The white working class played a key role in Donald Trump’s election and in the election of Republican majorities to the House and Senate, and yet has been all but ignored in the on-going tax-reform debate. With the House bill already passed, and a vote on the Senate bill just around the corner, the window for their voice to be heard is quickly closing.
In 2016, support for Trump surged among whites without college degrees—a constituency that also made up a disproportionate share of the vote for House and Senate Republicans. For many of these voters, their support for Trump was, and continues to be, driven by concerns about the fragility of family life in America. Trump voters, in particular, have registered serious concerns about the number of children being raised in single-parent families and the difficulty of living paycheck to paycheck.
These concerns stem in part from what working-class whites are seeing playing out in their communities. The predominantly working-class counties that went from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016 had higher rates of family instability than did the counties that usually trend Republican, due in no small part to economic dislocations associated with the new economy, including increased trade with China and Mexico.
It’s a cruel irony, then, that as the most important tax legislation in a generation winds its way through the halls of Congress, the priority has been given to the interests of donor-class families that are clearly flourishing, both financially and in terms of family stability.
Read the full article by W. Bradford Wilcox and Samuel Hammond about tax reform from American Enterprise Institute
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