It is panic time for the Romney campaign. We are in the final stretch toward the most important election of our lifetimes, and Romney’s campaign still hasn’t left the starting blocks. The fact that he is as close as he is to an incumbent president in the polls is a powerful testament to the failure of our current leader, not shrewd tactics from Romney’s campaign team. By every measure, Obama’s policies have been an unmitigated disaster to the United States. Until this past month, Obama could claim to have some solid footing on foreign policy, but now even that part of his presidency is proving to be an epic fail. It would be hard for a cardboard cutout to poll any worse than Romney given the circumstances.
So, how do you lose what should be the easiest election against an incumbent president since Richard Nixon? The problems to date widely recognized by the pundits and a very confused electorate are the following:
- No one has any clue what Romney’s positions are.
- There is no sense of urgency.
- The public only knows Obama’s lies as to why we are in a recession.
- Romney has been defined entirely by the Obama campaign.
- The public doesn’t know how to get out of the recession.
There is an easy way to answer all of these concerns and a way of giving the nation a secure understanding of how Romney will turn us around:
Three to Five 30-minute “Fireside Chats” discussing the most important topics of the day.
These fireside chats will accomplish the following things that state to state campaigning, 30-second commercial advertising, and media outlets cannot:
- Provide a clear explanation of our current situation.
- Debunk the left’s lies about what caused the Great Recession.
- Give the sense of urgency of how important this election is.
- Give a clear concise message of what Romney will do to save the economy.
- Provide powerful sound bites and themes to carry through November.
Though important, Romney cannot depend on the debates to accomplish these objectives since they will largely be run by highly motivated liberal moderators who will keep the subjects to personal attacks and issues they know are republican losers like contraception and abortion. He needs to control the medium and content to correctly define his positions and explain how he will save the United States.
The “fireside chat” tradition was started by FDR early in his presidency, when he addressed the nation with radio speeches organized into what he considered to be the most important topics. The best candidate to have recent success with speaking to specific problems and solutions in a controlled 30 min format was Ross Perot. He attracted a huge audience (over 16 million) and used very simple charts and graphs to explain subjects in a way that resonated with the public. Though he was unable to ultimately capture votes from party loyalists, he had powerful support with the independents, that same 5-10% that Romney now so famously said were his focus at a fundraiser earlier this year. Most importantly, it will allow Romney to take control of the national narrative that has been dominated by the Obama camp to date.
Below are suggestions for subjects and the information that could be presented in each. The following proposal lists important topics and gives a synopsis of what has happened under the “Obama Record”. Some of the points should be illustrated in pictures, charts , and graphs that will show the magnitude of the problem. After the synopsis, there is a description of what “Romney’s Plan” would accomplish and why it will address the problems that have festered under Obama’s presidency.
- Labor force participation rate Jan, 2008 to Aug, 2012: 66.2% è 63.5% or about 3.7 million fewer jobs than the beginning of 2008.
- 8.1% unemployment only made possible because of those dropping out of the force.
- 5.2 million long-term unemployed.
- 7.3% decline in median household income ($4K per family).
- 15% poverty rate.
- Over 46 million on food stamps as of Aug, 2012… up from 26 million in Jan, 2008.
- Over $2 Trillion in cash sitting on company books.
- Hundreds of billions sitting outside the country because of tax concerns.
- Regulatory uncertainty freezing business activity.
- Frank-Dodd freezing nearly all small business loans.
- Obamacare driving medical innovation offshore.
- Create an environment for business to invest and grow. North of $2 Trillion of money sitting on balance sheets and off shore that would go DIRECTLY to investment in R&D and hiring, not the favors and pension padding of Obama stimulus dollars. That money will go to where it gets the best return. Under Romney that is in the US, under Obama that is offshore.
- Lower business taxes to 25% and cut out loopholes. Lower taxes will bring in offshore money and increase the returns for domestic dollars.
- Repeal Frank Dodd, which will lift the freeze on banks to lend to small business. Business start-ups have to go to “mom and dad” because Obama destroyed their ability to get money from banks.
- Repeal Obamacare. The device tax is a company killer and 1/6th of the economy is in lock down as companies try to figure out regulations that are still being written. Show examples of companies that are taking their innovation dollars overseas.
- Reduce regulations that make US investment onerous. Name some of the bad ones.
- Encourage energy production in the US. Give numbers to show our untapped reserves. Give numbers to show how many jobs can be created. Mention that the oil will either be refined in our “green” refineries or seriously pollute in unregulated Chinese facilities.
- Grant work visas to any foreign national who gets a graduate degree in the US. Stop educating the world’s innovators and then sending them away.
- Higher tax rates kill growth. Period. This has been shown by the likes of even liberal economists Christine Romer and John Maynard Keynes. It is something that scares business and has created uncertainty.
- Outsourcing at an accelerated rate partly in anticipation to higher business taxes (and partly due to increased regulations). Even the head of Obama’s jobs council, GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt is shipping thousands of their jobs off-shore.
- Money made in the global markets does not return to the US because of high business taxes.
- Over 50% of companies in the US file as S-corps and will see large tax raises well ABOVE the Clinton levels. That directly drains from hiring.
- Obama’s tax cuts were temporary, econ 101 shows that temporary cuts do nothing to spur the economy.
- The tax code is horribly confusing, counterproductive, hurts the little guy, and allows the rich to hide their money. It needs to be completely reformed. Describe what simplification means. Give real world examples.
- Make the Bush cuts permanent. It will send a signal that S-corps and investors will continue to get good returns on investments in the US.
- Decrease the corporate tax rate to 25%. This will directly free up money for hiring & innovation and encourage companies to keep their facilities in the US.
- Give a one-time tax break for repatriating the hundreds of billions from overseas. This will provide a real stimulus directed by those who actually make jobs: businesses
- Cut out loopholes in the code and simplify. The lower rates with fewer loopholes will actually be a more progressive tax. Describe what the loopholes are going to be with examples!
- Give examples of how much easier it will be for someone to fill out their taxes and not feel like the IRS is always out to get them.
- On the Road to Greece.
- Taxpayer money was spent to create jobs in foreign countries.
- Taxpayer money was spent to promote and fund gas drilling by Mexico and Brazil.
- Debt looks benign because interest rates are low. As soon as rates go up it will crowd out other government spending and lead to economy crushing taxes, on everyone
- Over $6 Trillion added with little to show for it. Cost per job created is an astonishing figure.
- That equates to $55,000 of debt per household added under Obama. Do you feel better off now?
- Stimulus didn’t stimulate anything but uncertainty about the future.
- At current rate of spending (and Obama projected budgets), we will have to take a 750 billion annual haircut on government programs in 10y just to service interest.
- Reagan, Keynes(!), JFK, and even Clinton (large capital gains tax cut) showed that the best way to raise revenues is growth-inspiring tax cuts.
- Entitlement reform! Show how to bend the curve and preserve the social programs. Show what kind of cuts you have to do if the budget is left under current projections.
- Show the Bain Chief’s abilities to identify and cut waste out of systems with examples.
- Show example of states and how they beat their deficits: New Jersey, Wisconsin, Massachusetts (under Romney), Indiana and contrast it with Obama style states like California and Illinois that raised taxes and pandered to labor interests.
- Other good stats to show: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/09/obama-versus-economic-freedom.php
- Fed continues to benefit Wall Street at the expense of Main Street under Obama.
- Show how much purchasing power has decreased in the past four years and who that hurts.
- Show the increase of money supply and show what that means for future “poor taxing” inflation when banks start lending.
- Adds uncertainty to the market.
- Replace Bernanke with someone who will protect the value of money
- Give business the kind of long-term certainty they need to make decisions.
- Mirror what Reagan did with Volcker to get us out of the Carter mess
- Everyone thinks Bain was some financial engineering group that hurt companies for shareholders
- Convinced the public Romney is pitching the same toxic policies that got us here in the first place.
- Romney’s business history was to create a firm that engages distressed companies or divisions and turn them around. Banks and institutions lined up to lend to Bain’s companies because of Romney’s record returning the money and building enterprises with it.
- It doesn’t makes sense that a corporate raider who would loan companies up with debt and fire everyone would be a called upon by the Olympic committee to rescue them from too much debt… or for the people of Massachusetts to vote in a REPUBLICAN to rescue them from crushing debt and the nation’s worst job creation rate.
- Romney went into a debt-crushed state and came out with a surplus, tax cuts, and maximum theoretical unemployment. Obama went into a debt-crushed country and came out with double the debt, tax hikes, and 3.8 million fewer jobs…
A series of talks that illustrate the above points in clear simple language, using charts, graphs, and real world examples, would win over the undecided and elect Romney with a mandate to put us back on the track to free markets. If Romney doesn’t reveal a clear plan, we will have four more years of Obama and solidify a “new normal” of high permanent unemployment, low growth, and steady progress to a debt crisis that will inevitably remove our status as the international superpower.