Karl Rove to the GOP: It’s the Economy, Stupid v2.0

“Some will argue this set of issues isn’t entirely new. But efficacy matters more than novelty.”

While President Obama’s 36% approval rating amongst independent voters is promising, I’m in the camp of Republicans concerned that people aren’t voting for us as much as they are against them. This is where, as discussed before, we need fresh ideas and a fresh approach to politics.

But what aboot our standard ideas with a fresh approach to delivering the message?

Most people reading this blog already think we have the better ideas. The rub is how we let Democrats get away with their class warfare junk, “tax cuts for the rich,” and manipulating voters into thinking anyone who has more money than you is evil and corrupt. We need to do a better job explaining to people with “narratives” and explain how the policies affect the voter’s everyday lives.

Enter Karl Rove

Laying out a positive agenda also requires GOP candidates to connect the dots between public policies and real-world consequences. So Republicans must make a compelling case that allowing the tax cuts to expire will result in history’s largest tax increase—killing jobs, punishing hard work and enterprise, damaging growth, wounding small business, and postponing the moment government finally restrains spending.

They need to explain that raising taxes on dividends and on capital gains would lower economic growth for years to come. Retirements would be less secure, capital more expensive for every enterprise from manufacturing to commercial real estate, and investment in American jobs and companies less attractive. A jobs, growth and prosperity agenda is a natural complement to austerity policies. It offers hope as well as sacrifice. And growing the economy makes reducing deficits more manageable.

The GOP must also be a critic of obstacles placed by foreign governments on the sale of American goods and services. We are 5% of the world’s population—we cannot remain prosperous by simply doing our own laundry. The countries with which the U.S. has trade deals represent 4% of the world’s population, but 38% of our exports. Even Mr. Obama pays lip service to increasing U.S. exports.

The GOP should also pledge to oppose power grabs by unions, especially those dominated by government workers. Voters increasingly understand labor bosses make American enterprise less competitive. Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s threat to pass “card check” in a lame-duck session must be taken seriously.

Make sure you give the entire column a read.


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