Senator Heitkamp’s Partisan Vote Against Tax Reform Hurts Her Reelection Chances in 2018

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

Late yesterday – or early this morning, depending on how you look at it –  the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 1. That’s the tax cut bill you’ve been hearing so much about.

It passed on a 51-49 vote, with every single Democrat in the Senate saying no. Including North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

Now she has to explain that vote against meaningful, Republican-backed federal tax reform to a state with mostly Republican voters who have a deep appetite for lower tax rates and a simpler tax code.

That’s not going to be easy heading into what promises to be a tough 2018 campaign season, but Heitkamp’s office has already begun the justifications and rationalizations.

It’s the usual pablum we’ve been hearing from the left. That the tax bill supposedly adds $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years according to projections. Of course, during the first four years of the Obama administration when Democrats controlled Congress, our nation added more than $1 trillion in national debt per year.

It’s the usual pablum we’ve been hearing from the left. That the tax bill supposedly adds $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years according to projections. Of course, during the first four years of the Obama administration when Democrats controlled Congress, our nation added more than $1 trillion in national debt per year.

I don’t like the idea of adding to the national debt, be it through spending or reduced revenues, but you really have to marvel at the hypocrisy of Democrats who only seem to care about budget deficits when the debate is about tax cuts. Besides, we’re supposed to believe the federal budget doesn’t have $150 billion of fat we can cut for each of the next ten years?

Let’s get serious. This wasn’t a good reason to oppose tax reform.

Heitkamp also derides the bill for giving larger dollar amounts of tax relief to people with higher income. But how in the world to you effect across-the-board tax reform without giving people who pay higher rates on larger sums of money a larger tax cut?

We have a progressive income tax code. The more you make, the higher the rate is that you pay. When you cut those rates, people who make the most money and pay the highest rates are going to see the biggest cuts as measured in dollar figures.

Heitkamp’s political party has been carpet bombing North Dakotans with talking points about tax reform for weeks now. Heitkamp had better hope all that talk of doom and gloom convinced voters, but it’s a long shot.

When was the last time North Dakotans were won over by left wing talking points?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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