Event Details
November 18, 2021

Speaker: Peter Siris, Herb Kaplan, Michael Otten




Omnibus Bills – Increase Polarization, Alienate Voters, and Hurt Democracy!

Harvard Business School basic rules of marketing are: Know your product, know your customer, make your offering clear, and target your customer to demonstrate the value of your product.

Smart corporations do not run ads for “Omnibus” products. They create targeted ads for individual products. For example, P&G does not ask consumers to buy all its products. Instead, it stresses that Bounty is the “quicker picker upper,” Tide gets your clothes “Tide clean,” and Gillette gives you “the closest shave.”

Government used to work this way. In the New Deal, FDR offered specific legislation for banks, employment, energy, and other issues that everyone could understand and support.

Now, however, our Congressional leaders are introducing omnibus bills that few read or understand.

  • HR-1, the 793-page For the People Act, was so complex that only 15% of those polled said they thought they knew what was in the bill.
  • Build Back Better is even more opaque. Only 10% of the people say they know the specifics of the bill, while only 36% think it will benefit them, despite the expenditure of $3.5 trillion.
  • On the Democratic side, Manchin & Sinema are sparing with the Progressives, while the Republicans sit on their hands, opposing a bill that has many elements they support.

The irony is that many elements of this bill enjoy strong support from a majority of all groups.

  • 79% (including 75% of Republicans) support Long Term Care for Seniors
  • 73-74% support modernizing the electric grid and school buildings and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
  • More than 2/3 support increasing taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals.

If Congress had put up each of these issues individually, both parties might have supported many of them. Yet our Congressional leaders choose to ensure most Americans cannot understand what they are doing.

By creating bills that are too complex for most to understand, our legislators are risking accomplishing nothing and further polarizing our country. Why can’t we have simple legislation to solve each problem? What are the risks to the Democrats and the Republicans from this omnibus bill strategy? Why can’t members of Congress understand the simple rules of marketing, so the country can move forward?

Please view the event video for a short presentation, and then continuing discussion of why these Omnibus bills are hurting our country and undermining confidence in government, and how government would be much more effective if it focused on legislation that people could understand and support.


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