Liz Peek: Democrats' desperate and dishonest assault on tax bill -- It's all about the economy, stupid

The left’s hysterical attacks against the GOP tax bill, which was passed by the House Tuesday and was expected to win Senate approval, tells you something big is going on. Democrats have knowingly lied that the reform effort will hurt middle-class Americans, earning an unusual dressing-down from the Washington Post, and have aggressively flayed individual Republicans who support the bill.

The New York Times, in one last death rattle fit of umbrage, declared in an editorial that there was “cynicism and mendacity underlying the Republican tax bill.” The newspaper also published another outrage special from columnist Paul Krugman, who suspects that Republicans are supporting the legislation because it is “good for them personally” and ran a lengthy piece on how the bill would significantly burden the Internal Revenue Service. As though we care.

It is worth noting that the Times has attempted every conceivable criticism of the bill, including a front-page article not long ago on how the bill might “overheat the economy.” If Krugman is right and the tax plan won’t boost the economy, why would it lead to excessive growth and possible inflation? How does that work?

Let’s be honest: the GOP tax plan is the Democrats’ worst nightmare. After a year of “resistance” against a duly elected president, stalling on Cabinet confirmations, slow-walking the exodus of Obama appointees, issuing purposefully damaging and often untruthful rumors about connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, attacking each and every initiative of the incoming administration, wailing about Congress moving forward on a partisan basis (as though ObamaCare didn’t follow the same path), threatening impeachment and detailing gleefully every misstep and foolish tweet made by President Trump, Democrats are about to face an emboldened adversary.

Republicans are emboldened by a record of accomplishment, a year of stunning stock market gains and a reviving economy that may accelerate through 2018, powered in part by the tax plan. Democrats are banking on suburban women and other groups to take back the House next fall. How will that happen when Americans are feeling more upbeat and flush than they have in a decade? And when the Trump White House, with its GOP allies, has the tax bill to credit for at least some of the prosperity? Remember: it’s all about the economy, stupid.

Throughout this past year, Democrats and elites have mocked President Trump for rookie mistakes, sneered at his exaggerations, and expressed horror when he followed through on campaign pledges, such as bowing out of the Paris Climate Agreement.  

But the Democrats’ most telling and harmful critique was that President Trump, a political neophyte, was not able to deliver. They claimed his inexperienced team was ill-equipped to carry out his agenda, and they were not entirely wrong; the ill-fated ban on immigrants from Muslim countries comes to mind. More damaging, Democrats also said that because of candidate Trump’s toxic behavior during the primaries, he had so alienated fellow Republicans that he would never get Congress to enact his agenda.

For a few months, as Congress unwisely chose to attack ObamaCare first, it looked like the critics were right. The repeated failures to ditch ObamaCare, and the grandiose obstructionist gestures by spurned rivals like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., were mortifying. Democrats smelled blood in the water; if the GOP could not unite around their signature issue, they said, Republicans couldn’t do anything, and would be sent packing.

They were wrong. The GOP – led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. – moved forward with renewed vigor on tax reform. Unlike the ObamaCare effort, this push included the White House. For many months the Gang of Six worked feverishly towards a tax bill that would make U.S. businesses competitive again, and lower taxes for most Americans. That’s what this final bill does. That’s what Democrats are screaming about.

The liberal mainstream media have accomplished something astounding: 47 percent of Americans don’t like the tax bill, according to a recent poll conducted by Monmouth University. Even though, according to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, some 80 percent of the country will get a tax cut and only 5 percent (largely high-income folks in blue states) will see their taxes rise. That’s what a persistent and misleading campaign of misinformation will do.

But here’s what should worry Democrats; that poll indicates that the public’s dislike of the bill is because they don’t really think their taxes will go down. What happens when they find out that Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who called the bill a “punch in the gut for the middle class,” or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, R-Calif., who has called the bill a “scam” and “Armageddon,” are lying to them?

As people fill out their tax forms next year, and see that the expanded child tax credit, doubled standard deduction and lower rates put more money in their pocket, will they not celebrate?

The liberal media has also scoffed at the notion that lower taxes could inspire businesses to increase investment and hiring. I heard the CEO of a cement company interviewed the other day on Bloomberg; the reporter was openly hostile to the manager’s claims that yes, he would be expanding as a result of the proposed tax changes. Almost 95 percent of those responding to a recent National Association of Manufacturers poll said they were optimistic about their prospects – an all-time record. More than 60 percent said the tax overhaul would likely lead them to invest more. As businesses gear up hiring and investing in new plant and equipment, won’t people feel even better about their job prospects?

Call me crazy, but it seems that Republicans will have a great deal of good news to run on next year. That’s Armageddon for Democrats.

Liz Peek is a writer who contributes frequently to FoxNews.com. She is a financial columnist who also writes for The Fiscal Times. For more visit LizPeek.com. Follow her on Twitter@LizPeek.