Beyond all the good we hear about Speaker Gingrich, below we have a compilation of thoughts from some of our members.
Newt Gingrich has a recurring impulse to insert the government into the private economy. A particularly bad mark on his record came in 2003, when he urged “every conservative member of Congress” to support the Medicare drug benefit bill. He called it the “most important reorganization of our nation’s healthcare system since the original Medicare Bill of 1965.” The drug benefit now costs taxpayers over $60 billion a year and has almost $16 trillionin unfunded liabilities. This flaw appeared again in late 2008, when he backed the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. While he was initially opposed to it, he “reluctantly” endorsed it when successful passage was uncertain in Congress.He starred in a television ad with Nancy Pelosi urging a bipartisan solution to climate change. In a debate with Senator John Kerry in 2007, Gingrich said, “the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon loading in the atmosphere.” While he insisted that government regulation wasn’t the answer, he said, “I would agree you would get more change more rapidly with an incentivized market rather than a laissez-faire approach.” That’s Gingrich-speak for government involvement.More recently, Gingrich defended federal ethanol policies. Even Al Gore now admits ethanol subsidies hurt the environment and that he only supported them because of Iowa’s influential presidential caucuses. Gingrich singled out a Wall Street Journal editorial critical of ethanol policies, and suggested ethanol’s “big city” critics get their facts straight. Responding to the fact that, without subsidies, tariffs, and federal mandates, there would be no ethanol market, Gingrich said, “If they’re prepared to insist on a flex-fuel vehicle and every car in America capable of buying ethanol, I think the industry can stand on its own.”
These inconsistencies are notable because they are inconsistencies. Gingrich’s default approach to regulatory issues is usually to favor the free market and empower entrepreneurs and consumers. Despite that good record, too often Gingrich seems overly compelled to find government answers to complex issues when the hurdles to free market solutions appear too high.As noted above, however, Gingrich has a few doozies in his record. First, in his 2008 book Real Change, Gingrich advocated an individual mandate for health insurance – a similar mandate is central to ObamaCare and is being challenged by 26 states in court as being unconstitutional. Gingrich wrote:
“[I]ndividuals are expected to help pay for their care. Everyone should be required to have coverage. Those with very low incomes should receive vouchers or tax credits to help them buy insurance. Those who oppose the concept of insurance should be required to post a bond to cover costs.”
The second large error in Gingrich’s entitlement record was equally troubling: the former Speaker played a high profile advocacy role on behalf of President George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug benefit bill in 2003. Gingrich penned several op-eds supporting the general thrust and specific provisions of the bill, urging House Republicans to pass what was billed at the time to be a $400 billion expansion of the federal government.Among the lowlights of his advocacy:
“Every conservative member of Congress should vote for this Medicare bill. It is the most important reorganization of our nation’s healthcare system since the original Medicare Bill of 1965 and the largest and most positive change in direction for the health system in 60 years for people over 65.”
“Congress should allow seniors to get the drugs they need by adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.”
Gingrich still maintains his support for Medicare Part D, and in a 2006 op-ed lauded the virtues of the first year of its implementation.Finally, Gingrich supported the creation and eventual expansion of SCHIP, the government-run health care program for children of low-income families.
Gingrich supported the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987, a proposal that would force broadcasters to air all sides of a controversial issue. It obviously infringes 1st Amendment rights and it can only lead to bigger government as bureaucrats haggle over what’s controversial, what’s “fair”, and other details.In Gingrich’s worldview, he appears to elevate partisanship to principle. His conflation of party expansion with genuine political or policy success is a common mistake, especially among establishment leaders and Washington insiders.
As far as foreign policy is concerned, Gingrich conceives of the U.S. government as an agent by which the entire world may be fundamentally transformed. “I think we should be pressuring everywhere, including Russia, including China, including Cuba,” he told the host. “We should be pushing steadily and saying, ‘America stands for freedom.’”
Unfortunately, the problems in Speaker Gingrich’s record are frequent enough and serious enough to give pause. On two of the most important recent issues that confronted limited government conservatives (creating the new budget busting Medicare drug entitlement, and the Wall Street bailout), Gingrich was on the wrong side. His advocacy of an individual health care mandate is problematic. His penchant for tinkering with rewards for favored industries and outcomes shows a troubling willingness to use federal power to coerce taxpayers into his preferred direction. And his occasional hostility toward conservatives who do not share his desire to support liberal Republicans or to compromise on matters of principle is worrisome.
The Real Newt Gingrich from Frank on Vimeo.
Last But Not Least- Does it concern you that he is a member of the Council On Foreign Relations and what is it anyways?
In the early 1900′s a group of international bankers including the houses of Rockefeller, Morgan, and Rothschild — conspired to create the Federal Reserve System. This occurred during a nine-day meeting on Jekyll Island, and were then put in charge of the system itself. This gave them control of American interest rates, and, by virtue of this, control of the stock market, as well as the capacity to have the U.S. government spend without limit by having the Fed create money from nothing. Later a group of International bankers held a series of meetings and proposed to establish a new organization in the United States, whose purpose would be to lead America into the League of Nations. This organization was incorporated in New York City two years later as the Council on Foreign Relations.The CFR’s goal was formation of an incrementally stronger world government. Some of the members stated that “The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence, and submergence into an all-powerful one-world government.”After World War II, the League’s successor, the United Nations, was born. When the UN held its founding meeting in San Francisco in 1945, 47 of the American delegates were CFR members.Though the UN was not initially set up as a world government, the intent was that it would develop into one over time. They are intricately involved with the the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This does explain why we all dislike the UN.