Comstock Supports the Tax Cuts. Do her Democratic Foes?

Alfredo Ortiz

by Alfredo Ortiz

Democrats have put Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, represented by Republican Barbara Comstock, in their crosshairs in their attempt to take back the House of Representatives on Election Day in November.

Seven opportunistic Democratic challengers have entered the race so far, recognizing their chance to represent this historic swing district that favored Hillary Clinton by ten percentage points in 2016, and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam by a similar margin in 2017. Politico has named this race one of the top-10 to watch on Election Day.

Last October, Public Policy Polling found Rep. Comstock trailing a generic Democrat opponent by nine points, with a favorability rating of just 32 percent. “She’s a clear underdog,” said David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, the day after the election last year.

But a lot has changed since then. Most notably, Congressional Republicans, including Comstock, passed historic tax cuts over the opposition of every Congressional Democrat. Virginia 10 voters deserve to know whether Comstock’s Democratic challengers would carry out national Democratic leaders’ promise and vote to repeal these tax cuts if they are victorious.

The answer to this question is especially important in Virginia’s 10th District because tax cuts have disproportionately helped its residents. The median income in the counties that make up the district are among the highest in the nation at over $120,000, meaning the median constituent is taking home thousands of dollars more each year as a result of less federal tax withholding.

Virginia’s 10th has also significantly benefited from the trend of hundreds of major national employers directing billions of dollars to millions of employees because of their tax cut savings. For instance, Capital One Bank, one of Virginia’s biggest employers whose headquarters are located in the 10th District, used its tax cut savings to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. And Walmart, the state’s largest employer, raised its base wage to $11 and gave its employees significant bonuses because of the tax cut.

Verizon and BB&T, the third and fifth largest employers in Northern Virginia, respectively, are also rewarding their employees with share payouts or $1,200 bonuses. And other major state employers including Bank of America, The Home Depot, AT&T, Starbucks, and Comcast are giving their employees up to $1,000 bonuses because of the tax cuts Rep. Comstock helped pass. These are the same tax cuts that  congressional Democrats called “theApocalypse,” “the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress,” “a heist,” and “highway robbery.”

Despite this vast evidence demonstrating that tax cuts have been a major success in allowing ordinary Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money, leading Democrats are doubling-down on their opposition and promising to repeal them if they retake Congress. Pelosi has called for “replace and repeal.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer has called for “a drastic overhaul.” Such moves would raise taxes on ordinary residents of Virginia’s 10th District and tens of million Americans across the country.

Democrats’ unwillingness to admit they made a mistake by opposing tax cuts has coincided with their House of Representatives polling advantage being cut in half. Democratic challengers in Virginia’s 10th District haven’t been clear about whether they would repeal the tax cuts if they win in November. Voters must demand to know where they stand on this issue given the implications for their paychecks. The answers might make the the difference between Democrats hitting their target or not.

Alfredo Ortiz is president and CEO of the Job Creators Network.

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8 responses to “Comstock Supports the Tax Cuts. Do her Democratic Foes?

  1. So would you support “tax cuts” that don’t come from spending cuts and instead add to our deficit and debt?

    what kind of Fiscal Conservatism is that?

    For decades – Republicans and Conservatives have blathered out all their available orifices about deficit and debt and Boomergeddon.. and now they are actually PROUD that they have increased the deficit and debt… PROUD OF IT!! Great Googa Mooga ! Should Dems favor even MORE tax cuts to increase the debt and deficit even more?

  2. I am not so sure of that analysis. Don’t the tax “cuts” limit the deductibility of state and local taxes. Given the high property values and relatively high real estate taxes in much of Comstock’s district … was this really an economic benefit for her constituents?

    However, having said that, I do believe it’s perfectly reasonable for the Democratic candidates to say whether they would have voted yes or no on those tax cuts.

  3. If I am correct, the tax law “grandfathered” all existing mortgages and limits deductions for mortgages over $500,000; so the limitations will not be felt by existing debt holders.

    Additionally, regarding another comment, the Democrats oversaw the largest increase in the national debt in history and bequeathed enormous increases in the federal cost structure; so deficits were and may be a fact of life with or without the new tax law.

    What is not certain is that they will be greater as a result of the tax cuts than they would have been with a continuation of the former structure which was contributing to or the cause of the flight of manufacturing tax revenues and the stifling of small business combined with the measurable increase of manufacturing and tax revenue the new law has already produced.

    • I knew that the mortgage deduction cap was grandfathered but I thought the real estate tax gets implemented right away. Maybe I misunderstood. Unfortunately, any loss of deductions under a cap for expensive real estate makes the value of the real estate decline I guess. And when the new people move in they may not see he tax cuts as 100% beneficial. For most of the congresspeople the tax cuts are a good thing for their constituents (if you can look away from expected deficit increases). Barbara Comstock is one of the few who may not have as clear a sense of its impact.

  4. re: ” measurable increase of manufacturing and tax revenue the new law has already produced.”… Really? are they using it to pay down the deficit? hahahahahha nope.. they’re gonna give it to DOD , right?

    “stimulus” is what it is called and basically what it is – is borrowing money from the future to jump start a sick economy. The way any stimulus is SUPPOSED to work is that once the economy recovers – you do pay back the borrowed debt.

    For years, for decades – the GOP has never accepted that premise even for a sick economy much less a good one. Deficits are fiscal “crime”.

    What we’ve done here is – the economy has not only recovered – it’s one of the strongest in years and what did we do? Instead of paying down the debt – we BOOSTED IT FURTHER by putting more money into the economy when it did not need it .. a good way to cause inflation, in fact.

    Pro Forma GOP, has always been til now.. if you cut taxes -you cut spending

    In these blog pages… post after post has talked about just how “harmful” the sequestration has been to NoVA and Hampton Roads.

    So, of course the GOP now is to cut taxes, not spending, and any “excess” will go to DOD – natch and even better.. cut entitlements!

    The GOP can no longer be called the fiscally responsible party. They’re just as bad as the Dems – no, actually they’re MUCH worse – because the Dems never made no bones about taxing and was the GOP who was supposed to be the “good” party of “responsibility” but that’s totally out the window now.. They hypocrisy hangs heavy like a fetid fog over the political landscape.

    Mr. Boomergeddon himself… Jim B.. what say you about this deficit-financed “tax cut”? Have you too – also “pivoted”? If so… I’d love to hear the updated Conservative Orthodoxy!

    • I don’t know why you’re so sure that tax cuts cause the deficit to rise. The calculation has to be a combination of tax rates and economic growth. My observation is that recessions cause deficits more than tax rates. And high tax rates inhibit fast economic growth.

      Think of the “Bush Tax Cuts” …

      “Tax cuts and the 2000-02 recession and the Iraq war caused a return to deficit spending in the early 2000s and the Bush administration, reaching 3.4 percent GDP in 2004. Deficits decline to 1.1 percent GDP in 2007 before ballooning to 9.8 percent GDP in 2009 in the downdraft of the Great Recession. Deficits declined to 2.4 percent GDP by 2015 and are expected to continue above 2 percent GDP through 2020.”

      Taxes were cut and deficits went up. Then, the economy started growing faster and the deficit went down. Then along came the so-called Great Recession and **bam** deficits skyrocket. Under the theory that tax cuts cause higher deficits the deficit should not have come down between 2004 and 2007. But it did.

      Trump may get lucky. If America avoids a recession between now and 2020 these “Trump tax cuts” may spur the economy in 2018 and 2019 with deficits falling by the time of the next election. Who knows?

      • There’s also the possibility, which I subscribe to, that the tax cuts combined with deregulation and increased federal spending will goose economic growth — but not fast enough to reduce the budget deficit, not in the near term, and not in the long-term.

        The best we can hope for is that, while deficits will increase, the economy will grow faster than the national debt, with the consequence that the debt-to-GDP ratio will decline. Let’s just say I’m not optimistic.

        Let’s say the economy grows 4% this year but runs an $800 billion deficit. $800 billion would add 4% to the national debt. In that case, we’d break even. If the deficit is only $700 million, we come out slightly ahead. If the deficit is $900 billion, we lose ground.

        The wild card: How rapidly will the Fed raise interest rates? Higher interest rates will (a) dampen economic growth, and (b) mean higher interest payments on the debt.

        It’s a roll of the dice.

  5. A lot of people in NoVA work for themselves, often as contractors. The 20% pass through deduction is going to help a lot of them. Or so says a couple of my accountant friends.

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