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April 27, 2011
Gingrich up to his old tricks
Way, way back in 1994, Newt Gingrich complained vigorously about a Democrat-controlled Congress's fiscal irresponsibility. Representative Gingrich led a successful campaign by Republicans to takeover House and Senate in the 1994 Election. At the core of the Republican game plan was the Contract with America, a key element of which was the Fiscal Responsibility Act, in which Gingrich promised:
A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out-of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.
That was then. Republicans failed to deliver on most of the Contract's promises.
This is now. Failure to deliver is the least of Republicans' worries if Gingrich's GOP nomination bid gains traction.
"We must stop the irresponsible spending," Gingrich wrote in an email to supporters. So he is again complaining about Washington's fiscal madness. But there's a slimy facet of Newt Gingrich 2011-hypocrisy. Gingrich now makes it clear that he wants to continue to grow federal "investment in science and research." The man is sounding more and more like just another big-government Republican, a progressive one to boot. Gingrich slams the reduced research subsidies in Representative Paul Ryan's budget plan for being
...essentially like saying, I want to save money on your car, [so] we're not going to change the oil. And for about a year I can get away with it. And then the engine will freeze up and we'll have to replace your engine. But if I have a CBO that scores oil but doesn't score engines, I can annually replace the engine for free, because it won't count as a budget cost.
In this analogy, the federal government keeps the "engine" of scientific research from "freezing up." But scientific breakthroughs do not depend on government subsidies. Mr. Gingrich has revealed himself to be no more fiscally responsible than the progressive Democrats whom he criticizes for fiscal irresponsibility.
In the current-day version of Gingrich, Republicans are saddled with a man who goes out of his way to play nice-nice with progressives. Gingrich is prone to embrace nutty and economically destructive progressive ideas. Three years ago, he sat on a sofa with Nancy Pelosi to push expensive and worthless solutions to the non-problem of "global warming." As I reported in February, Gingrich also kowtowed to "green energy" fanatics-and Republican farm subsidy lovers-to push the continuation of expensive and pointless corn ethanol production subsidies.
First, irresponsible global warming spending, then irresponsible biofuel spending. Now Gingrich is making a "deliberate, fundamental argument against the entire current [health care] delivery system," claiming that only government "investment" in research can create a better health care system.
So here we have a formerly great "conservative" pushing colossal government involvement to create a health care system to replace the Obamacare colossus.
Where did Gingrich make his "investment" pitch? Why, at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution, a progressive think tank.
Newt Gingrich must be kept far, far away from the GOP Presidential nomination.
Corrected 11:52 AM EDT. Gingrich did not propose $20 trillion in reasearch, as erroneously reported.
A writer, physicist, and former high tech executive, Chuck Rogér invites you to sign up to receive his "Clear Thinking" blog posts by email at www.chuckroger.com. Contact Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.