That’s it. The Republican platform for the next 70 days.
This message can be said in many ways.
Here is how I put it in my column today for the Washington Examiner.
Here is how Michael Barone puts it.
It can be phrased 25 different ways but it comes back to stopping the massive tax hikes scheduled for 1/1/11 so that the economy can begin to grow again.
According to the Washington Post’s Dan Balz, President Obama and his team take solace from the example of President Reagan’s first two years in office when contemplating their own re-election prospects in 2012.
Reagan had a rough start to his presidency and the GOP got hammered at the polls in 1982, but the economy recovered and so did Reagan’s political standing.
But Reagan cut taxes, thus allowing the economy to boom in 1983 and beyond. President Obama is pushing the largest tax hike in history forward.
Economic gloom is gathering, as illustrated by this “end of the housing boom” dirge in yesterday’s New York Times. It is this expanding sense of pessimism that imperils the country’s growth, and Republicans ought to target the center of the problem –government’s massive burden on individuals and business. Pledge to stop the scheduled huge hike in that burden,and the campaign will be fought on the right ground from now until November 2.
Here’s the Tax Foundation’s guide to all the tax hikes coming at the start of the new year unless Congress is changed and the hikes repealed.
Congressional Democrats, aware of the approaching political disaster, plan to spend this week and next month trying to persaude voters that after 20 months of hammering businesses and taxpayers they have seen the light and have a new set of proposals to help.
Those proposals do not stop the tax hikes. Again and again GOP candidates have to return to that message: Massive, across-the-board-tax-hikes are coming and Democrats won’t act to stop them.
Republicans in the House and Senate should refuse to vote for the nip-and-tuck tax reduction cosmetics offered by the Pelosi-Reid team,and should bluntly explain that these will not work to turn the economy around and create jobs.
The president will hammer Boehner and McConnell for obstructionism. Pelosi and Reid will give press conferences in which they both denounce the GOP for blocking small business relief. The MSM, desperate to keep their idol’s majorities in the House and Senate, will repeat every charge from the Democrats and muffle or distort every response from the Republicans.
But it won’t matter if the GOP keeps saying that it will stop the tax hikes of 2011 –all of them– and that robust private sector economic growth will return as a result, along with good jobs and falling unemployment.
All of the other issues are interesting and often provocative, and a pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare should certainly be the second paragraph in every speech, but the campaign should be waged first on stopping the tax hikes and seconf on “repeal and replace.” Other issues are far down the list. If you are a contributor or an advisor to any candidate, remind them of that every morning,noon and night.