Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Fossil-Free Finance

The surprising successes of the divestment movement as an anti-carbon organizing strategy

(AP Photo/The Free Lance-Star, Reza A. Marvashti)
This article appears in the Fall 2017 issue of The American Prospect . Subscribe here . Sitting shoulder to shoulder, holding signs that read “#Divest” and “Climate Justice Now!,” hundreds of student activists lined the halls of the third floor of the administration building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in April of 2016. Outside, crowds gathered in solidarity. Pizza was brought in for the protesters. Fully aware of their imminent arrest—15 students had been arrested the day before—many still refused to leave. They were escorted out in handcuffs. One protester being led to a squad car had a cardboard sign hanging around her neck: “Arrested for protecting my future.” Elsewhere, Harvard students were arrested after hosting a sit-in inside the Boston Federal Reserve building. Some 3,000 miles away and two weeks later, Stanford students gathered outside Memorial Church protesting the school’s refusal to sell off fossil...

Republicans’ Disdain for Trump’s Base Oozes Into Tax Plan

Could the GOP tax plan erode Trump’s support among key parts of his base?

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
trickle-downers.jpg Every tax plan has winners and losers, and the House Republican tax plan is no different. The wealthy continue to prosper and the middle class gets the scraps. Everyone else? “The losers are going to lose badly,” says the Center for American Progress’s tax expert Seth Hanlon. But what happens if Trump’s strongest supporters are the losers losing badly? A Voter Study Group/Democracy Fund report published earlier this year identified five distinct groups of Trump voters. Trump and the GOP risk alienating two groups with their proposed tax plan, the “American Preservationists” and the “Free Marketeers,” who together make up 45 percent of the president’s base. According to the study, the “American Preservationists” are mostly made up of white working-class Americans, Trump’s core constituency. This group is the poorest of his supporters: More than half of them earn less than $50,000 a year...

Between Pragmatism and Purity: Virginia Democrats Try to Come Together

Progressive and establishment Democrats in Virginia look to ride anti-Trump fervor to Election Day victories. But will that be enough to bridge the party's divisions?

Time was short, and the activists knew it. Crowded into a small living room, they listened intently as an organizer explained which doors to knock on and what words to say. The three-story home, located in Virginia’s wealthy Stafford County, a Washington suburb, had been converted into a de facto headquarters for Democratic volunteers in the area, hosting canvass launches for various candidates. They would be spending the day going after likely Democratic voters, attempting to turn out the party’s base. “We all know what happens when Democrats don’t vote,” Jennifer Carroll Foy, a candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates, told the volunteers. “We cannot feel those same feelings that we felt on November 9, last year: horror, frustration, hopelessness.” Alarmed by Donald Trump’s surprise victory, a wave of first-time candidates, eager volunteers and new grassroots groups across the country has risen up to fight back. Carroll Foy,...

Magic Corporate Tax Cuts and Other Fables

Trump and Republicans peddle the myth that money for corporations will trickle down to workers.

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File
trickle-downers_35.jpg One of the biggest obstacles standing between Donald Trump and his plan to drastically cut corporate taxes is the opinion of the American public. Corporate tax cuts, though a key part of the administration’s proposed tax reform package, also happen to be a particularly controversial one. And with recent surveys showing that a majority of Americans remains skeptical of lowering taxes on corporations, hawking big corporate tax cuts to the public presents the GOP with a challenge. The White House’s Council of Economic Advisors stepped up to the plate on Monday, releasing a report that claimed that cutting the corporate tax from 35 to 20 percent could give American workers a pay raise as high as $9,000, once the economy has fully adapted to the change. Corporate tax cuts mean higher after-tax profits. In theory, these profits could be used to fund new investments, which would presumably yield an increase in worker productivity, ultimately resulting in a...

Mnuchin Fails The ‘Mnuchin Test’

The Treasury secretary trips himself up trying to justify a tax cut that cannot possibly benefit the working class.

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP Images
trickle-downers_35.jpg After the populist surge that put Donald Trump in the White House, Steve Mnuchin tried to rebrand himself as a man of the people. He promised that as treasury secretary that he would unburden the working class and that the rich shouldn’t expect any sort of preferential treatment. Many observers were very skeptical of these promises—and for good reason. Appearing on Meet the Press this week, Mnuchin had been tasked with defending the Republicans’ new tax framework . But he couldn’t really explain it. Mnuchin repeated like a mantra that the “objective” of the tax plan was a “middle-income tax cut” and not a tax cut for the wealthy. Given that he had few real details to offer, Mnuchin could avoid both making promises and giving straight answers, while doubling down on his own dubious projections of how the plan would play out for Americans. But despite his best efforts, he was unable to avoid being caught out on one...