President Donald Trump and his allies have repeatedly tried to deflect the conversation away from impeachment — and from all of Trump's scandals generally — and instead talk about how great the economy is performing. And it is true that, with the exception of fallout from the trade war and its negative effects on agriculture and consumer spending, the economy has mostly continued on its existing upward trajectory since Trump took office, adding millions of jobs and producing billions in investment.
But on CNN Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell offered a key explanation for why Trump's boasts about the economy might not be resonating with voters as he would expect — and why, with the right message, Democrats stand to gain from hitting Trump's major economic weak points.
"I think the perception of the tax cut and the overall economic agenda embraced by Trump and his fellow Republicans matters, in that the tax cut was heavily weighted towards the wealthy and towards corporations, and it is viewed as such," said Rampell. "In fact, despite those numbers ... showing that there are, you know, relatively high ratings for the overall economy, other poll data suggests there is an aspect of economic growth democrats can exploit. That is the unequal distribution of gains, and the tax cut plays into that, that narrative."
"If you ask regular Americans, do you think that current economic conditions are helping the wealthy, most of them say, yes. If you ask most Americans, do you think current economic conditions are helping the middle class, the poor, or families like you, most of them, or a plurality, say, no," continued Rampell. "So there is this perception that gains are not being equally shared amongst the American populace, and if Democrats can weaponize that and talk about how their own policies would lead to more equitable distribution of growth and wage gains things like that, that could play to their advantage."