Political News

Exclusive: Priorities USA to go back on TV with $250K tax reform ad buy

Posted October 9

— A Democratic super PAC is throwing attention and money into the fight against the Republican tax plan, focusing its first television ad of the year on a message that argues President Donald Trump's tax plan will hurt the middle class.

Priorities USA Action, which supported Hillary Clinton's presidential bid last year but now focuses on issues, says it's taking out a $250,000 ad buy beginning Tuesday. The ad will run on CNN and Fox News along with a digital ad campaign.

The 30-second ad features people identified by middle class careers -- carpenters, teachers, nurses -- who worry the new plan will raise their taxes "to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations."

"No early morning tweet can make that right," one man says in the ad, referring to Trump's habit of tweeting at the start of the day.

The ad will run on national cable and specifically target Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin -- all of which have senate elections next year. The ad will also run in Washington, DC, according to the group.

On the digital front, Priorities plans to take out buys for Google searches, as well as ads on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

Tax reform messaging

Priorities is the latest group to inject a messaging campaign into the tax reform debate. Other progressive groups like MoveOn.org, Indivisible, and a coalition of liberal groups known as Americans for Tax Fairness have also been active in opposition to the tax reform plan.

On the other side of the debate, the Koch Brothers-backed Freedom Partners and the Chamber of Commerce have been involved, spending money and resources to back the tax reform effort.

So far Republicans have only released a framework of their tax plan, which still lacks a significant amount of details. According to an early analysis by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a think tank in Washington, low and middle-income households may see some tax relief, but higher-income earners will likely get a larger break.

The tax plan reduces the number of tax brackets from seven to three (12%, 25% and 35%), doubles the standard deduction to $24,000 for married taxpayers and $12,000 for single filers, and increases the child tax credit. According to the framework, a fourth tax bracket may be added to ensure that the new plan "does not shift the tax burden from high-income to lower- and middle-income taxpayers."

House Speaker Paul Ryan, defending the tax plan, repeatedly points to the increased standard deduction and the consolidation of the tax brackets as evidence of the plan's goal to give every middle-income family a tax cut.

"That's the purpose of that," he said Thursday at a news conference. "So it's important to look at this in the whole scheme of things, in its totality."

Democrats, who've been lobbying for a strictly middle class tax cut, argue that any tax breaks for the middle class will be offset by the closing of certain deductions like the state and local income tax deduction.

Arguing that the wealthy will disproportionately benefit, they also point to the proposed elimination of the estate tax, which only affects estates worth more than $5.49 million, and the repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which typically affects filers making between $200,000 and $1 million.

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