Reducing corporate tax rates somehow always ends up being a “bipartisan issue”.
President Donald Trump is increasingly fixated on slashing the top corporate tax rate to 15 percent – a level that pretty much no one else working on the issue in the White House or Congress thinks is workable.In a White House meeting on Tuesday, Trump again expressed his strong desire to hit the 15 percent target, from today’s 35 percent. […]
On Wednesday, President Trump plans to travel to North Dakota – his second tax sales pitch in a week – to deliver a speech focused on the way tax reform it will boost the financial lives of the middle class and help businesses.
Accompanying him on Air Force One on the trip will be North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, one of 10 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won. A key part of the administration’s strategy to push a tax package through Congress is to earn these members’ support.
Given all the focus and concern about corporate profits, you might think they were in really bad shape. That isn’t the case though, the share of GDP going to corporations is close to an 80 year high (red line in graph below). The share of national income going to workers (blue line), is close to it’s low over 80 years.
Of course, the “middle class” did quite well when corporate profits were lower and workers got higher wages. You’d think Democrats would be concerned about worker’s wages, but Sen. Heitkamp marches to the tune of a different drummer. Most Democrats in the Senate are co-sponsoring a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 over several years, Sen. Heitkamp isn’t among them. Though, to be fair, neither are the other red-state Democrats up for election in 2018, Joe Manchin (WV), Jon Tester (MT), Claire McCaskill (MO), Joe Donnelly (IN). It’s also worth noting that Sen. Heitkamp has opposed several of Trump’s priorities, though he won her state by a large margin.
Trump will be touting his tax plan at the Andeavor oil refinery in Heitkamp’s hometown of Mandan, just outside of Bismarck, the state capital.
The Democratic senator is expected to face a difficult challenge for reelection next year in a state Trump carried in 2016 by 36 percentage points, one of his biggest margins of victory. So Heitkamp may see a political advantage in being friendly with Trump and open to his ideas, even if she does not ultimately vote to pass his agenda.
In his speech Wednesday, Trump intends to pressure Heitkamp to support his tax-reform agenda — in part by reminding North Dakotans that the last time Congress passed meaningful tax reform, in 1986, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, their Democratic senator voted yea.
Incidentally, Sen. Heitkamp’s hometown is named for the Mandan peoples who have lived in the area for a 1,000 years or more.