Memo to GOP: Become the high-growth party.

Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, December 7, 2012.

The dreary back and forth between Republicans and Democrats continues, even after the election. Between now and New Year’s, the argument will center around tax rates on the so-called “rich,” the raising thereof being a pre-condition for Democrats talking about reducing spending and avoiding the “fiscal cliff.”

Republicans are on the losing side of this proposition no matter what. The fact that they are substantively correct from a tax policy standpoint is carrying little weight with the public. The Democrats have convinced a narrow majority of Americans that absent a tax increase on the very loosely defined “rich,” nothing can be done about trillion dollar plus federal budget deficits and the piling on of even more federal debt.

Republican protests that raising tax rates on upper income earners hits the very people who hold the exclusive power to create private sector jobs, true though it is, is not resonating.

And thus the argument has devolved into the kind of bickering that parents must suffer between a nine year old sister and a seven year old brother in the back seat of the car on a long road trip. (We need higher taxes. Do not! Do too! Do not! Do too! MOM!!!)

Republicans are losing this argument. So it’s time to re-frame the debate and Republicans are best positioned to do it.

It is always a mistake to underestimate the problem-solving capacity of a robustly growing American economy. Yet Republicans argue with Democrats as if our current sluggish economy is the best we can do.

It’s not.

Fiscal rectitude, small government and low taxes should never be abandoned as core Republican principles. But such principles are best pursued as an integral part of an agenda that is led by an emphasis on growth. Thus Republicans should quit being the low taxes party (for debating purposes) and become instead the high growth party.

Republicans have a wealth of material with which to make the case.

Energy stands at the top of that stack. While most of us weren’t looking, the American oil and gas industry has been busy setting the predicate for returning the United States to the position of world leader in crude oil production.

Exploration and drilling technology advances have cleared the way for the U.S. to again become the world’s leading producer of oil by 2017 according to the International Energy Agency. Such a prospect dramatically shifts the balance of economic and strategic power in the world. Decades of Western democracies being forced to dance to a tune played by anti-Western, theocratic, tyrannical Middle Eastern mullahs will come to an end, together with the concomitant transfer of wealth.

Republicans should be talking about what will happen when the $200 billion or so (net) that the U.S. spends importing oil each year goes instead to paying American workers to produce and use energy found at home.

Apple and Google are American companies. One was started in a garage. The other was started in a college dorm. These companies are emblematic of what happens when ambition, intellect and passion are allowed to follow the animal instincts that thrive in a free, lightly regulated business climate.

Republicans should be talking about the yet unborn world business icon that will arise from the next young man or woman — sitting in a garage or a dorm room – possessed of a good idea and needing only a path reasonably free of obstacles to pursue it.

America feeds itself and much of the world without even trying very hard. The best and the brightest in the world attend American universities. The U.S. is still the world’s leading manufacturer (yes, it’s true). Most advances in technology, medicine, aerospace, manufacturing, logistics, transportation and defense are still hatched in America.

Against that largely unsung backdrop, the Democratic fixation on taking from one cohort of Americans to give to another looks like the small ball that it is.

Most people still have a deep desire for America to be great. Republicans should play to that desire by promoting the 21st century success that America, despite everything, stands ready to become.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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5 Responses

  1. P K Lewis says:

    A good idea, but in my humble opinion, too esoteric for the average mind.

    No one is talking yet about the 47% who have zero skin in the game.

    Until then I think there is zero solution.

    Why would anyone care who has nothing to lose??

    The pilgrims found out in 1 season this would not work…

  2. L Miles says:


    Your message that Republicans should explain how a GROWTH emphasis has brought us unparalleled prosperity and that “Most advances in technology, medicine, aerospace, manufacturing, logistics, transportation and defense are still hatched in America” is a great foundation for debate with the Democrats. It is true that any “tax centered economy” (as promoted by the Socialists) to support an overpowering Federal Government that intends to supplant the energies and creativity of private enterprise with a government “stimulus” economy for “favored” activities can only smother personal initiative and GROWTH.

    Now, how do we Conservatives bring this about in the face of the envy and class warfare rhetoric being spouted by the Socialist Democrat Party and its propaganda arm, the Mainstream Media? You probably assume that most Americans can be persuaded by this argument. I don’t think so.

    The Democrat argument for 80 years is that Republicans are for the “rich” and against the “poor” and their tax (so called “GROWTH”) policies are intended to favor the wealthy. This last election has shocked me into believing that 1/2 of Americans have accepted the Democrat propaganda in the ABSENCE of the Republicans REFUSAL to EXPOSE the Democrat LIE out of fear of loosing the PR battle and lack of conviction to defend the obvious.

    It is now obvious to me that the moderate (progressive) Republicans in power don’t really believe in the superiority of the Free Market and Constitutional Liberty as we used to know it. They simply believe that they can manage the Big Government monstrosity (in Washington) better than the Democrats. They are not willing to defend the free market principles (GROWTH) that you are suggesting and certainly don’t want to ROLL BACK the overwhelming control over every aspect of our lives as executed by the myriad of government agencies and regulations in existence.

    The Republican Party is invested with a bunch of politicians that are more interested in currying favor with the mainstream media than anything else and are also in the habit of taking the “path of least resistance” as demonstrated by their disgustingly weak negotiations with Obama over the current tax and spending issues. They are NO MATCH for the opposing Democrat ideologues that support Socialism.

    Until the Republicans re-affirm their Conservative roots and publicly condemn the “progressive” trends that they have supported for many years (just slower than the Socialist Democrats), they have NO CREDIBILITY with me as an effective alternative to the Marxist-Socialists that are determined to plunge this nation into bankruptcy, all in the name of “fairness”, of course.

    The time for repentance of the Republicans has ended. The time for a REAL CONSERVATIVE alternative has come. The Conservative members of the Republican Party MUST NOW “go on strike” against the leadership and insist on a reorganization around Conservative principles, or else they will (en masse) abandon any loyalty to any anti-conservative policies initiated by the Republican leadership. The Republican leadership is a joke and doesn’t deserve any vote of confidence from the Conservative members, whatsoever. The Conservative members of the Republican Party were elected to represent us, not the Republican jello “de jour.” I would like to believe that the Republican influence in the nation can be salvaged by a determined promise, not threat, from the Conservative wing of the Republican Party to return to Constitutional principles that are proudly proclaimed as they expose the fake promises and lies of Socialism.

  3. Linda E. Montrose says:

    We are in this mess because the republican party has not stood up for our founding principles. They have become weak and fearful. It is time, past time, for a new party to evolve. One that will do what is best for the country and the people instead of worrying about the next election and if they will retain their seat. The republican party has become an extention of the democrap party. Nothing will ever change until changes are made within…in saying that, the whole party needs to be redone starting with tossing out the deadwood! Which is probably 85% in office now!

  4. C M Solomon says:

    As I listen to some of the Conservative Republican leadership and Conservative political commentators recommend a “strategic retreat” on the “fiscal cliff” argument with Obama, I am totally amazed at their willingness to “let Obama get his way and, in turn, OWN the disastrous results.”

    If the Republicans couldn’t pin the tail of economic decline on the Obama donkey over the last four years and also couldn’t defeat the LIE, “it’s Bush’s fault,” that was used during the campaign, how on earth do they MAKE OBAMA ACCEPT THE BLAME for the continued economic decline and decreased total employment of the American working population over the next four years?

    The fact is undeniable that the Republicans are simply accepting defeat in the PR battle due their incompetence in the political arena of persuasion. They are HOPING that the American Obama voter will learn from experience as the nation continues to suffer due to higher taxes and astronomical deficit spending. One-half of the American people are not inclined to condemn their Big Government benefactor of welfare benefits that they must have in order to survive as wealth is shifted from private enterprise to Socialist government programs.

    Can we trust in Republican fantasies that are willing to “kick the can down the road”, once again? How many times must it be said that an “unexposed lie becomes the truth and that perception becomes reality?” Would someone please answer the question: What is the FAIL-SAFE argument that the Republicans are going to use to convince the American people that the Obama Socialist Democrat Party is entirely responsible for their economic misery?

    My solution is for the Republicans to realize that they must FINALLY DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND and expose the Socialist-Marxist goals of Obama that will NEVER END and use their “power of the purse” in the House of Representatives to shut down the Obama spending machine in order to save the nation. What better objective is worth “political death”, if necessary? The more the Republicans delay the inevitable, the worse it is going to get.

  5. Eric Williams says:

    “Republican protests that raising tax rates on upper income earners hits the very people who hold the exclusive power to create private sector jobs, true though it is, is not resonating.”

    That is blatantly false. While I agree with you that raising taxes on the “rich” is the wrong thing to do, to insinuate that upper income earners hold “exclusive power” to create jobs is either a blatant lie on your part or just a lack of knowledge on your part. Many of us who create jobs started with little but our determination and willingness to work and sacrifice, and were able to provide jobs prior to becoming upper income earners. Your statement reminds me of someone who was either given what they had or doesn’t know what it takes to make something happen. I would not have guessed you for either.

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