The Missed Messaging Opportunity in 2018

A new book by Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, The Hill To Die On, is a very interesting read overall. The book is not entirely about political campaigns, but there is one particularly interesting passage about the 2018 election cycle that demonstrates why Republicans lost in 2018.

Excerpt from page 285:

McCarthy’s solution was for the party to adopt a massive messaging shift, one that would come to define the 2018 election cycle: That morning he urged the dozens of Republicans gathered to forget the positive message on the economy that the GOP had publicly been touting. Instead, he implored them to go sharply negative on the issues that mattered the most: safety, and Democrats’ efforts to turn America toward socialism, destroy health care, and raise taxes. Why? Because his data showed that it worked, that’s why. McCarthy pointed out that positive messaging moved independent and college-educated women an average of 10.3 percent, while negative advertising moved them 13 percent.

Armed with data from the NRCC and other Republican political entities, McCarthy outlined a new strategy: attack, attack, attack. To win over swing voters and centrist Democrats, they should attack “government controlled, one-size-fits-all health care.” To win Republicans, “government-run” and “government takeover” should be the new watchwords. Never mind that Republicans had been in complete control of Washington for two whole years and were still walloping Democrats for their health care plan, a now-eight-year-old law that the GOP could not find the courage or the votes to repeal.

The authors make a good point in closing that second paragraph; rather difficult to run on more “repeal and replace” nonsensical rhetoric when the last “attempt” at it failed.

But there is a bigger point to what happened in 2018. There was no cohesive messaging about the tax cuts in 2018, which was something we kept pressing for in our podcast episodes during the election cycle last year. Very few candidates were good evangelists for the tax reform passage working and the economy improving.

When the Democrats started losing the argument on employment, as the unemployment number was dropping to new record lows monthly, they shifted to saying, “yeah but, wages are low,” well, in episode 22 we specifically discussed the fact that it took a little time for the economy to adjust, but wages were on the rise. Not only were wages increasing but benefit packages for employees were getting better, we discussed that in episode 10.

The point is, that the miracle that was taking place in the American economy was worth talking about, and instead the party leaders moved to the old standby tactics, rather than sharing with voters that they were the reason the miracle was happening, that they wanted to help expand the miracle in 2019 and 2020 and beyond.

Finally, the Republican party missed a huge opportunity on a conversation about Opportunity Zones (OZs). OZs were tucked away in the 2017 tax reform bill, around page 130 or so. And this concept has the ability to renew and revitalize neighborhoods and communities and it can put people to work immediately. Basically, every state was given a time frame to set aside some poverty-ridden areas to be designated as OZs. Then, investors are allowed to invest some money into these zones for a set amount of time, and during that time, the investors would not be penalized with capital gains taxes. So instead of investors pocketing this money, funds are able to be invested into new ventures in these high-poverty areas: new businesses, new infrastructure, new employment opportunities.

There is always 2019 and 2020 to have this conversation, I suppose…

Podcast 23

Show Notes:

Dr. Vance Ginn was our guest, his website and his Twitter.



Podcast 19

Show Notes:


Meanwhile, the economy is doing great and people are going back to work and investors are investing in America and its workforce, and what is Senator Cory Booker promising America? Ah yes, to put the impeachment of Justice Kavanaugh on the table.

Yahoo: Cory Booker says Kavanaugh impeachment shouldn’t be off the table

Podcast 18

Show Notes:

Drudge Report October 5, 2018 Employment Number

The entire episode of the NPR show Marketplace we excerpted from can be found here.



This applies to your campaign as well, whether local or for a federal office, educate your voters about the economy and about how tax policies work.

Podcast 17

Show Notes:

Democrats unveil their 2018 Campaign platform:

 

Followed by their 2018 and 2020 slogan:

Millions of people giving up Food Stamps:

Two good examples of sharing success stories from your community:

Country getting desperate for conservative change

By Joe Gruters

The news out of Washington — even at the subdued, unenthusiastic rate of the mainstream media — makes it more painfully clear every day that we have got to get more conservative Republicans in office.

The first goal is to win the U.S. Senate in 2014. Florida does not have a direct dog in that fight, but really everybody does. Here’s why.

Senate President Harry Reid is planning to eliminate some portions of the problematic Gang of Eight bill and insert a substitute amendment that includes the Corker-Hoeven amendment and the rest of the Gang of Eight’s bill. It becomes a 1,200-page bill no ones has read, just like Obamacare.

Then Reid is planning to refuse to allow any other amendments and move straight to final passage of the bill in the Senate. Debate is being cut off Wednesday in time for a final vote, just two days after debate started on the new bill — on 1,200 pages no one is sure of — and final passage is probably before the July 4 break.

Democrats are planning to try to ram another fiasco for the country through. Even if it is stopped in the House, the Democrats will simply use it as a campaign issue. A few Senate victories in 2012 and none of this would be happening.

On the executive branch, the mischief just gets more nefarious.

Fox News reported over the weekend that the Obama administration is suing Dollar General and a BMW facility in South Carolina for the alleged unfair use of criminal background checks for job applicants. The lawsuit comes just a few months after the feds warned companies about how such screenings can discriminate against African Americans.

Yup, under Obama, if you check an applicants’ criminal background you’re racist.

Last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued new guidelines that cautioned against rejecting minority applicants who have committed a crime and recommended businesses eliminate policies that “exclude people from employment based on a criminal record.”

Wow. That is awful on so many levels. In addition to defying common sense (by people who clearly have never run a company) it is another freedom-squelching intrusion by the federal government into our everyday lives.

The Chicago Tribune, of all places, published an editorial Sunday explaining why the rollout of Obamacare will be a mess. “The rollout of Obamacare later this year is likely to bring a rate shock for many Americans who will buy health insurance from state marketplaces known as exchanges. How much will premiums jump? Officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services won’t say. It could be that HHS is keeping a lid on rates because it wants to avoid a California-like debacle.”

The editorial went on to quote one unnamed top Democrat as saying the rollout will be a “train wreck.”

Republicans can’t give up on fighting Obamacare at every turn. Want more evidence?

The Conservative News Services reported that the Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46.4 million to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

According to CNS: “That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of ‘unauthorized’ alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a Treasury Inspector General audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to ‘unauthorized’ aliens were in Atlanta.”

Remember, and this is critical, the IRS is in charge of enforcing Obamacare. Not only has the organization proved itself corrupt and partisan, it is also apparently grossly incompetent — and in charge of one-seventh of the U.S. economy. What a disaster.

Republicans have to fight and fight and fight against Obamacare at every step. We can’t give up. And we can’t give up on border security and the rule of law. Everything remains at stake. So we need the U.S. Senate back first and get stronger in the House in 2014. That’s only next year, 17 months. Then we can think about 2016.

Thanks for being informed and engaged.

Congressman Culberson Backtracks, May Get Bold

Congressman John Culberson GPH Consulting

By Steve Parkhurst

Congressman John Culberson of Texas recently posted on his congressional website that he was wrong about the Patriot Act and he now regrets that he ever voted for it. The best part about his mea culpa is that now he is really going to challenge some of the existing, over-bloated bureaucracy in the federal government.

This could get really good:

I intend to start by filing legislation to start systematically shutting down the federal government by restoring the 10th Amendment powers of the States and restoring absolute individual liberty and privacy.  I will begin with shutting down the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and strictly limiting its mission to securing our borders and ports of entry and tracking, detaining, and deporting foreign nationals. I will also figure out how to repeal and/or roll back the Patriot Act to restore the absolute right to privacy that every law abiding American citizen is supposed to enjoy.

– –

I regret that I voted to create the Department of Homeland Security and I regret that I voted for the Patriot Act. I never saw evidence of abuse of our privacy because Congress was lied to just as the public has been lied to. I will work hard to undo the damage these laws have done to our liberty, our privacy, and our Republic. I will be a zealot on restoring our liberty and shutting down as much of the federal police state as I can.

The Right Tax Reform Now

By Steve Parkhurst

Monday is Tax Day.

Tax Day awakens a lot of people (those who actually pay taxes) and it often gets a discussion started about reforms to the tax code. Jack Kemp advocated, and I personally still support, a Flat Tax system. While I have liked the Fair Tax, I would never trust the politicians (especially the Democrats) to fully implement a Fair Tax system, and I would not want the politicians to have the ability to easily or worse, quickly, change the percentage of the consumption tax collected.

Texas Congressman Michael Burgess, M.D., has filed a bill called simply, The Flat Tax Act, HR1040 (gotta love the 1040 number). Congressman Burgess recently released this video about the Flat Tax, and the transcript is posted just below the video.

Hello this is your Congressman Michael Burgess. You know every year, Americans spend over 6 billion hours preparing their tax forms. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service has over 2,000 forms and instructions listed on their website. It’s past time to reform this system which actually turns 100 years old this year.

To help restore fairness to the tax code by treating everyone equally and incorporating the all-American principle of freedom,I have introduced HR 1040 – the Flat Tax Act. This legislation would provide taxpayers the option of having a flat tax applied to their annual income. Unlike previous versions of the flat tax, this act will allow individuals and business to choose when to opt into the system. In addition, it would have no loopholes, but would allow some personal exemptions like a standard deduction.

This legislation will also phase-in the flat tax over a three-year period – a 19-percent rate for the first two years and a 17-percent rate in subsequent years. The program would be optional. Individuals need a tax system that provides a clear understanding of how their financial decisions will affect them. The Flat Tax Act is pro-growth, and will make filing easier on everyone. This is based on common-sense economics.

When Ronald Reagan cut the tax code in half in 1986, the result of that reform worked. The economy grew, jobs were created, and revenues were increased. Now, more than ever, this reform is needed for our country, for our economy, and for our American citizens.

Thank you for taking the time to listen. For more information on legislative issues before the United States Congress, please visit my website, burgess.house.gov. May God bless you and your family – and as always, may God bless Texas.

Also, Congressman Dennis Ross of Florida has written an op-ed called A Simpler, Flatter, Fairer Tax, and while he does not specifically call for a Flat Tax, he does make some great general points about the current tax system and he has a few remedies of his own:

This year, I introduced HR 243, the BOLD Act, which would address these issues. It would implement aspects of the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission’s recommendations for lowering America’s debt and simplifying our tax code. The Bowles-Simpson Commission was a bipartisan group created by President Obama in 2010 to determine ways to improve America’s economic situation. Unfortunately, the president has ignored all of its suggestions.

– – –

First, we must reduce individual and corporate rates. The BOLD Act narrows the income tax into just two brackets: 10 percent for annual incomes less than $100,000 and 20 percent for incomes more than $100,000. My bill would set a flat corporate tax rate of 20 percent. Instead of having multiple tax brackets that favor people and companies who know where to find the loopholes, my legislation proposes lower, more fair tax rates for all.

Second, we must eliminate or phase out unfair tax policy, as recommended by the Bowles-Simpson Commission. Perfect examples are tax credits or reductions that pit various energy sources unfairly against each other.

More and more tax credits and deductions are added every year. They favor those people and corporations who have the funds to find and utilize the loopholes. Hardworking taxpayers can’t afford to pay for these special interest tax credits and loopholes.

Lowering the tax bracket and simplifying the tax code would still provide more-than-adequate funding for the necessary functions of government, and would give the benefit of simplicity and fairness in our tax system, better than tax loopholes.

Happy Tax Day Everybody! /sarcasm