Waiting for Ronald

Ron DeSantis. (Photo by Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“The future of the party is based on a multiethnic, multiracial working-class coalition.”

That’s what an excited Marco Rubio said after the 2020 election, when Republicans beat expectations with Hispanic voters and swept tossup races in the House. A meaningful share of blue-collar voters who typically lean left had gotten spooked by progressives wanting to defund the police and voted conservative that fall. Rubio sensed an opportunity in the aftermath. A post-Trump GOP that pivoted to a more working-class agenda, culturally and economically, might cannibalize Democratic support among nonwhites and build an electoral juggernaut.

Fast forward to this week, when the new Republican-controlled House was sworn in and promptly sought to defund an IRS expansion that makes it easier to audit the upper class.

Soon those same Republicans will bring to the House floor Rep. Buddy Carter’s Fair Tax Act, which would replace income taxes with a federal consumption tax. The potential effects of that are complicated, as tax reform always is, but one analysis of shifting to a consumption tax projects that “taxes would rise for households in the bottom 90 percent of the income distribution, while households in the top 1 percent would receive an average tax cut of over $75,000.”

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