No New Taxes (A Policy Process Failure Analysis)
Regardless of who wins in 2016, you will not see a major change in U.S. tax policy.
At the absolute earliest, the next time you will see a change in U.S. tax policy is in 2020, and even that is highly unlikely. 2025 would be a better bet, but still not good; the 2020 census will put some energy behind redistricting but probably not enough.
This is due to structural reasons.
First, let’s get election nonsense out of the way… the President has virtually **no** authority when it comes to changing tax structure in any practical sense whatsoever. Folks in the general populace believe that the President has authority in tax law.
They almost entirely don’t, except in a negative sense (they can veto a tax proposal, and they can approve a tax proposal).
Now, to be clear, the President can craft whatever sort of tax legislation they want, and they typically do at least once a year… but all tax law originates in the House of Representatives under the Constitution. 
If you want to start the process to have a substantive change in U.S. tax law there is one and only one way to do it, and it has *nothing* to do with who sits in the Oval Office and *everything* to do with who holds the House of Representatives.
Because whoever holds the House of Representatives controls the Ways and Means Committee  and nothing else matters if you don’t hold Ways and Means.
Without a vote by the Ways and Means Committee, proposed tax legislation does not go forward.
(Sure, you also need a majority in the Senate, and a President who is willing to eventually sign the thing. Of course. Those are the second and third step in the process, however, not the first. The President actually signing the legislation is almost certainly anti-climactic, even if the President is the one that set the table with the initial proposal.)
You can hold all nine judges on the Supreme Court, and the Presidency, and the Senate, and a chunk of the House… but if you don’t control the House outright (or have enough moderates of either party in the House, more on that in a second), you can’t control who sits on Ways and Means.
If you don’t have Ways and Means, you WILL NOT get tax policy changes… well, not unless you can hold something hostage to the House of Representatives to get them to force Ways and Means to pass your proposal out of committee, but that’s a tricky political proposition. It also requires you to hold onto something that the folks on Ways and Means *want* more than stopping your proposal from going forward. For those who have not been paying attention, in today’s GOP this is a nonstarter. (They’ve already shown a complete giddiness at shooting their own hostages, let alone a willingness. Ted Cruz is the second runner up in the GOP primary at this date and he’s already shut down the government once!)
Sorry, I digress.
The GOP holds an *eight* member majority on Ways and Means, currently.
There will be NO change in U.S. tax law until 2025 at the earliest, because the Democrats are not going to take back the house in 2016… and they probably won’t be able to take it back in 2018 either (because Democrats don’t turn out for midterm elections and both parties have been complicit in gerrymandering most of the states).
It’s possible but unlikely that you could get it done in 2020, if there’s a wave election for (D) seats… but if you don’t get it then, 2022 is again an off-year, so the next-most-likely slot is 2024.
At which point the House will have to have “changing tax law” as its highest priority in order for it even to pass before 2025, let alone be enacted.
That’s assuming that the Democrats spend the next eight years pounding out a serious ground game in state legislatures and/or governor races and/or using ballot initiatives to take Congressional redistricting out of the hands of the parties.
So let’s talk about that.
Of the 50 states, 37 of them have direct state legislature control over their congressional district lines, and in another 5, the legislature has pretty broad input. Only five states (CA, WA, ID, AZ, and NJ) have independent commissions to draw congressional lines 
If you want to do this… well, you’re not talking about political revolution time. Exactly and precisely the opposite, actually.
Because redistricting to lower party advantages in congressional races by design must produce districts where it is harder for hard-partisans to win. That means fewer candidates like Bernie Sanders, overall. Not more of them. No Democratic Socialist revolution, but the precise opposite.
You’re going to have to produce a good number of median voter districts in the otherwise currently hugely bipolar districts in each state.
That means fewer R+15 districts, but it also means fewer D+21 districts, as well. There are pretty obvious Prisoner’s Dilemma reasons why sitting legislators of both parties are reluctant to do this, it’s why the California Democratic Party was against the independent commission law in California along with the California Republican Party.
So it’s a hard slog, and it’s entirely outside the wheelhouse of everyone who is the most partisan and the most likely to vote… because you’ve got to shoot down the likelihood of getting your most favored candidates in order to shoot down the likelihood of getting your least favored candidates. Ideologically speaking, “Let’s make America the squishy middle again!” is not a rallying cry that is going to get thousands of folks all riled up at a political rally.
But that’s what you need to do.
Let’s look at Georgia, for example. Georgia has 14 Congressional Districts. Of the 14 of them, only four can be reasonably construed as median voter districts and two of those aren’t even particularly balanced (one D+9, two R+9, and one D+4 district). All remaining 10 districts are heavily sorted R or D, big double digits. Almost all of the Democrats in the entire state are crammed into the 4th and 5th Congressional Districts. Georgia districts have been drawn that way since 2013. Georgia can redraw its congressional districts by a simple majority of its legislature, but it is only really required to do so after a Census year when/if apportionment changes .
The result of their current districting scheme?
33% of Georgia’s state legislature are Democrats, 30% of their state senate are Democrats… but less than 29% of their Congressional representatives are Democrats .
Alabama is far worse, with every Congressional seat a high-teens to high-twenties advantage for either party. Result? The Democrats hold 33-of-105 state house seats (31%) and 8 of 35 state senate seats (just under 23%)… but one Democrat (from a D+20 seat) and six Republicans in the House of Representatives (14%). 
I could go on, and on, and on. 
If you want a political revolution, the time to start is now, but you won’t see a payoff likely for another decade.
You need to get out the vote in your local and state elections. You need to convince people that they matter. A third of Georgia’s population identifies as each party, with independents taking the last third (roughly), but the folks that turn out to vote favor the GOP candidate.
You need better ground game.
The place to start is your state legislature race.
Not the 2016 Presidential election.
* One possible counter: if Trump wins, and the GOP get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, of course, the House could pass a tax package over the minority Dems and the Senate could ram it past the minority party and Trump could sign it.
Honestly, the likelihood of the Senate going that hard red is low enough that I regard this as a non-operational scenario. But it’s possible.Image by John-Morgan