The Republican Battle Within

Consultant Dick Morris to speak at 2013 NATO Show

Published in CSP Daily News

By  Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor

Dick Morris

WASHINGTON -- On one hand, Dick Morris sees the signs that the Republican Party in the United States is in disarray.

"Most people are looking now at the Republican chances and saying it's a defunct party," the political consultant told CSP Daily News, "because of demographics and the trends that were manifested in the last election."

On the other hand, the author of 10 New York Times best-selling books, thinks the economy and other aspects of life in the U.S. are about to get so unbearable that the Republican Party should easily take control of Congress in two years--but don't call that a prediction.

"My basic feeling is that Obama's policy is going to be such a fiasco that the country will be dying for alternate leadership by 2014," he said. "But it's too far from the election to predict, and I'm in hot water for predictions anyway."

The former Clinton political advisor and campaign manager who later converted from Democrat to Republican refers tongue-in-cheek to his prediction just days before the recent presidential election on Fox News that Mitt Romney would easily defeat President Obama.

"I was so definitive about it. I went out there and proclaimed a landslide," he says a month later. "I predicted a 5-point win, and we had a 1-point loss. So it wasn't really that far off."

Still today, Morris paints a rather bleak picture for Obama's second term, anticipating another recession, an increase in unemployment, state rebellion from ObamaCare and continued deficit spending. He'll discuss all of this and more during his appearance at the NATO Show in April. What follows is a summary of Morris' thoughts on many of these issues.

On Another Recession

I think by third quarter of 2013. The world has entered a recession, and I think that it's a matter of time before we do. Europe is in one, China is entering one from a slow-growth rate, which for them is recession, and Japan never really emerged from its recession.

I think the U.S. is going to have a further retraction and by the second or fourth quarter we actually will be in negative territory. The tax increases that are going to pass before the end of the year in connection with the fiscal cliff issue will probably, more than anything else, force that.

On the Fiscal Cliff

It's bad in any respect. If they don't solve the problem, and they're adding trillions more to the debt, the markets are going to freak out, and there'll be an immediate crisis in the U.S. If they do solve the problem and raise taxes as heavily as Obama wants, and/or cut spending as heavily as the Republicans want, the de-stimulus effects of both cuts and increases on their own are probably enough to cause a recession.

There are three options and none of them work. One of them is a massive increase in borrowing over the next few years. That's a disaster. Another one is major tax increase. That would screw up the economy. And the third one is spending cuts, which will also mess up the economy.

I believe the solution would be a restructuring of the tax code to reduce the tax brackets while reducing the deductions--a revenue-neutral tax cut, in effect. That's what Romney was proposing, but that's not going to happen.

On Tobacco Legislation

I think there's a real likelihood of a World Health Organization worldwide tax on tobacco products. That's in the works at the U.N., and I think that's very likely. Beyond that, I don't anticipate any further congressional action.

On the Outlook for Small Businesses

Watch out for an economic slowdown, higher unemployment, higher costs because of ObamaCare, an increased possibility of unionization. If the business in manufacturing, carbon-emissions control could prove very bad for them.

On ObamaCare

ObamaCare is now the law of the land, as Boehner said, but I do believe that the Republicans will manage a series of delaying actions, which will be very controversial and the substance of much discussion …

There are three issues about ObamaCare that will dominate:

  • The Supreme Court permits the states to opt out of the ObamaCare requirement that Medicaid cover 133% of the poverty level. Right now most states cover 70% or 80%, but some like Texas cover 25%. I think about half the states in the country will opt out.
  • The second controversy will be when the insurance exchanges are set up, I think they're going to be a nightmare. The issue of some administrative follow-ups and how difficult they are and how hard that is for small business to adjust to it will be very, very salient.
  • I also feel that the health-care rationing aspect of ObamaCare, which sets up this board that approves procedures, is going to be a real controversy as the first of those rulings come down. I expect an attempt to override them with a supermajority of Congress.

Hear more insight from Dick Morris during the 2013 NATO Show scheduled for April 22-24 at the Paris, Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas. Morris will be the keynote speaker the morning of Wednesday, April 24.

NATO's 12th Anniversary & Trade Show is the premier tobacco-industry show for retailers, manufacturers and distributors. In addition to the trade show, the meeting features a host of outstanding educational sessions, including keynote address by Dick Morris, that focuses on everything that tobacco retailers need to not only survive, but to thrive in a difficult sales and regulatory environment. Proceeds from the show go to support NATO's legislative efforts to help the industry.

To get a glimpse of the excitement and happenings at NATO's 11th Anniversary & Trade Show, be sure to check out the highlights video at

Continue to check the website for 2013 updates with attendee registration opening in December. To exhibit, contact the NATO Show office at (770) 932-3263.

NATO is the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, a national retail trade association that focuses exclusively on local, state and federal tobacco legislative issues and leads the fight for all tobacco interests in the United States.

By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor
View More Articles By Steve Holtz