On Tax Bill, it’s Trump vs. His Hometown

On Tax Bill, it’s Trump vs. His Hometown

Some of Mr. Trump’s old New York friends and colleagues are seeking changes. They have called the White House, the Treasury Department and Congress in a furious push to soften the economic blow. Many fear their concerns are falling on deaf ears.

“Everybody in New York is groaning,” said John Catsimatidis, a billionaire Republican who went to another of Mr. Trump’s fund-raisers this month at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, “and all of us have zero influence.”


John Catsimatidis, center, a wealthy Republican and a political donor, this year in New York City. Credit Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

The fact that Mr. Trump’s tax package would economically hamper his hometown is unusual.

It is almost unimaginable that President George W. Bush would have championed a bill that would have harmed Texas relative to other states, or for President Barack Obama to have embraced legislation that took a particular bite out of his birth state of Hawaii or adopted hometow,n Chicago.

“It’s hard to think of a president whose signature legislation will fall, in a very negative ways, on people in his home state,” said Julian E. Zelizer, a presidential historian and professor of history at Princeton. “Usually you bring back the pork.”

But Mr. Trump’s relationship with New York is more complicated. He was never elected to anything in the state. And New York’s bounty of 29 electoral votes is not part of any 2020 re-election calculus for Mr. Trump, unlike the home states of presidents past.

While Mr. Trump is certainly a New Yorker culturally, from his accent to his braggadocio, his political supporters tend to live far from a diverse metropolis like Manhattan.


Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City in October. Credit David Dee Delgado for The New York Times

“Trump’s base is not New York,” said Larry Kudlow, the CNBC commentator who helped draft Mr. Trump’s tax plan during the campaign. “If you want to do straight politics, it’s not his base. It’s just not that important to him. If he runs for re-election, he’s not going to carry New York State. Politically, I don’t think it matters to him.”

Mr. Trump has not entirely ignored his old New York network as the tax debate has raged in Washington.

At the end of November, Randy Levine, the president of the New York Yankees, wrote a column for Newsmax, the right-wing magazine and website, calling the current Republican tax package “a swamp deal” and a particularly bad bargain for the state. Mr. Trump called him days later, and they spoke at length about the legislation, according to two people familiar with the conversation. Mr. Levine declined to comment.

Now Mr. Cuomo has been among those leading the charge against the tax bill

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