirkinson wrote on Splinter, a left-wing website.

“Kamala Harris is very likely running for president in 2020. It should be a political problem for her that she is not willing to take her criticisms of ICE to their logical conclusion and call for its abolition. She should be asked, over and over again, why exactly she is willing to uphold the legitimacy of such a racist, corrupt, and thuggish organization,” Markinson concluded.

“Anyone else who decides to run—Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Eric Garcetti, you name it—should be asked the same question.”

Left-wing publication The Nation on Friday pushed out a similar piece, entitled “It’s Time to Abolish ICE.”

“The idea of defunding ICE has gained traction among immigrant-rights groups horrified by the speed at which, under President Donald Trump, the agency has ramped up an already brutal deportation process,” The Nation’s Sean McElwee claimed.

Major donor-funded groups on the Left, including Indivisible Project, the Center for Popular Democracy and Brand New Congress, now support abolishing the ICE, McElwee noted.

“ICE​ is terrorizing American communities right now,” Angel Padilla, policy director of the Indivisible Project, told The Nation. “They’re going into schools, entering hospitals, conducting massive raids, and separating children from parents every day. We are funding those activities, and we need to use all the leverage we have to stop it.”

“This is a growing position on the left, and I imagine 2020 Democratic presidential aspirants will have to grapple with it,” Hayes, the MSNBC host, wrote on Twitter. He linked to McElwee’s article.

Acting ICE Director Tom Homan said Thursday that Democrats are being misleading about the illegal immigrants that his agency is deporting.

“Nine out of every 10 aliens we arrested [in the last fiscal year] did have a criminal history,” Homan told Fox News. “They don’t want to know the facts. They want to keep playing this political game and put smoke and mirrors up about what ICE is actually doing.”

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