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August 28, 2012 / Political Fluency

Should Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech Be a PowerPoint?

With Republican rock star Chris Christie giving a thundering keynote on Tuesday inclusive of a 50% chance of dropping an F-bomb and Thursday night will be Mitt Romney closing the Convention giving a speech that the best speechwriters on the campaign have been working on, maybe Paul Ryan should give the most sober speech on Wednesday as the Vice Presidential nominee. One that emphasizes the choice that this election is for America in terms of the urgency to reform our entitlement programs that could spell an end to the fiscal sustainability of the nation.

A few charts would make the speech very unique and perhaps the wonkiest of all time, but that’s congruent with who Paul Ryan is and the re-branding of the Republican party as one of fiscal responsibility. They’re already using the National Debt Clock at the Convention; might as well go all the way with being the “serious” party.

Now Ryan shouldn’t have 25 slides and drone on like typical boring business and civic leaders do, but maybe he could show just 4 slides.

First is this one:














It gets a laugh and preps the next three – there’s only three slides in the presentation:

Public Debt as a Percent of Economy












Federal Spending as a Percentage of Economy













These will frame the debate going forward in this campaign. Charts like these harkens back to Ross Perot’s infomercials from the 1992 election which are single-handedly responsible for what you are reading as I got sucked into politics because of the man. 20 years later, the exact same issues are at the forefront.

After showing those the above two slides, Ryan can then show how Medicare is a major cause of these staggering projections and how the financial future of that program is in serious jeopardy with the last chart of the evening:









And yes, that is Paul Ryan next to that chart. Ryan could speak very well to these slides, because that’s where they came from – The Path to Prosperity videos he made on YouTube in 2011.  The first video features the debt and spending as a percent of the economy while the second video discusses Medicare in detail. There are statements from that second video that he should repeat verbatim during his speech tomorrow.

The President’s plan is to let a panel of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats decide how much, or how little, Medicare will pay doctors and which services Medicare will, or will not, pay doctors to provide for their patients.

These are price controls, and we’ve tried them before. They encourage more consumption, and they force doctors to charge their non-Medicare patients more. That pushes costs up, not down.

If we keep going down this path, many doctors will stop seeing Medicare patients altogether restricting access to health care for seniors, and leading to waiting lists and denied care.

This is exactly how the GOP needs to explain the $716 billion in cuts from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. They can’t just keep mentioning $716 billion as a staggering number; they need to walk through the reality of how those cuts restrict access to care for you or your parents. That’s how to emotionally connect with voters over fiscal issues. As they say when selling life insurance, you have to back the hearse up the driveway of your prospect’s home. If the Republicans can effectively communicate this “Mediscare” tactic of reduction of access in the same way Democrats have long Mediscared voters against the Republicans for trying to change Medicare, then the Republicans have an excellent chance to win the Presidency in November.

And a chart or two, that Paul Ryan is already very comfortable speaking about, could go a long way in helping make that point.


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