How will Heidi vote?
President Trump was elected largely on the promise of not being another all-talk, no-action politician. And while the President’s personal approval ratings have taken a bit of a hit because of his outspoken candor, public support for his policy initiatives like tax reform remains quite strong.
In fact, 42 percent of North Dakotans said they would be less likely to vote for Senator Heidi Heitkamp if she opposed the President’s tax reform plan. For a vulnerable incumbent Senator like Senator Heitkamp, who won by less than 3,000 votes in her last election, those numbers are far too great to ignore. While some argue that national politics will prevent tax reform from passing, North Dakota politics make it hard to oppose tax cuts and tax reform. Senator Heitkamp will have a tough time explaining to voters why she opposed lowering their taxes while asking for their vote at the same time. Fortunately for President Trump, there are a handful of Democrat Senators like Senator Heitkamp running for re-election in deep-red states where President Trump won by double-digits, making opposition to tax reform problematic for their re-election prospects in 2018.
Many argue that the philosophical divide in DC is too wide to bridge the way for meaningful tax reform. And while partisanship may be at an all-time high in DC, the ideological divide is less so. President Trump favors neither a night-watchman state, nor the socialist utopia promised by Bernie Sanders and an increasingly large percentage of the Democrat Party. Instead, President Trump supports the supply-side economics promoted by Ronald Reagan that spurred a decade plus of economic growth and restored America’s confidence both at home and on the world stage. Cutting taxes again would boost overall productivity, which is the only way to get wages growing for American workers. Americans know personally that real wage growth has been stagnant over the past thirty years, and there would be no greater Christmas present for the American worker than passing tax cuts that ultimately gives them a pay raise.
President Trump has repeatedly shown that he will not be held captive by special interests who wish to halt this reform in the way that typical politicians have been in the past, despite claims to the contrary. In fact, President Trump has taken the DC special interests head-on in a way unlike any President before him by both ending Obamacare subsidies to big insurance companies and terminating multilateral agreements that have put U.S. workers at a disadvantage. These same special interests spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to prevent Mr. Trump from becoming President, but ultimately their money could not silence the voices of the American people.
Right now the voices of the American people are shouting for tax relief – and their voices will yet again overcome those desperately trying to preserve the failed status quo. Right now the stars are aligned for a once in a generation chance for meaningful tax reform. President Trump has led the way on this issue and now it is up to Congress to seal the deal. Right now the costs of failure are too great.
Armstrong is chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party.