Green Room

Stop Putting Eric Fehrnstrom on T.V. (and other unsolicited advice)

posted at 1:06 pm on July 8, 2012 by

Now, I don’t want to be one of those nervous nellies that jump on campaigns when things aren’t going perfectly. I acknowledge that the other side is going to win a few rounds. However, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t always strive to do better. Vince Lombardi said, that perfection is impossible, but in striving for perfection, one can achieve excellence. Thus, I feel I should offer some advice to Team Romney.

1.) Stop putting Eric Fehrnstrom on television. I can forgive a blunder, we all make mistakes, but the creator of “etch-a-sketch” and “it’s not a tax” needs to stop shooting the campaign’s message in the foot. I’m NOT saying fire him, he’s obviously a smart guy, but some people are meant for T.V. surrogacy and others aren’t. Ed Gillespie does a pretty good job on television. Eric Fehrnstrom, not so much. People have their core competencies, make Mr. Ferhnstrom stick to his.

2.) Follow Ace of Spades advice:

Do a series of three one-hour videos explaining basic economics, and your plan. Release it with much fanfare. Make sure it’s pretty difficult to contradict.

Here’s my thinking: This cohort you’re trying to convince will not watch it. They don’t follow the news, and they sure as hell aren’t going to watch a three hour video on basic economic policy.

But they will hear you did this, and this might help satisfy their insistence that you “explain the facts to them.”

They don’t really want the facts explained to them, of course. That’s already been done a million times. They just want you to take time out to personally explain the facts to them.

So do so.

Again, they ain’t watchin’ it, but they’ll at least be aware that one candidate has done what they demand he do.

Get the people who did Ryan’s videos involved. They seem to know what the hell they’re doing.

To be honest, I only know a couple of things that Romney will do in office, cut taxes across the board by 20%, repeal Obamacare (we hope), and cut spending (somewhat). I follow politics and public policy fairly closely, yet that is about it when it comes to what I know of Romney’s plans. If that’s all I know, how much does the average John Q. know? Not much I’d bet.

There are several key objectives for the Romney camp during this summer. First, build your organization. He’s doing that fairly well. Second, prevent the opposition from defining you. He’s struggling on that front. It isn’t as bad for Romney like it was for Dole in 96, but Obama is getting his licks in with the outsourcing stuff. Romney needs to stop arguing with the ref (i.e the Washington Post), whose already against you, and counter Obama directly. They’re not really doing this. Dick Morris, might have his faults, but when it comes to countering the opposition, I think he’s top notch. Take a page out of his playbook and hit back hard, there are plenty of targets of opportunity.

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“Do a series of three one-hour videos explaining basic economics, and your plan. Release it with much fanfare. Make sure it’s pretty difficult to contradict.”

One thing I would also add, that maybe the opposition WILL see are a series of brutally short, simple, to the point positions that show that the health of the economy underpins EVERY other issue.

What I suggest are:

Healthcare is a huge issue for people who don’t have it but the easiest way to get more people on decent health insurance is to get them gainfully employed. Putting people back to work gets more people on insurance and reduces the scope of the problem. Providing government solutions do not fix the problem, they simply make the problem easier to live with as more people lose their jobs.

Extended unemployment benefits are running out for millions of Americans. Families are suffering. The number of people who are, in desperation, going on food stamps or finding ways to qualify for disabilities are skyrocketing. The way to turn this around is to get the private sector growing and get people working again. More people working means less people on unemployment, food stamps, and seeking out doctors who will sign off on disabilities. Again, these government solutions do not fix the problem, they simply make the problem survivable.

Dodd/Frank reduces the ability of banks to lend money to get small business growing and hiring. It also results in small banks closing or merging with larger banks putting a larger share of American banking in the hands of fewer, larger banks. We need to repeal these regulations and get small businesses growing again.

Sarbanes/Oxley creates a huge overhead expense on companies that limits their ability to grow and mandates ludicrous accounting standards where every quarter’s balance sheet is required to look like an end of the world worst case scenario. This prevents business from providing an accurate picture of its finances and often prevents them from raising additional capital in order to grow. It also prevents American companies from competing internationally with companies using Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures. Sarbanes/Oxley needs to be either eliminated or modified to remove the constraints of medium sized businesses to grow.

As Americans continue to lose jobs and have their unemployment benefits to run out, we will be faced with yet more foreclosures and tax seizures of people’s homes. This will further depress the housing market. Due to the Dodd/Frank and Sarbanes/Oxley requirements, this will make banks even less able to lend reducing business activity even more, resulting in even greater depression in the housing market and causing the entire economy to spiral downward. Getting Americans working again so they can make their tax and mortgage payments is the only way to break this downward spiral.

The greatest impediments to business growth and putting more Americans back to work are regulations such as Dodd/Frank and Sarbanes/Oxley and high taxes on investment through capital gains and dividend taxes. Reducing those regulations and taxes will allow billions of dollars to be pumped into businesses right here in America and get people working again.

And finally, he should call for a capital repatriation tax window where for a limited amount of time, American companies can repatriate capital at a favorable rate. Companies such as Apple have tens of billions of dollars of capital sitting overseas that they can not bring back to the US because of exorbitant tax rates. Having a window of time, say one year, where companies can repatriate capital at a low tax rate of, say, 9%, will being back tens of billions into our economy and put people to work again.

Each of these themes can be done in less than 60 seconds each and show a way forward to better economic conditions and those better conditions by themselves reduce the scope of all the other problems facing us.

We don’t want more government solutions, we want to be able to solve these problems ourselves or not have them in the first place.

Romney can do this. We can do this.

crosspatch on July 8, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Crosspatch:

Excellent comment.
Anybody know how to get this to Romney’s campaign staff?

CurtissP-40b on July 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Crosspatch:

Excellent comment.
Anybody know how to get this to Romney’s campaign staff?

CurtissP-40b on July 8, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Doesn’t matter. Romney would ignore it if you somehow did. They have winners like Fehrnstrom and Leavitt working for them. I dunno why the plebes would be any smarter./

gryphon202 on July 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM

If the Romney campaign is sharp, they will have people looking at venues like this for ideas. Sure, there’s a lot of rocks but you pick out a few from time to time that are worth considering.

In addition to the above, one more:

Presidents like Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, and Clinton understood that by cutting capital gains and dividend taxes, the result would be increased business activity, greater employment and increased revenues that reduced debt and deficit problems. Romney needs to point out that the Obama administration has set a fiscal time bomb set to go off on January 1 when these tax rates are set to INCREASE at the worst possible time. Increases in capital gains and dividend taxes will slam the brakes hard on business investment and we may already be seeing the first signs of that with reductions in employment and manufacturing growth as people begin to anticipate those higher tax rates and investment ramps down for things that would not pay off until after the first of the year.

The Obama administration has a knack for doing things that cause the most possible damage at exactly the time when it has the greatest negative impact. Reducing the Social Security payroll tax just when Social Security started running a negative cash flow is one example. The coming hikes in capital gains and dividend taxes is another.

If looked at from a broad perspective, this also appears to be part of a “war on the retired” as high yield dividend stocks such as utilities were often seen as safe income producing stocks for retired people. Also, the older you go into the retired demographic, the more it becomes populated with women as they have a longer lifespan than men do. This might be more accurately portrayed as a “war on widows” as it will greatly reduce their income stream in their retirement years. This, combined with changes in medicare that take into account income from dividends, rents, and royalties is going to result in a huge tax increase for retired people.

crosspatch on July 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Doesn’t matter. Romney would ignore it if you somehow did. They have winners like Fehrnstrom and Leavitt working for them. I dunno why the plebes would be any smarter./

gryphon202 on July 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I disagree. For all the criticism, this is still the best Republican campaign we have seen since Reagan. It is aggressive. Yes, they have taken a few weeks off here but I believe that is recharge time getting ready for a campaign where they are going to open up with all guns blasting. Romney is a smart man. I am assuming they have used the past few weeks to rest, re-engage with family and friends, strategize, and get their ducks in a row for what is coming over the next several months.

I think Romney is going to run one whale of a campaign.

crosspatch on July 8, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Kevin Madden is back on top…I believe we’ll be seeing more often than Eric

cmsinaz on July 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Kevin Madden is back on top…I believe we’ll be seeing more often than Eric

cmsinaz on July 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Yup, I was looking for the link. Here it is: Romney Aide to Take On Bigger Role in Campaign

That is likely to change now as Mr. Madden will travel more frequently with Mr. Romney in the coming weeks. He will also appear on television as a public face of the campaign during the daily engagements with President Obama’s campaign.

Mr. Madden did not respond to requests for comment.

The shift comes after Eric Fehrnstrom, one of Mr. Romney’s senior advisers, created angst among Republican leaders on Capitol Hill last week by saying that Mr. Romney disagreed with them on whether Mr. Obama’s health care mandate is a tax.

But, who is this Madden fellow… A real snake, if you ask me.

Fallon on July 8, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I think Romney is going to run one whale of a campaign.

crosspatch on July 8, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Let me know when he starts.

gryphon202 on July 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Romney has also claimed he will tie Federal per pupil spending funds to the individual students to give their parents school choice.

WeekendAtBernankes on July 8, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Let me know when he starts.

gryphon202 on July 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I expect you’ll be letting everyone else know. (in your Daily Kos diary).

crosspatch on July 8, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Let me know when he starts.

gryphon202 on July 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I expect you’ll be letting everyone else know. (in your Daily Kos diary).

crosspatch on July 8, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Here’s more of that “Gryph is pro-Obama” bullshit. I’m glad to see you’re at least trying to veil it a little bit here, but I still consider it defamatory.

gryphon202 on July 8, 2012 at 10:19 PM