Way back before the midterms, President Trump was so desperate for Republicans to retain their majority in the House of Representatives that he blurted out his intention to give the middle class a big tax cut. “We are going to be putting in and are studying very deeply right now, around the clock a major tax cut for middle-income people,” the president said after a rally on October 20th. “Not for business at all. For middle-income people.” He promised that the tax cut would be implemented before the end of the month, despite Congress not being in session. No one knew what he was talking about. A few days later, Trump clarified that he would be putting in a “resolution” for Congress to cut taxes after it reconvened. Still, the details were unclear.
None of this ever happened, of course. Bloomberg recently broached the issue in an interview with Steve Mnuchin. The treasury secretary didn’t have much to offer when asked about his boss’s pre-election promise. “I’m not going to comment on whether it is a real thing or not a real thing,” he said. “I’m saying for the moment we have other things we’re focused on.” After Trump floated the idea of a new tax cut before the election, Mnuchin said he was working with House Republicans to put it together and that it would be released “shortly.”
As Congress prepares to close, Trump has been laser-focused on securing funding for a border wall. Democrats have been unwilling to provide it, which had led Trump to threaten to shut down the government, and also to tweet a lot. “In our Country, so much money has been poured down the drain, for so many years, but when it comes to Border Security and the Military, the Democrats fight to the death,” he wrote Wednesday morning. “We won on the Military, which is being completely rebuilt. One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!”
In our Country, so much money has been poured down the drain, for so many years, but when it comes to Border Security and the Military, the Democrats fight to the death. We won on the Military, which is being completely rebuilt. One way or the other, we will win on the Wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
On Tuesday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration has asked Cabinet agencies to find money for the wall, while at the same time maintaining that taxpayers would not wind up footing the bill. Despite the president’s confidence that he “will win on the Wall,” the New York Times reported on Tuesday that Republicans are trying to “choreograph a compromise that would protect Mr. Trump’s ego and still be broadly acceptable.” The tax cut Trump proposed and subsequently campaigned on last month seems to have been forgotten entirely amid the chaos surrounding the border wall. This could also be due to the fact that, in reality, the administration gave up on the idea a long time ago. “We’ve been noodling more on this middle-class tax cut, how to structure it, and even pay for it,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told Politico days after the midterms. “I don’t think the chances of that are very high, because the Democrats are going to go after the corporate tax and all that stuff.”
In other words, it’s “not a real thing.” Happy holidays.