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The public also has likely figured out that the pass-through rate, AMT elimination and reduction in estate taxes could be hugely beneficial to President Trump himself, no matter what Trump says about how he will get “killed” by the tax plan.

So Republicans could wind up celebrating enactment of a tax bill that the public despises. They will get some benefit of saying they got something done. And the donor class, which is leaning hard on the GOP to slam this bill through, will probably keep the money flowing to Republican candidates in ways they would not if the bill failed.

But they will also be handing a potentially powerful weapon to Democrats who are already enjoying significant momentum heading into the 2018 midterms. So far, Democrats have uniformly opposed the GOP tax plan. Not a single Democrat in the House voted for it. The Senate could be the same story.

This is because Democrats want to be able to say next year that Republicans slashed rates for the rich and corporations while offering relatively little to the middle class and hitting some voters with significant tax increases. Right now, the public is receptive to those arguments. And coupled with Trump’s historic low approval ratings, this could be a ticket to sweeping midterm wins for Democrats.

— Ben White is Politico’s chief economic correspondent and a CNBC contributor. He also authors the daily tip sheet Politico Morning Money. Follow him on Twitter @morningmoneyben.



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