A Powerful Case for Newt Gingrich.
With Ron Paul leading polls in Iowa and Rick Santorum on the rise, some in the GOP have all but written off Newt Gingrich. If that’s true, it’s too bad because it means we have allowed a few policy mistakes to discount an otherwise beyond stellar record of conservative achievement.
We all know Ron Paul’s a cooky survivalist nut job, but as Erick Erickson noted yesterday, Rick Santorum isn’t exactly a shining light of conservatism. Erick laid out in detail Santorum’s Bushian record of moderation supporting big government Republican legislation like the prescription drug program and No Child Left Behind. Santorum either supported these policies or he’s not a leader. In either case, he wouldn’t be the kind of president we need post-Obama.
Peter Ferrera, who served President Reagan in the White House Office of Policy development and an adviser to Gingrich over the years, lays out with great attention to detail, the most substantive column written about Gingrich, his record, what it did for America, his plan and what it would do for America:
First he talks about Gingrich’s historic House victory:
He led us to victory before. Spectacular, historic victory. The strategy and content of his 1994 Contract with America propelled the Republicans to a 54-seat gain in 1994 to win control of the House of Representatives, which had been held by the Republicans for only two out of the previous 62 years. Even the Reagan Revolution in the 1980s failed to achieve that.
An off-year electoral House victory like 1994 is as close to a proxy as we’ll get to a test for a national election. Newt has lead landslide victories before. But “front runner” and supposedly most electable Republican Mitt Romney? He’s 5 for 22 in his electoral record, declining to run for re-election in Massachusetts because he would have assuredly lost the election. Despite what the establishment in Washington believes, Romney is probably the least electable of the candidates other than Ron Paul. Newt is a proven winner.
Contrary to the untouched by reality liberal/left talking points about how the 1993 Clinton tax increases led to balanced budgets, when the Gingrich majority took power in 1995, it was greeted by the 1996 Clinton budget still projecting $200 billion annual budget deficits as far as the eye could see, totaling $2.7 trillion over 10 years, confirmed by CBO. The House passed a budget bill providing for $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, and that was almost 20 years ago when $1 trillion was still real money.
Total federal discretionary spending, as well as the subcategory of non-defense discretionary spending, declined from 1995 to 1996 in actual nominal dollars. In constant dollars, adjusted for inflation, the decline was 5.4 percent. By 2000, total federal discretionary spending was still about the same as it was in 1995 in constant dollars. As a percent of GDP, federal discretionary spending was slashed by 17.5 percent in just four years, from 1995 to 1999.
For all the talk these candidates do about how they plan on cutting spending and for all the ridicule pundits like Ann Coulter and Mark Steyn heap on Gingrich for supposedly being a man of “crazy” ideas, Gingrich is the one guy who has actually cut spending consistently in the federal government and kept it consistent. It was not until Gingrich was thrown out in 1999 that Denny Hastard and the House GOP started spending us into oblivion.
What happened as a result of all of Gingrich’s achievement? Well, he could have guessed, because parts of it had happened before in the 1980’s, I’ll let Ferrera explain:
As a result, the $200 billion annual federal deficits, which had prevailed for over 15 years, were transformed into record-breaking surpluses by 1998, peaking at $236 billion by 2000. Over four years, the national debt held by the public was reduced by a record $560 billion in surpluses. When Gingrich left office, instead of CBO projections of $2.7 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, CBO projected surpluses of $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years. That is a positive turnaround in the budget of $5 trillion. This is exactly what we need today.
These spending cuts were accomplished not with a deal with the Democrats to raise taxes, but with pro-growth cuts in tax rates. Gingrich led enactment of a capital gains tax rate cut of nearly 30 percent in 1997, from 28 percent down to 20 percent, which was the largest capital gains cut in American history. Despite that cut, actual capital gains revenues soared $84 billion higher for 1997 to 2000 than projected before the rate cut. The Republican Congress also expanded IRAs, and adopted other tax cuts on capital.
And we haven’t even gotten into welfare reform… In an election fixated on what people have said, Gingrich has a proven record of things he has accomplished. Yet conservatives want to rake him over the coals for talking about space exploration? Give me a break! The man has one of the most impressive records amongst the candidates, rivaled only by Rick Perry.
He also breaks down the brilliance of Newt’s platform and what it would do for our country:
It is all in writing at Newt.org. Gingrich is campaigning on the ultimate, supply-side, pro-growth, Jobs and Economic Recovery plan of cutting taxes and spending to balance the budget, just as he did in the 1990s. He is proposing the 15 percent optional flat tax plan of Steve Forbes and Steve Moore. He proposes corporate tax reform, closing loopholes in return for lowering the rate to 12.5 percent as Ireland did in 1988 to such great success.
He would eliminate the capital gains tax, the death tax, and the alternative minimum tax. He would allow immediate expensing for capital investment, like the deductions for all other business expenses, instead of dragging those deductions out over many years through arbitrary depreciation schedules.
So when people like Ann Coulter write lazy tripe zeroing in on a policy they disagree with Newt over, just remember the entire platform he is promoting is a mix of policies conservatives have been dreaming about for ages. Let’s remember Newt received 46% of all negative ads this cycle and endured attacks from fellow conservatives angling to balance a Romney ticket. Newt is, overall, a solid conservative. Someone we can enthusiastically, not reluctantly, support.
Read the whole thing here. It’s great!