Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. House Speaker John Boehner is negotiating like a man who believes he is already outflanked and defeated by President Barack Obama. As a Republican, I am embarrassed for Boehner and my party.
As a small businessman who has survived through his street smarts and negotiating skills (often up against much wealthier deep-pocketed competitors), I have some pointers for Boehner. I’m going to teach him out to negotiate from strength, not weakness. My goal is to prevent a GOP “brand suicide” in these fiscal cliff negotiations.
First, winning this negotiation is about winning the media battle. You need a winning argument. Doesn’t Boehner know that this battle has already been won in England? Why aren’t the House Speaker and his lieutenants in the media day and night, pointing out that the U.K. tried Obama’s exact idea of a “millionaire’s tax” only a year ago and it proved a disaster. Two-thirds of the millionaires in the U.K. disappeared in one year: from 16,000 to 6,000. Either they moved to other countries with their money, or they slowed down and stopped working so hard.
As a result, tax revenues plunged, instead of increasing. Two years ago, British millionaires contributed 9 percent of all taxes. After the special tax on “the rich” passed, this same group produced 4.4 percent of all taxes. In other words, U.K. politicians damaged their economy, and proved that revenues go down with the same “millionaire’s tax” that Obama now demands.
There is no debate. The case is settled. The “millionaire’s tax” is a proven failure. Get that message out before we kill our economy just like the U.K. did.
Second, winning this negotiation is about winning the public relations battle. Obama travels the Nation, stopping in the homes of middle-class families and asking them how paying $2,000 in extra taxes would affect them. Brilliant.
The face of the top 2 percent isn’t a billionaire. It’s the small-business owner, the professional, the family farmer. The GOP needs to win over the American public by showing them the faces of small business that will be affected by higher taxes.
The GOP should purchase national TV infomercial time and introduce America to farmers who will lose their farms because of this new tax; doctors who will lay off nurses; homeowners who will no longer pay the mortgage on their underwater homes if they get hit with higher taxes or loss of deductions; small-business owners who, because of a tax increase, will lay off half their employees.
Show the voters real faces and real stories. I know people with each of these stories — including me. Maybe Warren Buffett and Bill Gates can afford a tax increase, but most small-business owners are struggling to pay bills and keep their businesses going. We are hurting, too. We cannot afford a tax increase. “The rich” that Obama is attacking aren’t billionaires. They are you and me – small-business owners. Why is it OK to present us with a tax increase for Christmas?
Third, Obama claims this tax increase is “just going back to Clinton-era rates.” The GOP needs to take the offensive to debunk this misleading statement. The Bill Clinton economy was fueled by a GOP Senate and House that forced Clinton to cut spending, cut rules and regulations, lower capital gains taxes (to encourage investment, thereby creating jobs), and end welfare as we know it. And the GOP Congress killed government-run healthcare, too. The Clinton economy boomed because government, spending and entitlements were much smaller than today.
Each time Obama demands Clinton-era tax rates, Boehner should say: “Let’s go back to the size of government, spending and entitlements under Clinton. Let’s eliminate all the rules, regulations and mandates since Clinton. Then, we can compromise and raise rates to Clinton levels.”
Fourth, Obama claims his victory was a mandate for tax increases. So let’s give Obama’s voters tax increases. Why is Obama defending the Bush tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans? Obama is admitting that Bush was right: Lower taxes are good for the economy. He says a tax increase now would devastate the economy. Really? If lower taxes are good for Obama’s voters (who voted for higher taxes), why wouldn’t they be good for everyone? This argument makes Obama look foolish and hypocritical. Boehner needs to take the offensive.
Fifth, point out that Obama created the fiscal cliff with $5 trillion in new debt. He is a spending addict. There is no “tax problem.” Taxes aren’t low. Obama has more tax revenues than any President in history. He’s just spent it all and then some. If high taxes worked, why are the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) all bankrupt and insolvent? And closer to home, why isn’t Detroit an economic model for the Nation? Why have more than 1 million citizens escaped from California in the past decade? There is no debate; this is already settled. Big government, big taxes and big spending destroy economies.
Lastly, let me give Boehner a hint about the art of negotiating. Obama already showed his hand a year ago. He asked for $800 billion in new taxes. This time, he asked for $1.6 trillion. That was a negotiating tactic. When Boehner came back with an offer of $800 billion, he handed Obama 100 percent of what he wanted in the first place. How dumb is that? How weak is that? Who taught Boehner how to negotiate? A librarian?
Boehner needs to point out there is only one antidote for this mess. Canada proved it in the 1990s. Its political parties agreed to compromise with massive spending cuts and tax cuts. That combination worked. Its economy healed. Its debt crisis ended.
That Canadian miracle proves that Ronald Reagan missed the other half of the equation that would have put our Nation on the right path 30 years ago: combining big tax cuts that encourage, motivate and reward entrepreneurship, investment and financial risk-taking with big spending cuts. That’s the half that never happened under Reagan: the spending cuts. Put those two together, and we get the greatest economic explosion in world history.
But Obama wants the disastrous opposite: tax increases combined with more spending and more debt to solve a spending and debt crisis. That’s like being diagnosed with cancer and asking your doctor for more cancer, which is why Boehner needs to get strong, be bold and take the offensive.
If the GOP caves on tax hikes, it is committing “brand suicide.” Going along with tax hikes as a compromise is not the answer, simply because it’s going along with damaging the U.S. economy.
In any negotiation the only way to win is to walk in prepared to walk away from a bad deal. Speaker Boehner, this is how you win a negotiation.
I’m Wayne Allyn Root for PersonalLiberty.com. See you next week. Same time, same place. God bless America and capitalism.