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Opinion
Ramesh Ponnuru

How Democrats Became the Party of the Upper Middle Class

Democrats may find it impossible to reclaim their historical identity.

Working man’s hero?

Working man’s hero?

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When House Democrats introduced what they call the Heroes Act this month, they described it as “a bold and comprehensive coronavirus response bill that will meet the challenge this pandemic poses to our nation.” Among its provisions: restoring the full deductibility of state and local taxes, which the Republican tax legislation of 2017 had limited.

The issue doesn’t have much to do with the coronavirus. There’s only a loose relationship between the states hardest hit by it and the states whose residents have faced the most tax increases because of the deductibility limit. Liberal think tanks have criticized the idea of raising the cap, noting that 56% of its benefits would flow to the top 1% of households, and 80% would go to the top 5%.