Monday, May 13, 2019


Here's a depressing story from Axios:
Some of President Trump's supporters in Sioux City, Iowa love liberal populist proposals. They just don't love the 2020 Democrats as the messengers.

... A focus group of swing voters .... strongly supported a student loan debt plan that would cancel up to $50,000 in student debt for people whose families make less than $100,000 per year. (That's Elizabeth Warren's proposal, though her name wasn't mentioned in the question.)

They also want to tax American corporations, specifically big banks, to pay for Trump's infrastructure plans.

This was the main takeaway from the Engagious/FPG focus group of swing voters I watched last week, which included 11 voters who supported Barack Obama and then Trump....

Taxing big banks was the most popular idea to pay for infrastructure, beating out an increase in the federal gas tax or borrowing money from other countries.

Eight of the 11 respondents said that managing student loan debt is a problem for them or someone they know....

And although half of the respondents thought the national economy is booming, no one said they've seen an increase in their own wages or financial situation.
All but one said they would re-elect Trump if it were him versus Hillary Clinton again.

... Warren's own policies are more popular with these voters than she is, given that the voters were skeptical of the entire Democratic field.

... They're not excited about any of the 2020 Democrats running for president, and they only really recognized Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. "The presidency is a man's job," said 44-year-old Jamison P.
We're told:
This could give Trump an opportunity to tailor his economic message in Iowa for voters who want more focus on student loan debt and infrastructure.
Maybe it doesn't matter -- as these voters become more familiar with the Democratic candidates, some might be drawn to them. It probably wouldn't take too many swing-voting defectors to defeat Trump, given his tiny 2016 margins of victory in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

But for now, the Democratic brand looks terrible to these voters, even though they like Democratic ideas.

And they might vote for those ideas if Trump runs on them again. (Remember, in 2016 he ran on universal health care and preserving Medicare and Social Security.) But if he wins again, what those voters -- and the rest of us -- will actually get will be very different, if another Axios story is credible:
Some of President Trump’s top aides, who assume he will be re-elected, are already planning for an epic 2021 spending battle.

... Senior administration officials — including acting Office of Management and Budget director Russ Vought and fiscally conservative chief Mick Mulvaney — have told Republicans that the president doesn't want Congress to strike a spending deal in September when current funding runs out. Instead, Team Trump wants a short-term solution to preserve the ability to fight for massive spending cuts in the fifth year of a Trump presidency....

Some senior administration officials envision a newly re-elected Trump liberated to slash spending. They view 2021 as the year to have that fight — the final year in which the president can threaten hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester....

Aides say Trump wants to spend more on the military, veterans’ programs, NASA, infrastructure and border security.

... Trump will entertain cutting almost anything else. "The president feels like he's had to give up ransom" to Democrats, who pressured him to increase domestic spending in exchange for more spending on the military and border security, an administration official told me.
This might just be Mick Mulvaney and other advocates of Paul Ryan-style budgets using the media to portray themselves as having more influence over Trump than they actually do. On the other hand, we know Trump doesn't read his own bills or care much what's in them beyond certain specific priorities. So why wouldn't he run as an unorthodox, populist Republican again, then advocate for drastic, unprecedented cuts in important programs as president?

Thus, voters who want Warrenomics might guarantee us Ryanomics. That's democracy in America.

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