WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 29: U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the White House briefing room following a briefing on Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama returned early from a campaign trip to Florida and has canceled several other campaign events to monitor the storm. (Credit: Getty Images)
The weather channel made a unilateral decision this season to start naming winter storms. The large snowstorms called Nemo and Plato are recent examples of this. Their argument is that this is a better way to communicate about an upcoming storm and track the destruction, such as has been used for hurricanes for decades. Some may think that this is silly and unnecessary. If this helps communicate the impending doom and devastation of a Hurricane or Winter Storm then what is the harm?
We can take a lesson from this rather than scoff at it. If naming dangerous devastating events is helpful from a communication standpoint, why can’t it be used to warn about the upcoming damage of a proposed tax increase? Or track its devastation after the fact as we sort through the wreckage that raising taxes causes. The estimated cost of Hurricane Sandy was over $50 billion. The cost for Katrina was over $100 billion. Meanwhile the devastating cost of the January Obama tax increase is $650 billion over the next ten years. The cost to the economy is so harmful that it’s like a hurricane every year forever! Since he is so proud of it, a good name for this demoralizing tax increase should be “Tax Storm Barack”.
The news media should track the destruction from “Tax Storm Barack”, much like they would a hurricane. The tax increase primarily was directed at the wealthy, such as business owners. These wealthy are similar to the people who live closest to the coast in a hurricane, in that, they are only the first hit by the storm. Coverage of the effects could be interviews with unemployed people who remained unemployed, since businesses never hired them after the tax increase. Maybe they could visit yacht manufacturers and talk about the reduction in orders, or turn cameras on a Mercedes showroom where a salesman is asked about his prospects of making his quota this month. Maybe there is a pro golfer who has laid-off a secretary who can be interviewed. There should be a large on-screen banner that is labeled “Tax Storm Barack Devastation!”. They would also have to do follow-ups every month, because the damage keeps hitting as long as the tax increase is in place.
The president wants to increase taxes to avoid the March 1st sequester, so the media needs to start warning about the upcoming storm. This naming idea needs to have a mechanism to warn about the impending doom. Along the lines of naming a Tropical Depression, perhaps Tax Depression could be used. This could also act as a warning that an actual Depression could ensue if the warnings are not heeded. Since we need to use a different name for each Tax Storm, why not use Harry (for the Senate majority leader) for this one. Stories could start to be written now about “Tax Depression Harry”, so the citizens could be mobilized to ward off the storm. If the Republicans fail to hold the line, it will naturally turn into “Tax Storm Harry”. Names should be simple enough to line up based on seniority in the Democratic leadership, so Nancy could be next. Maybe there could be some honorary titles like Al or Bill, so older Democrats don’t miss out on the dishonor. Democrats never run out of tax increase ideas, so there will be plenty of naming of Depressions and Storms opportunities to go around.
Don’t react to the naming of winter storms by thinking it is unnecessary or silly. Learn from what it tells us about how to communicate to the American people. This technique can be used to educate the public about the devastating ideas the Democratic Party has for our country. If this technique can help explain that tax increases are bad, it will be a start.