Strategy Memo: The Closing Argument

This week, I am sharing with you a memo I am sending Republican candidates around the country because it can be used by any citizen who wants to present the clear choice voters face this fall.

I believe there is a devastating and accurate contrast between the Democratic Party of food stamps and the Republican Party of paychecks.

There is also a clear case that the Democrats’ vote for adjournment guarantees a tax increase for virtually every working American, which means more food stamps and fewer paychecks. 

Here is the memo I am distributing: 

Paychecks versus Food Stamps:
A Memo for Republican Candidates on the Winning Closing Argument for the Last Four Weeks

Dear Candidate,

We are in the home stretch of the campaign.  In less than 30 days, voters will head to the polls to voice their choice for the future of their family, their community, their state, and their country.

With less than 30 days left, it’s time to present your closing argument to the voters that you will aggressively repeat over and over until Election Day.

A closing argument is the central choice you want voters to have in mind as they head to the voting booths.  It should be very simple and resonate at a personal, emotional level with the American people.

In 1984, Reagan’s closing argument was “morning in America” versus returning to the malaise of Jimmy Carter.

In 1994, our closing argument was the Republicans’ “Contract with America” versus decades of broken promises from the Democrats.

This year, the House Republicans’ Pledge to America has set the stage for a powerful, symbolic closing argument for candidates seeking to unseat the left-wing, big-spending, job-killing Democrats: paychecks versus food stamps. 

It is an unassailable fact that in June, more food stamps were distributed by the government than ever before in American history. (It turns out that Barack Obama’s idea of spreading the wealth around was spreading more food stamps around.)

It is also an unassailable fact that in January 2007, when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over Congress, unemployment was 4.6% and food stamp usage was around 26.5 million Americans.  Today, the unemployment rate is 9.6% and over 40 million Americans are on food stamps. 

Compare this to our record after we took control of Congress in 1994. 

In four years, unemployment fell from 5.6% to 4.2% and food stamp usage dropped by 8 million Americans thanks to record job creation.  Furthermore, we turned a $107 billion deficit into a $125 billion surplus in four years, paying off more than $400 billion in federal debt.  And we did it with a liberal Democrat in the White House.

You can use this vivid contrast between the record of the Pelosi-Reid Democratic Congress and the last time the Republican Party took control of Congress to powerfully illustrate the difference for every American between the Democratic Party of food stamps and the Republican Party of paychecks. 

You can also present this clear choice to voters by hammering Democrats on their decision to adjourn Congress without fixing the tax code.  In January 2011, taxes are scheduled to rise on virtually every American.  Considering the perilous state of the U.S. economy, this decision by the Democrats to raise taxes is the very definition of irresponsibility. 

This tax increase can be specified for every income group with vivid personal impact on most families. As the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee have documented:

• A family of four earning $50,000 per year could pay more than $2,100 in higher taxes.

• A single mom earning $36,000 per year could pay over $1,100 more in taxes.

• Married senior citizens earning $40,000 per year could pay more than $1,400 in higher taxes.

For families struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table, the idea of having to pay even more in taxes will be devastating. 

Furthermore, small business owners who may be considering hiring new employees must now operate under the assumption that their taxes will rise in January.  That means a smart businessman will decline to hire anyone new since there will soon be less money to pay their employees.  In other words, more food stamps, fewer paychecks.

Republicans have made it clear they intend to prevent these tax increases on working Americans. 

You should use this vivid contrast between the tax-raising, job-killing agenda of the Democrats and the low-tax, job-creating agenda of the Republicans as a way to reinforce the choice for voters this fall. 

Which future do I want? More food stamps? Or more paychecks? 

This is the choice we want to drive home again and again for voters from now until Election Day.

Your friend,


P.S. At American Solutions, we are working to recruit 10 million new voters for the fall election.  You can help at

Newt’s Quick Links

• Callista and I are hosting screenings of Nine Days that Changed the World around the country, and our latest DVD, America at Risk continues to garner strong reviews.  You can read more at Gingrich Productions.
• For a limited time at, purchase an annual Premium Subscription and receive a free autographed copy of Gettysburg—a $25 value.  Click here.
• This week at Renewing American Leadership, Gerald Reed reviews Dinesh D’Souza’s The Roots of Obama’s Rage. Click here.
• Check out Health Reform Report for “real facts and trusted analysis” on the impact the new health reform law is having on doctors, patients and providers.
• The Americano reports that President Obama’s popularity amongst Hispanics is down.