Thursday, April 21, 2011

My political commercial: "I am rich"

Democrats and liberals are experts at using lies to tug at the heart-strings. Conservatives and constitutionalists need to learn to do the same with the truth.

Were I a political consultant working with the Club for Growth or the Cato Institute or the GOP, here's the commercial I'd throw out there.

Camera opens on a man who looks like he's dressed to work. He smiles and says,

"Hi. My name is Joe Schlabotnik, and I'm rich.

"Well, I don't think I'm rich, but President Obama does, because I make $325,000 a year. He's targeting me and people like me, and seems to think he would do a better job with my money than I do. Sometimes I think he and Harry Reid think I hide it under my mattress and hoard it for myself.

"Well, I don't. I thought maybe you'd like to know what I do with my money.

"Like you, I use it to pay for my house, and to feed and clothe my family. So I support lending institutions, grocers, clothiers, department stores. Last year, I gave 13% of my gross income to my church, which serves God and people, and gives food and care to the needy. Frankly, I think it does a better job of it than government agencies.

"I also own Schlabotnik Hardware. Weird name, but I employ 13 people. That's thirteen people who have jobs, because of the money I make. People like Wanda Plummer, a single mom supporting three children. She's able to take night classes, thanks to the job I gave her. I think one day she'll be a manager. I think that's a good thing. And President Obama didn't give her that job.

"And people like Herman Munzner, who had retired, but he's using his thirty years of experience to help my customers in their projects. Our regular customer Greta James thinks it's great that Herman's here to help, don't you Greta? (Woman at counter laughs and nods.) I think that's a good thing. Harry Reid didn't give him that job.

"In fact, one more thing about Herman. I hired him last November. Do you know why? Because Republicans came to power, and I think many of them understand that the government doesn't make jobs. People like me make jobs. The GOP was going to call off the Democrats' war on job-creators. That freed me to invest.

"But now I'm worried again. You see, I'd like to open another store. More money going to carpenters and vendors, more jobs for my community. Except I see President Obama has me in his cross-hairs again. I guess he thinks he'd do a better job with my money, paying for abortions and windmills and fast trains instead of creating jobs for my community.

"I just think that's wrong. Serious people like Paul Ryan should be bringing sanity to the federal budget, and encouraging investors and job-creators instead of punishing them. Doesn't that make sense to you?

"Tell your congressman, tell your senator: stop penalizing people who create jobs.

"Because the only person who thinks I'm rich seems to be President Obama.

"Well... him and my grandchildren."

(Two little children run up, laughing, and hug his legs. Camera fades out with contact details.)

What do you think? I think it'd be a game-changer.


Bike Bubba said...

The guy I'm thinking of this way is named Charlie, and he's hired a guy named Jared, who provides for his family with that job.

Jared is about 3 1/2 feet tall, and suffers from the complications of dwarfism. Charlie keeps him off the public dole. You can come meet Jared and Charlie if you come to my town. They've both got a wonderful sense of humor. (Jared will make short jokes with people he doesn't know well....I've seen this)

Ed Gordineer said...

I like it... except... if you are trying to change the minds of liberals then the commercial would need to be cut down to less then 15 seconds and have lots of flashing lights to keep their attention.

DaveS said...

I think you missed your calling. At the end, when he's with his grandchildren, You should add the line "You know what, I am rich."

JackW said...

"... change the minds of liberals..."

Can that be done?

Burrito34 said...

Outstanding! It would be great if a commercial like this one could be produced and aired. Sadly, it's very unlikely many liberal minds will ever be changed for the better; but maybe such an ad could help wake up a significant number of folks who inhabit the moderate netherworld.

Robert said...

I wonder if the RNC would run with this type of spot for their candidates...and how the DNC would respond.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


Someone needs to see this. Right on. And I like DaveS's ending.

And change the minds of liberals?

That phrase contains an unproven assumption. ahem


Rachael Starke said...

The ending is money. Pun intended. :)

It might be helpful to tighten the section on the connection between what Joe makes and where that money goes. So many people hear "I make $350K a year" and think "I keep $350 a year, and spend it on fancy cars and Gucci bags for my girlfriends."
People who've never run a business have no idea that the vast majority of that money goes to taxes, salaries, business insurance, operating costs, and more taxes. Usually, the owner pays him or herself last. I'd probably have him making more than $350K. Multiplying that by thirteen, and you're either paying people barely minimum wage, or Joe isn't eating much. :)

DJP said...

Yeah, numbers aren't my thing, unless it's Bible verses, anniversary, family birthdays, or the book of the same name. The development team will have to tweak that. I'm the concept-guy.


Rachael Starke said...

A fun way to position "rich", would be to have a semi-opaque graph showing Joe's starting income, and then how it goes down due to all those costs. Salaries would be last. Joe's take home pay would be in the low five figures. But that's okay, because Joe actually isn't in this business to get rich. He's in it for the people.

X and Y axes change to people he employs.

For each story, the graph goes back up. Or there could be multiple graphs - one for each new person Joe got to hire. Joe's income doesn't go up by much, but theirs goes from zero to something decent.

His new store would add a whole bunch of new graphs. But continuing bad business policies would make them all disappear.

Wendy said...

Absolutely wonderful commercial!!

I like Rachel's last idea about having the graphs. And lowering Joe's salary :)

Some folks and I started a business about year ago, and it will be another year or two (hopefully!) before we can start taking salaries. We will need to hire other people first to lighten our workload which will increase with growth which will mean more hires and more time until the company can fully support everyone.

(Off topic, I think if you are going to start a business, do it before you become very successful in the regular world and *require* a certain salary to live and keep the house and all that nonsense :)

Mike Westfall said...

I like it. Let's do it

What I don't get is why so many people don't see through the progressives' cheap shots at the motives of conservatives.

I mean, do people really respond favorably to messages that imply that political opponents actually want to see women die, starve babies, make grandma eat dog food, etc.? How long can such a ploy last before it starts sounding like a tall tale?

I guess when you promise free stuff there's no end of suckers.

Sir Aaron said...

Also, a guy can make nothing per year for five years to start a business then make $350K in one year and suddenly he's considered rich. A lot of business owners need to pay back loans, etc.

@Burrito: I agree. True libs will never be convinced but there is a large middle section that votes liberal because they are ignorant.

Gov98 said...

Eh. I'm as conservative as it comes but I don't think it works... $325,000 why does he need/want more income than $325 liberals and moderates are going to think he's rich... But you need to make it real to people...

I make $63,000 a year but I am rich... Why? Because I live in a country that secures the blessings of liberty. One of the most fundamental liberties is that a worker is worthy of his wages... A person who works hard whether 50 or 500k it isn't my right to take from them.

When I was young my mother told me a story about a grasshopper and some ants. The ants labored and saved the grasshopper squandered. Our current administration seems to think that ganging up on the ants is how you make everybody better off. I think that hard work and honest labor and allowing people to reap the benefit of honest work is how we all benefit.


Where this is most apparent is in Student loan administration if you save you get less government money if you squander you get more. Moral- the government punishes saving that is morally deficient.

Julian said...

As a moderate, if you wanted to convince me to vote conservative, you would do well to clear up whether Joe's $325,000 is his take-home income or his business income, because right now, it sounds like what he's reporting on his personal return, and if so, I do consider him rich. If that's his net from his business, and from it he's paying his workers a living wage, then he's probably poor. So make sure of what you mean, or else you can be accused of using lies like liberals do.

On the other hand, I think your commercial-writing skills are gold ;)

Josherrs said...


Small business owners have to report their business income on their personal income tax forms. So his total income is $325,000, but he pays all of the business expenses (including wages for his employees), personal expenses, and all taxes from that amount.